Thurs., Nov. 29, 2018
Matthew 1:20 – But as Joseph was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. The baby inside her is from the Holy Spirit.
What makes a house and a home?
Little touches that say to family and friends, “You are loved and welcome here.”
I love to decorate for Christmas. Why do I do this? Because I pray our house will not just be another house on the block. I hope our house will be viewed as a home where people are loved and welcomed. This is why I created a Rustic Wonderland on our front porch. When people drive or walk by or bound up the steps to our lovely porch, I pray they feel like this would be a good place to stay for a while.
My goal this year was to decorate using only things I already had. Buy nothing new. Find new ways to use what I have. Enjoy the results thoroughly.
Why? I am so ready to not purchase things. I am so ready to simply repurpose what we have. I am so ready to shop what’s in the house and carriage house and spend more time enjoying the finished results than create something that takes lots of time, energy and resources to pull together. Yes, I love having a pretty porch during the holidays. Yet, I feel too often we focus on the “what” of Christmas rather than remembering the “why” we celebrate the season.
So, welcome to our Rustic Wonderland. Ready for a little tour?
Good. I’m excited to give you one.
Sister Debbie helped me pull this together. Fortunately, she is an excellent florist. She can whip together beautiful arrangements before I can get her the things, she needs to make them. She created all of the gorgeous evergreen arrangements, inside and outside of the house. (In a couple days, I’ll show how we decorated the inside of our house.)
Here’s how we went about putting together a Rustic Wonderland.
We began with a clean slate. I removed the summer furniture and fall decorations. Debbie contributed the greens and wreath. Other than one strand of lights we had to buy, everything else come from our house or the carriage house.
You’ll find a lot of old things on our porch that help us remember important phases, people and times of our lives:
- The well-used washtubs were my mother-in-law’s. With quite rusty bottoms, Debbie put ice cream buckets filled with oasis into the tubs. Into the oasis, she inserted various kinds of pine, evergreens, logs and twigs to create the designs. Hubby Rick cut the birch logs years ago. I keep recycling them. After placing the tubs into position, we put a brick in the bottom to keep the tubs stable.
- In the summer, the grey shotgun containers are filled with flowers. Why not use them now for evergreens? Because they are quite deep, we put a brick in the bottom, then the ice cream bucket with oasis, which makes for easier decorating.
- When I was a young girl, this sled was a Christmas present. The baler twine pull has been on this sled for YEARS. Hubby Rick found the skates at his former house years ago. I love to combine these two items together as they represent both of our former lives.
- Rick made this bench. It is usually in the entry way of our house. Since the Christmas tree is now there, we moved it to the porch and used it as a centerpiece for the Rustic Wonderland.
- The green box? Just like a tool box that used to be on a John Deere tractor on our farm when I was growing up.
- This enamel wash bin looks super cute with the antique lantern, greens and pine cones. The lantern came from Rick’s parent’s house.
- To make the wreath fit in with everything old, we simply added a different bow. For a fun twist on displaying the wreath, hang it with burlap or ribbon.
- A quick design tip? Fill any container with pine cones from the yard. Add a little ribbon or evergreens if you wish.
I hope these Christmas decorations beg friends and guests into our home. A porch or entry way is the first statement people observe about the folks who live inside the house. The message I would love for people to take away from our porch? “This isn’t just a house. It’s a home.”
After Gabriel visited Joseph, he didn’t take her to his house. He took her into his home. He wanted this young teenaged-girl to feel like his home would be a safe place for her. Joseph wanted this girl, specially chosen by God to carry God’s son, to know she was loved and welcomed into his humble abode.
What does the entrance to your home say about you and your family? Is it inviting? Does it welcome your family and visitors into a place where memories will be made? Where they will be loved and welcomed?
Want to see what our Rustic Wonderland looks like at night?
For houses that become homes, I am grateful.
Holy God – It’s a subtle detail, but an important one. Joseph took Mary to his home, not his house. May we follow his example and create safe places for our families, friends and guests where they will always feel loved and welcomed. Amen.
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