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Traditions are a splendid thing

Traditions!  Love 'em!

We have several the day after Thanksgiving.  More recently Savanna and I have been getting up at 5:00 AM and going out shopping for black Friday.  First we shopped, then went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then shopped again and got home at about 10:00 am.  Vanna and I are serious bargain hunters and we got 70% off on most of our merchandise.  Believe it or not we spent the most time at Salvation Army.  That's our favorite store.  Seriously!  And yes, they had black friday sales!

Things took off like a rocket when we got home because the main thing we do on this day is the Christmas decorating of our home.  We decorated the  church with a team of amazing folks from Celebration this past Monday - Wednesday and now it was time to focus on our home.  Our house is the gathering spot for a lot of things during this season for the church.  I have a women's gathering here, we have our leadership and their families here (about 70-80 people), and in a few weeks we'll also have our newcomer's over.  Each year I've also had a huge New Year's Eve party, probably about 100 people, and we have our decor up for that too.

We have a lot of Christmas trees.  Last year there were 8.  We're not quite there yet this year -- we had  one tree break last year and I had to throw it away and I'll be looking for a bargain at the end of the season to add to our collection.  I still don't have the tree in our bedroom up yet.  By the way there's a reason I have all these trees.  Go here to read about it.  Get some tissues first.   This is one of my blog posts that has gotten the most feedback, the most e-mail and tears, and well...it's just real special.

Here's what my house looks like so far:

The entry way to the house.  In hindsight I should have turned some lights on before I took the photo so you could see the wreaths on my doors, but oh well!  Those are poinsettias by the door to the left.   Tomorrow Larry and Jordan will hang the icicle lights around the frame of the house.  Love that!
Tree as you walk in our front door.  This is our family history tree.  I didn't buy anything on it but the lights.  Everything was either a gift from special people in the church or our family down through the years or our kids made the ornaments.  There are lots of milestones ("Our first Christmas", "Baby's first Christmas") and stuff like that.  When Larry and I got married I knew I wanted to do a tree like this and the first few years it was bare and we just kept adding to it year after year.  Today Savanna said, "Mom, we need a bigger tree!  We've got a lot of family history!"
As you come into the family room you can see a smaller tree that has blue lights and silver decorations.  It's mainly decorated with the Martha Stewart "snowflake" collection.  I think it's peaceful.  You can see Max and Maddie there, getting in the Christmas spirit.
Just another photo of the same...
This tree is in our kitchen ~ it's my sugared fruit tree.  It reminds me of the importance of the fruit of the spirit.  Sometimes I use red lights - this year we used clear.  It's got a lot of sugared fruit and leaves and stuff like that.  Excuse the pile of laundry on the table.  Just keepin' it real!

 I am just getting around to blogging tonight because I've been so busy today.  Now it's time for me to make a tall glass of iced tea and go get in my tub and soak.  I need all the sleep I can get -- tomorrow it's my day to clean my house from top to bottom.  For all of you who think Deanna does nothing but sit around and write all day...are you on crack??? :)

Have a most blessed evening, my friends...

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