Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2014 Cozy Christmas Eve at home: HOLIDAY STORY PART ONE


This is the night we work so hard for, wait for, and wish for!  Christmas is my very favorite!

 We started our evening off with a classic church service in a small country church with my parents, grandma, and brother.   Singing Christmas hymns on Christmas Eve is one of my oldest and most loved holiday memories.

After church, we headed home for Christmas Eve dinner with family.
We all could hardly wait to cozy up at home and start our festivities! 

Titus had the sweet idea to stand on our porch and play Christmas carols as family arrived.  It was truly heart-warming to watch and listen to him play while guests arrived.

All the girls on this 2014 Christmas Eve night!
 Three generations together for the holidays.

My mom and me


This year, we scheduled our celebration different.  Usually, we pack up and head to my parent's home sweet home for the entire holiday.  This year, Chris and I hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our home. We also stayed home on Christmas morning, then went to my parent's for Christmas dinner in the afternoon.

Christmas Eve Dinner Table

Kids' Table

Dinner Menu

Christmas Eve is more "snacky" and lighter.  
Christmas Day is our FEAST!

Dinner was hot and cozy soups: 
Italian Meatball and Creamy Chicken & Rice

Lots of homemade rolls...

This salad was incredible!  
I want to eat it every day.  
I made maple roasted walnuts and a maple mustard vinaigrette.  
The greens were served with pomegranates and blue cheese.

Ohhhh emma geee this is good!!

I made fresh apple orchard punch 

...and homemade wassail too. 


We had a lineup of snacks and Christmas cookies 
made especially for the most exciting night of the year!

...including the boys' rolo ritz treats.

perfectly rich and delectable for the holidays.

So simple and so cute!

My favorite part of our dinner 
was a homemade dark chocolate brownie I made
 with the cuuuutest powdered sugar bow!
Thank you Martha Stewart for this adorable idea!

Brownie package

This is JUST the sort of thing that makes me giddy, friends. 
I can't help it.

Traditions and Festivities 

We don't put any gifts under the tree until the boys go to bed on December 24th.  
That makes it more exciting on Christmas morning!

However, the boys do get to open one gift on Christmas Eve...
pajamas of course.

Waiting to open their PJ bags!
We started using these bags every year for pajama eve gifts.

I even got some cutie jammies this year!

Fresh clean pajamas on fresh clean boys! <3 font="">

My parents brought Basil, our new puppy, a wrapped present too!  
It was absolutely adorable watching him open it.  
A holiday highlight!

Every Christmas Eve we cozy up all together to read Luke 2,

 Another tradition is singing Christmas carols.
Titus played violin while Kotah played the bells.
It was beautiful and made me smile big inside.

The night closed by reading TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. 

Then the kids giggled and bounced off to bed 
to attempt sleep on the longest night of the year.

After our guests left and the house was still,
Santa arrived.

Time to slumber before the best morning arrives!  I get excited just writing about this.  I am a lover of magic and wonder and anticipation.

I especially love the joy that overflows on December 25th: 
the gleam in my boys' eyes, 
the bounce in their steps, 
and the lingering thump of my heart that returns 
again and again 
each year around this season.  
It's who I am.  
The joy of this holiday was captured in my spirit long ago 
and it remains for always.  




 MOORE Christmases past:

2014 Cozy Christmas at Home

2013 Radiantly Grand Finale of the Year: Christmas Day

2012 Christmas Day, Abundant Joy

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Merriest Christmas Home TOUR 2014

This year's holiday season was a little messy for our family. All the beautiful order was out of order.  Our tree wasn't finished until RIGHT before Christmas, I was literally upstairs cleaning the guest bathroom as our guest (my Grandma!) was brining her suitcase in the front door downstairs, dinner was rarely served at the dinner table, and more!  But in the end, it all worked out, and our home sweet home became Christmasy -- and maybe just a bit peaceful! -- just in time for December 25th.

I learned something too!  I desperately need order.  I thrive on it.  I want my house neat and tidy before company comes and before big events, no matter what all the "stress less" books say.   This year memories were made with highlights of festive fun and also with low points of mama spinning in circles and yelling at everyone.   It is what it is.   This year's memories are a combination of crazy days with handfuls of treasured moments.  I cried and cursed and then I hugged and shined a smile.  I was happy and mad all together.   And I also learned to appreciate the support of my boys, all four of them.  They are consistent in their care and help.  They stepped up when I was falling down.  And they shared excitement when we were living in the happy moments of the season.

Our Christmas Home SWEET Home 2014

Backyard JOY!

Welcome in!

Big Bear canvas art 
that the boys painted with my Mom last year

Snowman whimsey in the entryway

My new holiday clutch!  Thank you Mom!

Mudroom hallway
with a photo collection of our past Christmas trees

Front Office
Titus practiced a lot of Christmas carols this year on his violin.

Kitchen cozy

I just love my straw snowflakes!

Fresh flower love

I added some red and green to my vintage peanut machine

Baskets of winter fruit

Pink and blue candy canes

The dining room is always my favorite room of the house

live holly plant!

Apple Cinnamon garland the boys made when they were little

White stocking collection,
including the knit stocking I made a few years ago!

Papersack gingerbread man I made when I was a little girl

Upstairs is all for the KIDS!
They are in charge and do all of the decorating up here.

They each get a tree in their own rooms

The magic of Christmas!

I've had this Precious Moments Nativity since I was a teeny tiny girl

My parents sent us this gorgeous flower bouquet for the season.

love them!

stockings hung with care...

Our Christmas tree this year was tall and big and beautiful!
Smells and feels like Christmassssss.

Button garland and pretty colors

Cameron made a NOEL sign for our front window

Our giant stick star that Chris made me several years ago

We couldn't do outdoor house lights this year because Chris was in the hospital.  
We decided to light luminaries instead!  We loved them!  

Coziest up next to this, with a cup of hot tea
soothed some of the chaos of our season.

I hope your Christmas was the merriest. 

Moore Christmas Home Tours:

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Linked to the amazing Holiday Housewalk 2015!