Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A sneak peek of our family's Christmas...

I was thinking the other day that you might enjoy seeing a glimpse of each of our homes this Christmas. Mom happened to be running out the door when I got to her house to snap some pics, so she was aware of what I was up to....but, come to think of it, I never DID tell Tammi that I was posting her home on the blog. Oops.

This is mom and dad's front door. They've spent the last few weeks unpacking boxes and decorating for Christmas all at the same time. (Here's something you should know....Mom is a perfectionist. SO...were I to show you the whole house, you would NOT find piles OR boxes anywhere. The only thing you WILL find out of place are the dog's "babies" which he drags around and leaves in every room...threatening to trip you with every step!)

The Great room all dressed up for Christmas. (Notice the brown "baby" sitting on the floor beside the rocker?!? Umhmmm....left by the dog.) The Carolers on the table are only a few of the many sets she has....I think there are some in every room. This is where we'll gather as a family on Christmas afternoon. We've scaled down our gift-giving costs in the last few years, and I, for one, am glad. The kids still get to make a list, but have a budget to stay within. There's still alot of fun and excitement...just not empty wallets afterwards!
We started a tradition years ago that we will continue, I think, though. A version of a "White Elephant" --"Now you have it, now you don't" game. The gifts are sometimes lame, sometimes useful (I always get to go home with a roll of tp...which actually EXCITES my family!) There used to be tears when a gift was "stolen" from one of the little ones, but they get into it now and everyone realizes if they didn't get to keep what they wanted they can probably head to the Dollar section at Target to get it!!!

This manger set was displayed on my parent's Livingroom mantle for as far back as I can remember. I know there's a story behind it...but I don't know it...could have been my grandmothers??? Not sure! I might need to investigate. The scene has found a new home this year in the sunroom.

After leaving mom and dad's I headed to Tammi's house...she was "manning" the shop, so I slunked behind the front bushes and snapped this one of her front door....trying not to alarm the neighbors!

I found Lilly inside w/Grandma, getting ready for her stage debut in her first church play, and convinced her to stand beside the tree in all her cuteness. She's 7 and not really into cuteness anymore...much too mature for that. Also, too mature to recite her lines to her favorite Aunt....couldn't even bribe her.

This is the Manger scene under their tree....also a family "heirloom"...but I don't know the history behind IT either! I do know, though, that there is something missing in the scene, and it is THE Star of the scene...Baby Jesus. It is a long tradition in their family to keep the baby hidden until Christmas morning. I love the vision of all of the Christmas Story characters waiting patiently for the Star of the show to appear. Mary has begun her pondering and the rest have begun to worship and anticipate the arrival of the little King Himself.

Stockings hung by the chimney in Tammi's familyroom....

Looking at this picture reminds me that Tammi got a little of mom's perfectionistic qualities. While it PLEASES me to say you might not want to eat off her bathroom floor, you will probably not find very many piles laying around or unnecessary clutter piling up.
A little Disclaimer here...I am NOT bitter about the fact that Mom and Tammi are neater than I am...really, I'm NOT. BUT...I think you get where I'm going here....they are just plain neater, more organized, and more particular than I am.
I say all that before I introduce you to my own little home this Christmas....

It wasn't until I viewed these pics on the computer that I realized how badly my front door needs a paint job! I love this perky wreath...but it maybe doesn't do a good job hiding the peeling paint.

Our humble little tree...looking even MORE humble in this picture than it actually is!!! The light from the window stole the show giving the tree a bit of a Charlie Brown cast to it! Two pieces of trivia regarding our tree...

First of all....years ago my kids and I started a tradition of buying a new ornament each Christmas that represents something that has happened throughout the year. Just after we put our tree up we start shopping for just the right glass ornament. We've got quite a nice collection, I'm happy to say...since they'll be staying w/me when the kids move out and start their own families. Mom and Dad have always gotten each of the grandchildren an ornament for Christmas, so they've got quite a few to start out with. I will be left with a broken-empty-nest-heart...but thankfully a collection of great ornaments!

Secondly...the colorful boxes under the tree....courtesy of Bath and Body Works After-Christmas-Sale a few years ago. A friend convinced me I should buy some, and I've NEVER made a better purchase!!! Seriously, no wrapping paper needed....they came w/their own red bows and everything!!! Some people set apart whole days to wrap all their gifts under the tree...not me! A trip to the basement, a few minutes to fill the box, and they're DONE!!! Lame, I know....but nonetheless exciting for me!'s another interesting fact....this is MY manger scene...also quite humble....and NOT a family heirloom with an interesting story. That's it, you get the picture...youngest child...gets the hand-me-downs AND the leftovers.....unless there AREN'T any!!!

My kids have a kind (and talented) Great-Uncle who felt sorry for us and crafted this sweet little manger for us...the people were found at a store we have around here called "Ten Thousand Villages". The end result is oh so humble....but I guess that's kind of the point. As the story goes....that little Guy was quite humble Himself...left the riches of Heaven to live in a stable a little like mine. For that I am forever grateful...

One last Dollar Store wreath hanging in the kitchen! I'm a big fan of I scarfed this beauty up for $1, gave her a pretty bow and voila...a Star is born!

Ok...that's more pictures to share! I hope you've enjoyed your tour of our family trivia. I have....and totally amused myself in the process! I love that each of our homes reflect our personalities...announce who we are and what we're all about. What I love even more is that, while our tastes and house-keeping skills are somewhat different, the Heartbeat that each home centers around is the same. We celebrate the same Jesus who came as a babe for you and me. We honor His modest and humble life...the sweet Grace He offers.

We're blessed beyond measure..not just because we have homes filled w/ family and all the needed amenities, but because we've found the Treasure that lies under each of our trees in that tiny little manger bed. Were it not for the coming of that sweet Babe we would be a wreck.

Merry Christmas to you and your family...from our family here at Lulu & Tutz!


Jessssssss said...

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amy said...

just beautiful terri!

If I don't see you i hope you have a very merry Christmas!


Sharon said...

Mom adds...
Merry Christmas to all of you who visit our blog. I say "ours", but it is Terri who always comes up with the wit and stories and pictures that grace Lulu & Tutz's page. She may not have come up with the "perfectionist" gene...lucky girl!...but she is filled with love and life and a great big heart. Tammi has been blessed with a great depth of intellect and emotion...and we don't know WHERE all that came from! If SHE was writing the blog, we may all need a dictionary close at hand, but we would come away enriched by her wisdom. They each make Mom and Dad proud! navity was made in the 80s by a friend. Tammi's was her dad's when he was a little boy and the one we used at home until Tam had her first child. (Sorry there wasn't another one to pass along,Ter, but you are welcome to mine!
Blessings to all,

Lulu and Tutz said...

haha! See...a little family history I didn't know about! (I prefer to think mom's nativity belonged to my grandma....the 80's weren't my favorite era!!!) mom...keep the time it's passed to me it will feel like an heirloom!!!

Anonymous said...

You gotta love those mangers crafted so lovingly by Uncle Elvin...:-)

beth said...

The front doors and their decorations are wonderful. It is the first impression of that family and how they express Christmas. Thansk for sharing.

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