Home for the Holidays
When I moved to Missouri in 2001 a new era of Holidays began. No longer was I able to spend every holiday with my family. Jeremy and I started traveling each Thanksgiving & Christmas to either Louisville or Anderson, alternating every year. If one year was Thanksgiving for my family, the next year we switched and did Christmas. While we love spending holidays with family, it made it difficult over the years to establish true holiday traditions for Jeremy & I. We were never in the same place for the same holiday 2 years in a row. We were never in our own home.
After Anni was born in 2011, the twins were three for her first Christmas. They were becoming more aware and excited about Christmas (in terms of Santa and his material gifts) and we decided we would no longer travel on Christmas. We wanted to attend our own Christmas Eve church services as a family, put our kids to bed in our own home and let them wake up and experience Santa’s gifts around our own Christmas Tree. It felt selfish in some ways but it was the right decision for us at that time.
We did this for about 6 years. And while it was nice to do all the things we wanted to do in our own home, we also missed all the things we didn’t get to do at the homes of our families. In 2013 when I opened Plume, traveling became even more difficult around the holidays. Our families were gracious and most of the time came to visit us before and around Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends.
After having more help in the shop, we made the decision to go back to our traveling roots this year. Our kids are older now, Santa not as big of a deal. Our parents are older too, and while still in good health and able to do most things they want to do, we started to think about how many more holidays we may all have together and we want our kids to have memories of holidays at Grandparents homes like we both had. 2018 was spent with Thanksgiving in Anderson with the Gilions and Christmas Eve & Christmas Day in Louisville with the French’s.
It was busy and hectic finishing up holiday sales at Plume while also finishing my own shopping and preparing to leave town right after I closed on Christmas Eve. But somehow, the minute we made the decision to go home for Christmas, something felt different inside me. I was going HOME! I hadn’t been with my family on Christmas morning in a long time and hadn’t seen my sister since Thanksgiving 2017.
We had Christmas morning at my moms and I got to see all our favorite handmade family ornaments on the tree. Before there was a handmade holiday at Plume…there were these treasures. I come from a long line of talent.
Ornaments in the top row were made by me as a child. I made that blue stocking with the cotton now hanging on by a thread when I was in Kindergarten. The stuffed felt snowman was from middle school Home Ec class when I first learned how to hand-stitch (I love her felt lipstick). The pom pom pup and beaded wreath were made by my Granny. Oh, how I loved Christmas Eve at her house as a kid. I still remember the smell of Christmas Candles burning and the sight of her red satin ball ornaments hanging off of the tree, herself and every artificial plant in the house. She was a tacky one. But I loved her so. My mom made the beaded reindeer ornament. I can vaguely remember being little and her sitting, adding beads and sequins to straight pins and sticking them into the styrofoam ornament shapes.
We had a slight tragedy right before Christmas when one of my moms boxes of homemade goodies accidentally got mailed to the wrong address. We never recovered it. Good thing we were going home anyway so all of these were waiting for me when we arrived.
My mom has been making all these goodies every year for as long as I can remember. And I’m not kidding you…about a week before Christmas Joanna Gaines posted a video on her IG Stories of her at home with her kiddos making all three of these exact recipes (except my moms peanut butter balls are creamy smooth…not crunchy).
And then there’s these. Majestics. And entire marshmallow covered in my moms homemade caramel. Sooo good!
My sister bought me this book off of my Christmas List.
I’ve already read the entire thing cover to cover while hanging out at my moms. The Nester is my spirit animal. I love her quirky imperfect style. Her first book The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t have to be Perfect to be Beautiful was wonderful and now she’s talking my language in her new book. I always go into de-cluttering and “get rid of crap” mode right after Christmas. I can’t wait to get home and clean out every closet, drawer and book case and move towards a more minimalistic lifestyle (says the girl who sells home decor and more “stuff” for a living). I also got Joanna Gaines new book Homebody. Looking forward to reading that too on the drive home.
We went over to my dad’s sister’s on Christmas Day. Always a fun time filled with our family’s favorite holiday foods and game playing. Have you heard of the Tiny Hands game? If you remember Kristen Wiigs Tiny Hands skits on SNL this is a must. It’s basically playing charades and other activities with Tiny Hands. Hilarious.
We wrapped up our visit home on Wednesday with a little gathering of my mom’s siblings. She made Kentucky Chilli. Aka Chilli with spaghetti noodles in it. Or in my case a big ole pile of noodles with a little chilli & shredded cheese on top. I can’t for the life of me figure out why there are no noodles in Missouri Chilli??
In the kitchen this morning, I looked at my mom’s table and took this picture.
Her goodies on the table, a candle burning and the newspaper laying open fresh from her working the morning crossword puzzle (something that’s quickly becoming a nostalgic thing of the past too). Her buzzing around the kitchen while I sit working a little to prepare the shop for opening back up tomorrow. My kids curled up on the couch by the Christmas tree full of handmade ornaments.
So good to be home for the holidays. I’m thankful for this time.
I hope your holidays were spent with everyone you love, surrounded by all your favorite things.
See you this week.
P.S. Our shop hours revert back to our normal Thursday – Saturdays hours tomorrow when we open back up. But stay tuned…we may have some exciting news about a trial run of expanded shop hours later this year.