Top Ten Christmas Activities

What are your top ten Christmas activities?  I’m listing mine below  (in no particular order) and would love to hear from you!  Merry Christmas, and God bless us, everyone!

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Decorating the Christmas Tree and our whole house for Christmas.

I so enjoy home décor, period, but I get so much joy in pulling out meaningful ornaments and making my Christmas trees pretty.  I had planned to buy another tree for my dining room, but they were so expensive that I decided to wait for the after-Christmas sales.

Fortunately, my next-door-neighbors were tossing their tree because the lights weren’t working anymore.  They said I could have it, so I drug it across the street and put new lights on it.  I used only silver ornaments, while we used the other ornaments on our living room tree.  My “silver tree” is so beautiful–one of the prettiest I’ve ever had.  It lights up the whole dining room with it’s white lights and silver elegance.  (At least I think so!)

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Hearing my husband read the story of Jesus’s birth in Luke 2:1-20.

The story of Jesus’s birth is so beautiful.  The verses are like a balm in their rhythm and the hope they give us in our world.  I think people are more generous and kind at this time of year because so much is focused on our Lord, the Light of our complex world.

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Baking Christmas goodies

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Grandmother Lindsey (who lived just across the pasture from us, when I was growing up in rural south Alabama) used to always make the best in sweet Christmas goodies.  My favorite were her date balls, fudge, and divinity.  When I was supposed to be practicing the piano, I’d go swipe a piece between songs.  But I think she knew about it! 😉

Shopping for Christmas gifts for everyone.

Carefully selecting Christmas gifts for everyone is a favorite hobby of mine.  I like to get the best gifts at the best prices and be a good steward of my cash.

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Crafting hand-made presents for family and friends.  Being crafty in wrapping gifts.

I am in my element, my happy place, my zone when I’m making presents for family, friends, and Princess Buttercup’s teachers.  Furthermore, I like adding just a little bit of creativity when wrapping my gifts.  I’d better get on it, actually.  I’ve got only 2 weeks till show time!

Singing Christmas carols.

We went caroling last year.  I did that for the first time when I was in college and loved it!  I want to get a brave group to sing in our new (as of June 2016) neighborhood.  Any volunteers?

Spending time with family and friends.

Spending time with those I love makes Christmas a special time for bonding and building memories.  It’s the time of the year that Lefty takes time off of work, and Princess Buttercup and I love that!

Opening presents.

I’ve gotta be honest…opening presents is just plain fun!

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Silver snowflake, a gift from my friend Kibbers.

Attending all the parties and eating all the good food!

We southerners are known for our food.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the feasting.

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Smiling and saying, “Merry Christmas” to people I meet.
</h1>Like I said for my second activity on the list, people are so much friendlier around Christmas time.  True, traffic can be a nuisance.  And true, we’re southerners, and people from other places say that we’re friendly, anyway.  But I think people are kinder around Christmas because so many more are thinking of the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

eCo Creates a Sweet Holiday Tablescape!

Erma's red, white, and black holiday tablescape.

Erma’s talent in putting together a holiday tablescape is evident in this black, white, and red tableau.

It’s the holiday season and Erma Sampson of eCompany (eCo) can help get your holiday tablescape ready for the festivities!

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Erma Sampson is the proprietor of one of Funky Monkey’s very popular booths.

Erma owns eCo, a booth at Funky Monkey Vintage Market in Madison, Alabama.

She has enjoyed a sweet life with Funky Monkey since September 2014—practically since it opened its doors to customers who love to shop creative resale stores.

 Greenery for festive holiday tablescape

 

eCo Friendly

The E in eCo mainly stands for the first letter in Erma’s name. It also stands for her value of caring for the environment.

“Watching what we put in our land fields is a passion of mine…” said Erma, who has a booth full of upcycled and new items.

Natural elements and fine China

Incorporate natural elements with something formal like your fine China.

Beautiful Home Décor

Walk into Erma’s booth, and you can see right away that she has a knack for putting together a beautiful holiday tablescape.

“I am really passionate about things looking their best,” said Erma, “and I’m also passionate about home décor. I love dining tables and chairs and basically anything that catches my eyes. I pretty much invest in [an item] to reclaim it, upcycle it, and put it back into circulation.”

Beautiful white pitchers

I’ll bet these pretty pitchers will go fast…I love them!

Customer Service

Erma is an incredibly sweet person and a very helpful vendor.

While I was visiting eCo, a customer came in to shop and to introduce herself and her 21-year-old daughter to Erma.  “Thank you for being a part of our home!” the customer said as she showed  her daughter where she’d purchased several eCo items for their home.

“I pour a lot of love into what I do, and I hope that people appreciate it—and they do. That’s evident by the purchases that are made,” said Erma.

Plants and pops of color

Try incorporating fun succulents and punches of color like this pretty floral napkin to your holiday tablescape.

Erma’s Tips for Upcycling:

“Always invest in something that you really love. If you have a piece that’s sentimental to you or you’re tired of a piece, you can always upcycle that piece—maybe its color. Sometimes people get rid of things that just need a little TLC. It may need a little putty, a little sanding, or a good cleaning, and it can be new again with a new color,” said Erma.

Your local landfill will thank you!

Happy Holidays!

Erma said, “Being Thanksgiving, I’d like to thank all of those who have supported my business, whether it was a sweet compliment or they actually used their resources to invest in a piece from eCo. I am certainly grateful for that, and I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope this whole holiday season is filled with family, friends, food, and festivities that truly warm hearts!”

The completed holiday tablescape

Note from Stephanie: I didn’t receive any compensation for writing this piece. I was just glad to get some more photography practice and help support this super-nice lady as well as our local economy!

Photo credit for first holiday tablescape picture:  Erma Sampson.  I took the others with my sweet little Nikon!

Putting up Christmas Lights and Singing Carols

Dad puts up the Christmas tree lights.

Dad puts up the Christmas tree lights.

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I meant to blog about Thanksgiving back in Jachin, but I got caught up with all the stuff I had to do that I didn’t have time.  Maybe next year.  Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.

I also like Black Friday.  We refused to shop on Thursday evening because we wish that retailers would let their employees have the whole day off to hang out with their family.  When I was first out of college, I had about 3 jobs in Huntsville.  One of them was a retail job.  I drove down to Jachin to spend it with the family, and then had to drive the 250 miles back up to Huntsville after we ate because I had to work Black Friday.  At least I got to spend most of the day with my family.

Last Friday around 6:30 a.m., I drove to get my teenage niece, and we took Princess Buttercup on her first Black Friday shopping trip!  We all had fun, even though we only bought a few things like craft supplies and some shoes for Princess.

This weekend, Princess Buttercup got Lefty to go into the attic and bring down all of our Christmas decorations.  We played Christmas music while we decorated.  It seems so weird that it is December already!

We follow the same “rules” that Mom had for us when we were growing up in rural south Alabama:

  1. No Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.
  2. No Christmas carols will be played until after Thanksgiving.

Mom used to tease Aunt Joyce for playing her Christmas carols in September! 

We have seen lots of these rule-breakers as we go down the road.  Some of the nicer subdivisions had their rooftop strands up mid-November.  Other people had their whole lawn a-glow. 

What about you all?  What are your traditions for putting up decorations and singing carols?

I watch Dad put up the lights.

I watch Dad put up the lights.

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