How can it be?

Am I the only one surprised we are already halfway through December?  The girls and I went on a wrapping spree this evening and got the vast majority of the gifts wrapped, so that feels really good.  I have a few last errant things to track down, but mostly my shopping is done too.  But I am still feeling like there is lots to do this next week. Not sure if that is actually true, or if that is just the way I am in the habit of feeling the week before Christmas.

We are having lots of company for Christmas and I am so excited!  Last year, with all the delays in closing on our new home, we ended up doing Christmas at our old house one last time.  It was actually very, very sweet.  But ever since we found our new home way back in October last year, I’ve been envisioning it as the perfect Christmas house.  Here’s a photo of a tiny dab of the Christmas decor so far.


I am really looking forward to packing out the house and seeing how it works. Christmas Eve morning it’ll be mostly the kids and the grandkids– I am crossing my fingers that some of my teen boys won’t have to work, but probably it’ll be somewhere around 18 of us.  (Below is a photo of sweet Wilona having fun playing with several of our manger scenes.)  I am hoping Christmas Eve morning will be relaxed, lowkey…gather up our precious ones and eat breakfast together and open presents.


Christmas Eve evening will be the biggest shindig, since many of my brothers and sisters will be coming with their families.  I am expecting somewhere in the range of 40 or so. My mom and dad will be making clam chowder in bread bowls as usual– yum!  And then everyone else will fill in with sides and desserts.The kids will be doing a gift exchange and the adults will be doing a ‘my favorite things‘ exchange as we have for the past several years.

Here are the favorite things I went with this year: Nivea hand cream, Mrs. Meyers geranium hand  soap, and Mrs. Meyers lavender everyday cleaner.  These are all items I really like, and I think together they’ll make a fun goodie basket.

Christmas Day we are hosting John’s family for the noon meal– altogether I am expecting 30 or so of us. By then the majority of our gifting is done, so the focus is just visiting and catching up, since we don’t tend to see each other too many other times of the year.

At both of the bigger gatherings other folks will be bringing the majority of the food, so my main job will be to pull together drinks and tables. (Piece of cake, right??)  I’ve been having great fun on Pinterest looking at tablescapes.  You can see my most recent pins here: Pinterest Christmas.  I’ve been most inspired by rustic-looking decor, so I expect to be doing something with pine cones and candles and most likely canning jars, since I have lots of those. I found some fun flameless candles to put down the length of the table that will probably end up as fun and safe ambience at the beach house also. For the largest gathering we will probably be doing three long tables.  So much fun.  I am hoping I will actually remember to take photos for you.

And of course you can’t have Christmas without dessert.  I have lots of roasted pumpkin in theold-fashioned-coconut-cream-pie_11361 freezer from our fall pumpkin.  (Remember this ancient post?  Wow, that was a long time ago!)  I’m also planning on making at least one or two of these lovely concoctions.  I am a sucker for cream pies— yum!

What are your plans for Christmas?  Are you scurrying around or are you starting to feel ready?



  1. You’re right that seems to be an ideal house for big Christmas gatherings – and y’all do a beautiful job with decor. Oh Mary – that coconut pie looks and sounds So delightfully decadent!
    I’m a big fan this year of the flameless candles – got an assortment of tea light sized ones for putting in the garland on mantelpiece and shelves – so pretty and safe!
    Enjoy – your family is a blessing to your readers – thanks for years of good ideas, prayer prompts and sharing.

    • So glad you like the flameless candles! I haven’t tried them before and am hoping they will be nice!

  2. Gary Coryer says:

    Mary, hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas. I do appreciate ll the hints no tips, especially the food as I’m the family cook now (semi-retired). I’m not so much on the decor but that’s probably a guy thing! LOL
    The Coryers

  3. We just spent 2.5 weeks driving around the southeast, seeing sites, friends, and family. We started our journey towards home last Thursday with stops along the way and will finally be home on Wednesday I think. We’ve seen the Titanic @ Pigeon Forge, the TN/VA state line in the Geico commercial, James K Polk house and museum, Lambert’s Cafe in MO, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home in MO, the big fork, the big rooster, The PW Mercantile store, The Silos in Waco, searched for John’s birthmother, visited LBJ ranch, hit the Texas bbq spots, had a private tour of a police dept helicopter and hangar, and on the way home to come we’ll visit Duck Commander and a big motorcycle museum. Not sure what else we’ll spot along the way! John leaves for work Christmas day so it will be an early celebration. I think we’ll also just sleep after we get home too.

  4. We are working every day up through Christmas eve, have Christmas off, and then have to be at work the next morning. It’s really very annoying! Christmas will definitely be low key this year. 🙁