Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcoming the New Year

Farewell Christmas...I'll miss you.

Every year as I prepare for Christmas I fall in love with my home all over again . I am drawn to the warmth, the lights and the message of hope and joy. I want to impress these things on family and friends from the moment they enter. This was our first Christmas after the reno. Last year we put the tree up the week before Christmas in the empty living room and spread blankets on the floor on Christmas Day. Needless to say, it was such fun to really decorate this year! I loved every little vignette. The foyer set the tone with our precious nativity under a bower of twinkling garland. The living room's focal point was the tree, of course, and the piano nook (shown above) introduced the rustic feel of the rest of the house. A great Light has come into the world and we rejoice!

Then New Year's Eve hits. Every year I swear I will leave up the holiday decor through the first week in January so I can savor it a bit longer. I can't imagine how empty and cold the house will be without the many layers of holiday throughout. Then I wake up on January 1st and a switch has been thrown in my head. I can't wait to pack it all away! What is up with that?!

This year, as I focus on adding "Beauty with Meaning" to our home, I decided to think about what I want January to feel like in our home. In mulling on our celebration of the Light of the World being born, I decided the touch-point for January will be "Light". January is one of the darkest months of the year both outside and inside. The hustle of Christmas is past, we are weary from all the effort and socializing, the kids have finals and tax time looms. How can I make our house an antidote to all that darkness? Here are some of my favorite ideas this year:

Our twinkling tree gets to stay up for another week! I also left out lit garland on top of the bookcases and on the family room mantel. When the tree is put away, I will put our light wrapped ficus tree on timer and add lit twigs to a tall vase to light a dark corner.

Electric or battery candles on timers. I have them in the foyer (shown), down the dark hallway to the kids' rooms, in our bathroom and I plan to use them all over the house until Spring lights the house more naturally.

And my favorite is: Fire! We are blessed to have gas units in both the family room and living room now, but when we first moved in, I just piled white candles in the fireplace (or on the counter) and lit them. I love how the photo captures the candles in my Pottery Barn lantern (purchased on clearance!), with the fireplace in the back and the tree lights reflected on the glass. Just seeing a fire or a lit candle lowers my blood pressure like a hug.
The meaning behind the beauty is "welcome". Our windows spill golden light into the darkness and I want all who enter to temporarily lay their burdens down and relax with us. Hope to see you soon!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely Karen! I love the candles all over-need to invest in flameless, my flaming days are well behind me. :) Wish I could sit in your nest a bit and chat over coffee!