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Get Ready To Decorate With the ‘Spirit’ of Christmas Instead of Its Theme

Countdown to Christmas: Only 8 weeks left, it's time for the first layer of decorations.

Rhonda Robinson


November 9, 2013 - 2:00 pm


On my to-do list today: Order new bulbs for the window candles.

Now is the perfect time to start decorating for Christmas. You can start today too. No– I’m not talking about a blow-up snow-globe in your front yard. Please don’t do that–ever.

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to be just throwing tinsel and stringing lights. It really can, and should, be about a whole lot more. Decorate with the “spirit” of Christmas– not the theme of Christmas.

What do I mean by the “spirit” of Christmas?

Create an environment full of sights, sounds and aromas that provoke feelings of peace, serenity and even a bit of nostalgia. For example: A fire in the fireplace, with a warm blanket draped over the arm of a nearby chair and a stack of classic novels long forgotten, beckons a weary soul.

By creating an atmosphere, rather than a display, your houseguests, visitors and all that dwell within can find a unique peace away from the hustle and bustle of the busy season rushing past your door.

The season of hospitality officially kicks off next week at the Robinsons’. It’s the best time of the year. Soon we will have a stream of houseguests that take us through to the end of November.

It’s been our tradition for over the last decade to place the candles in the windows. When the children were small, I started to collect antique looking electric candles. It took several years for me to get one in every window ledge of that old farmhouse, but I eventually did.

At that time, its purpose was to create a warm glow in the evening throughout the house as the days grew shorter and the nights grew colder.

Now that the children are grown, it serves as a more traditional symbol of a safe place for weary travelers and family as they make their way home for the holidays.

This week, it’s time to set candles in the windows, ready the fireplace, seek out some new music and fill the house with the sent of cinnamon and cloves. Most importantly, create an environment that says, “Come sit awhile and rest, eat and laugh— the Savior has come.”

What says “peace” in your home during the holidays?


Photo Credit Shutterstock’  Andrew Koturanov

Rhonda Robinson writes on the social, political and parenting issues currently shaping the American family. She lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Middle Tennessee. Follow on twitter @amotherslife

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It's never to early to prepare for the season of hospitality and welcoming! Part of our atmosphere does come from the display of our Christmas decorations--not showpieces, but things passed down from my mother and grandmother; the Nativity we received as a wedding present 18 years ago; things the kids have made or collected. We went on a holiday home tour last year and what we mostly noticed was, even though the houses were big and beautifully decorated, they were not personal or "home-y." The decorations were no different than the ones at the mall. So, the thing that brings us peace during the holidays is being surrounded by, and sharing, the decorations that mean something to us.

One little quibble about this article . . . I really enjoyed it--enough to share on my Facebook page. But the ads above the comments caused me to hesitate, because I think a couple of them are in really poor taste. I went ahead and shared, with the hopes that people know me well enough to discount the ads, but I think they cheapen PJ Media and the authors who write thoughtful posts (and I know that the authors likely have no control over how the page looks, so I am addressing the editors).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Heather, you are so right. That's exactly what I'm talking about. While those houses are beautiful, the spirit of the people living there is missing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Beautiful sentiment. In my home, laughter is a sure sign of peace.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Now that our nest is almost empty, it's the laughter I think I miss the most. Thank you for reminding me. Laughter is a natural out growth of a peaceful home.
1 year ago
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