Simply Inspired Holidays: Finding Childlike Wonder

Forest and Sea Christmas - The Inspired Room

finding-childlike-wonder

We’ve had quite a few changes in our life and home over the past year and a half. I think those changes have led me to crave that sense of being home for the holidays. With the stress of the actual move, a long transition and other changes mostly behind us and the light at the end of the remodeling tunnel starting to become a little brighter, we have been feeling more like we are actually home.

As I was thinking back to other holiday seasons, I remember feeling those sentiments after a move or other changes in life. Seasons of change disrupt your daily rhythms and can make you feel like you lose your footing or equilibrium for awhile as you adjust and adapt to your new normal or surroundings. Adulting sometimes threatens to steal our childlike wonder of the Christmas season!

I remember one Christmas years ago when I felt the gentle nudge to hold onto what Christmas looks like through my youngest child’s eyes.

Forest and Sea Coastal Christmas Decorations

You can read the funny (and tear-inducing) story about trying to decorate our home when our puppy Jack was only six months old and what my then eleven year old son said about Christmas when he came home from school that afternoon in this blog post from 2011. What he said that day tugged on my heart strings and left an impression that has inspired me to want to keep Christmas magical and child-like, even if I’m in full-on adulting mode and our kids no longer get up at 5AM on Christmas morning.

Christmas fireplace mantel decoratingOttoman source / Velvet stockings

A few years ago we started collecting “woodland animals” as Christmas decorations. Our family loves funny animals so it was a fun way to bring our sense of humor to our tree. From there our Christmas style morphed into what we called a “forest & sea” theme. We love to use fresh and faux greenery and a collected a mix of forest animals and coastal decor. I actually don’t really think of “forest & sea” as a “theme” but more of a tangible and quirky reflection of our story.

While we have lived in many houses as a family, each of our kids’ childhood homes and our beach house have been here in the Pacific Northwest (nestled between beautiful forests and the sea). I feel like our forest and sea Christmas is a special way to stitch together our favorite life memories and best of all, the quirkiness of our style helps bring childlike wonder to our home.

Do you have special family memories or ornaments that help inspire your Christmas decorating?

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Comments

  1. This was a beautiful essay. It really helped me focus on beauty and happiness this morning. Thank you.

  2. I think your forest and sea “theme” really fits your family and is a great combination for your location as well. We have a nautical tree that has various nautical themed ornaments collected by my husband and myself and that is his favorite tree. It makes me happy that he enjoys looking at that tree, and knowing that we picked out all the ornaments together also makes it special. I also have a fake tree with my vintage ornament collection, which is special to me because of my German heritage. A few years ago, one of our dogs knocked down this tree the same day we put it up and many of the vintage ornaments given to me by my mom and MIL were broken. I was very depressed about it that year, but went around to various thrift shops and antique malls and bought up a bunch of vintage ornaments to replace the broken ones. I enjoy the simple beauty that comes from the colors, shapes, and motifs on the old ornaments and the tree now has a safer place in the corner of our dining room. Viewing your tree should be a mindful exercise as you look at each ornament, focus on its story, and remember the fun times associated with it. Helps you slow down and appreciate everything you have! Looking forward to more holiday inspiration posts!!

  3. Thank you so much for the uplifting blog this morning. Reminds me of what is really important.

  4. This made me smile so much. Our lives have had some good and sad changes in the last few years. And about to have a big change as we leave our home of 20 years right after Christmas and move to a new one. I will need to simplify for many reasons, practical and emotional. This series that you are doing is coming at just the right time for me <3 Thank you as always for your gentle and loving and grace-filled approach to focusing on what makes a house a home <3 Blessings

  5. Could you please, please, please give us an update on your kitchen. I know the round window has to be installed at least!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Your funny little woodland creatures are so cute! We have a few special decorations, my favorite being a set of white vintage plastic reindeer from Santa’s sleigh. It use to have Santa and the sleigh but when my grandmother got sick with dementia she misplaced that piece. It sat on a shelf in her dining room year round, haha! so she must have really enjoyed it too! She has since passed away, so that little reindeer set with the missing santa reminds me of her and makes me smile each year when I display it.

  7. HI, Spent yesterday puttering and cleaning my garden shed. Today I switched to retail therapy. (some of us need some time to heal after Tuesday-enough said). So I went to Target. (Of course!) Purchased fresh baking supplies for the upcoming holidays.. Todays blog got me on a roll in the dollar department. Ceramic white houses and battery powered candles, banner kits for granddaughters, truck pillow, Merry Christmas sign, and wrapping supplies all for under $25.00 . Thanks as always for your inspiration. Can’t wait to see the kitchen update .

  8. Cindy Franck says:

    What color is the outside of your home? We are in search for a color for our cedar shake cape cod exterior.
    Thanks,
    Cindy

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