Simply Inspired Holidays: Finding Childlike Wonder

Forest and Sea Christmas - The Inspired Room


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?


Simply Inspired Holidays: First Things First

Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays Series

WELCOME! I’m so thrilled to begin our holiday series. This series something I’ve been wanting to do to inspire myself as much as something I’m excited to share with you all. With Thanksgiving in the U.S. still coming up and of course Christmas after that (and New Year’s following at the end of the year), we’re obviously coming up on a very busy season! Whether we are planning our festivities and coordinating all the get-togethers, decorating and setting up the tree, buying gifts or just cleaning the house so it doesn’t look like a bomb went off, there’s just a lot to do this time of year.

Rather than going on one extreme and stressing out trying to do ALL THE UNNECESSARY THINGS or swing to the other side and do NOTHING SPECIAL (and end up feeling like I missed out), I want to find simple ways to be fully present and enjoy the experiences and festiveness of the season.

Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays Series

Have you thought about what you want your holidays and home to feel like this year? As a disclaimer, I haven’t started decorating my house for Christmas yet (all the photos in this post are from years past), so not to worry, I won’t be rushing ahead to the finish line or skipping right past Thanksgiving (for those of us in the U.S.). There’s about zero risk of me making anyone feel behind. But in the days and weeks ahead I can’t wait to find and share inspiration for all the wonder and sparkle of the season so we can make our holiday everything we want it to be.

As I mentioned, this series is called Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays.

I believe that if we begin this season with an intentional focus on gratitude, we’ll be inspired to create a special atmosphere in our home for celebrating.

When we remember that is a blessing and gift to be able to create a cozy and festive home for our family to celebrate, we’ll savor the process and enjoy our home even more.

If we keep things simple, we’ll keep the focus on what really matters (and not feel like a frazzled mess in the process!).

Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays Series

first-things-first-tirSo first things first!

  1. Let’s create a vision in our minds for what matters MOST to us this season. 
  2. What are you most grateful for? Ask yourself how gratitude can help you shape your holiday plans and expectations. 
  3. How will you create a simple but festive environment for celebrating in your home? What might you choose to skip in order to savor the season? Make a list of your plans and priorities.

You don’t have to do it all, but what you choose to do can be meaningful to your family and help set the tone for celebrating and memory making.

I definitely start to feel more inspired once I get a vision for where I’m headed and why. I can’t wait to get started!

Love the Home You Have: Simply Inspired Holidays Series

Note: The series won’t necessarily be posted every day (since I still want to give you updates on our kitchen remodel and will have other random things I will want to talk about in between), but it will be posted several times a week through the end of the year. See you tomorrow!

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