Thursday, June 23, 2016

Decorating for Holidays & Holy Days {Guest Post}

Today I'm honored to host Bonnie of A Knotted Life with a reflection on why she dedicates time and effort to decorating her home for the changing seasons, holidays, and holy days.  Bonnie endured being my campus minister in college and while our relationship has grown into deep friendship, she still is a voice of reason, support, and challenge in my life.  We love a lot of the same things- her six fabulous kiddos (including her oldest, who is my Goddaughter), Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, and sharing the truth and beauty of the Catholic Church.  It's a joy to know Bonnie, and I hope her post today shares a little of the joy that can be found making your home a place of celebration.

Decorating for Holidays and Holy Days

At least once a month I change up the decorations in my house. The rotation goes something like this: January: snowmen / general wintery coziness
February: hearts / more wintery coziness
March: Lenten burlap, purple, more "white space"
April: Easter baskets, flowers, eggs, bunnies, adorablenss
May: more Easter / general Spring-y flowers and whatnot
June: simple summer / Sacred Heart / fresh flowers
July: patriotic / fresh flowers
August: simple flowers / Back to School
September: Back to School / general pumpkiny fall
October: Halloween / pumpkins / purple, green, orange, and black
November: harvest / pumpkins / Thanksgiving
December: Advent / Christmas

I work in other feast days plus birthdays and our anniversary as they happen but the outline is pretty much always the same. In our home the bookshelves, mantel, chalkboard, and dining room table all play host to my ever changing decorations. Sometimes the windows even get in on the act, thanks to bargain bin window clings for the kids.
Why do I do it? For three reasons. First, because decorations are a simple way that I can bring the rhythm of the Church's liturgical year into our home. This is helpful for me as a mom - the decorations add an extra emphasis on what we are celebrating or why we are fasting. They are a sort of visual aid for my children as I teach them about saints, Jesus' love for us, doctrines of our faith, and the culture of our catholic Catholic church. But really it's not just for the kids - even as a 34 year old woman I find it much easier to enter into the liturgical seasons, the feasting and the fasting, if I am reminded of them by my surroundings.
Second, my mom did it and I have many strong memories of the extra magic and charm it added to our home and my childhood. Autumn *began* when Mom put out the pumpkins, her ghost-carrying-a-jack-o-lantern light, and the little scarecrow she had sewn and stuffed. Christmas *arrived* when we hung the lights on our tree, laid evergreen boughs around the house, and set up her Christmas Dickens village. And so on. It was thrilling to me. I loved helping her set up all her decorations just so and I loved the way our house looked and felt when each season had been properly ushered in by Mom's decorations. Beautifully decorating the home was a special part of my childhood and its something I treasure. Continuing that tradition for my own kids is something I hope will add just as much charm to their own childhoods. Already the kids love decorating days. They love to help me set up nativities, find the perfect spot for the pumpkins, and place the fresh flowers cut from our yard in just the right spot.
Third and most importantly, I like it. My house is prettier and more inviting when I take the time to decorate it. I always clean as I move about my objects, and the dusted surfaces with their fresh flowers or twinkling lights or sentimental pretty trinket - well they make me happy. I decorate my home with pictures, prints, statues, flowers, and knick-knacks that mean something to me. The meaningful, intentional beauty that I spread through the house means there is always something lovely for me to look at, always something I can rest my eyes on to help me quiet the world around me. Of course, I believe it also makes my home more pleasant for everyone who lives or visits there, but it is a priority to me because I enjoy it.
I don't craft. I don't make things. I can't sew or knit or paint. But I can arrange things.
And there's something to that.

I loved hosting Bonnie today!  Her home is always welcoming, and without a doubt, it is fun to see how she has creatively decorated for the current season each time I visit.  What's your favorite season to decorate for?  Do you have any tips for making your home special and unique for holidays and holy days?  Chime in on social media or in the comments below.

You can follow along with Bonnie and find more of her liturgical decorating:
On Instagram
On Facebook
On Her Blog

Bonnie's guest post is part of this year's Why Make Beautiful Things series.  
Monday, Shirley shared about being a hostess & hospitality here: Open Heart, Open Home
Tuesday, Betsy wrote about finding value in history and restoring heirloom linens here: Making Old Things New
Yesterday, Danielle and Morgan wrote about dressing with intention here: Life is Beautiful, Dress Accordingly 
If you are curious, you can go back and read the posts from last year here.  
And make sure you come back tomorrow for the beautiful things GIVEAWAY!

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