Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Eve

The girls in our house had fun making sugar cookies while the boys went to see Star Wars! After cookie decorating and lunch, we took a nature walk to collect goodies for decorating the table.

Setting a festive table is one of my favorite things! And I don't always have an idea in advance, the only thing I knew this time was that I wanted to incorporate things from our yard/neighborhood.

Three kinds of berries, moss, ivy, evergreen, oak leaves and pinecones were collected! I put a tablecloth on the table and then a runner of brown kraft wrapping paper with evergreen and pinecones on it already.

The plaid memo board was thrifted from Goodwill! I can't wait to show you how I used many of the same pieces and came up with new centerpieces for Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas morning breakfast and Christmas dinner. Time to switch things out is short but it's fun to switch it up a bit.

This round galvanized tray is my favorite! It works for so many things, I found it at TJMaxx a few years ago. Greens, berries and pinecones become a pretty centerpiece that adds height and texture. Simple cream tea lights encircle the jar. I put the evergreen clippings and some cranberries inside the jar.

Vintage thrifted Jell-O molds were fun for candle holders. I filled them with dried split peas and then covered with moss that we collected on our walk. The candles were in a box of thrifted Hanukkah candles - they burned really fast, but were cute while they lasted!

Felt leaf wreaths were $3 for three at Target - look for them on the after-Christmas clearance! I pulled out a few wood slices from our Gratitude Tree for a fun touch.

The same little placecard holders cut from sticks in our backyard that I used for Thanksgiving made an appearance!

With the table all set and ready, it was time to go to Christmas Eve Service at church. I love when we end with candlelight and Silent Night! Such a special time!

Christmas Eve evening is my very favorite - I love the glowing of the candlelight and Christmas lights! Seeing Christmas lights on the drive home from church, the same meal every year. Magical!

My kids favorite thing is our Christmas Eve pj tradition with scavenger hunt. Several years ago on a whim, I decided to hide their pj's and have them hunt for them. Well, it has settled in for a nice long stay! I try to run them all over the house back and forth before they find them!

Speaking of Christmas Eve pj's - I tried something new this year. I watched thrift stores all year for the girls pants, Samuel's are a hand-me-over from his cousin. I never had success finding pj tops but decided that making personalized long sleeve t-shirts would be a fun option. I got the t-shirts at Wal-Mart and ironed on with interfacing and stitched around the edge. I think I spent about $15 total for all three sets of pj's - I will definitely try thrifting Christmas pj's again!

And then there was this sweet bedtime scene, love.

Tell me the best part of your Christmas Eve!!


Tina Leigh said...

Love your table settings! I love the time you take thinking of all these details, the outside gatherings for the table, the PJ's & the personalized shirts. So sweet. Labors of love, thought out.
I had no idea your husband was so much taller than you...great pictures of the family.

We had some good times with our family. Rushed but thankful to have what we got. Loved that I had both my grands on Christmas Eve & morning AND A FULL MOON! I was able to tell them that I was 6 years old the last time there was a Christmas full moon. We talked about their lives and where they might be in 19 years on the next Christmas full moon. Wouldn't it be awesome for us all to be together again on the next...only God knows. But memories were made, none the less.

Wendi said...

Beautiful pictures of Christmas Eve service! My favorite part of Christmas Eve is the birthday dinner that we have for my dad. All 14 members of my family go out for dinner. It is super relaxed and you can feel the excitement of Christmas.

Unknown said...

Love it! Christina

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

Dear Monica,

What a beautiful cozy and delightful filled Christmas you had. We had a wonderful time as well. We do the PJ tradition as well. I love the idea of thrifting for them because to be honest I had a hard time finding ones I liked and one pair can be $20. You did great. I like the idea of the personalization you did as well. Good job being resourceful. I love it.

Shelby said...

Friend you did such a beautiful job finding items and making up a beautiful table. Gosh I love everything. Love the PJ idea, we do PJ's Christmas eve, but I bought them last year on clearance with a coupon. I love the personalization that you do to yours:) Christmas Eve we go to early service which is a 3:00 and then we have dinner at an Aunt's or cousins house. Everyone brings a dish. I made a broc. salad and Christmas crack. Christmas morning is at my house, with my mom, brother and his wife, sister and her husband and two nephews. It's kind of a tradition now, plus it helps that I don't have to get my 5 kiddos ready to go out:) Love your resourcefulness friend:)

Mom said...

Love, love, love these photos - I missed having your "fluffing" talents this year. Our Christmas table was much simpler - I used the crocheted tablecloth made by Grandma Dale over a green tablecloth, red plaid cloth napkins, and Christmas glasses (along with the usual china).

One of my favorite traditions is attending church on Christmas Eve. This year as I sat in our home church waiting for the service to begin, I was remembering years where we visited other churches - including a little church in the mountains near the house we had rented for Christmas and the historic church near you when Emily was a toddler. :)

Jenny said...

We do a homemade gift exchange on Christmas Eve. The morning of, we draw names and then spend the day making our gifts. We reveal the names and give the gifts around the tree after dinner.

angie said...

We are beginning new traditions in our new surroundings. Our church service was at 5:00, so we had dinner out afterward. It was tricky to find a place open then. We always open the gifts from our stockings on Christmas Eve, but I forgot to fill them before we left! This has been a trying Christmas season with a furnace that needs to be replaced, our gas fireplace also failed, and our van needed a new starter and battery. I'm learning that the more that is stripped away, the more that I appreciate what I have.
What is your traditional Christmas Eve dinner?

Monica Wilkinson said...

@Jenny: that sounds so neat! I love the idea of hand crafting though one day sounds like a short time frame it also sets a nice parameter to keep it from getting tooooo drawn out!

@Christy Stanton: hi friend! yum, that sounds great! And, a fellow night-before-planner: love that!!!!

*carrie* said...

Aww, love this post. The candle-lit Silent Night is always so beautiful! You inspired me with the pajama scavenger hunt last year, so it was fun to put a new spin on it this year and do it outside since the weather was mild in MI that day. Great idea about the shirts. I think my girls' pairs came from you this year, but I had to order a new pair for Nathan from Children's Place. They are actually quite big on him, so *maybe* I can eke them out next year, too?! =)