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The lights are up and twinkling like stars….the wind is whistling a winter song…snow is waiting to fall from the heavens like the sprinkling of sugar on grandma’s Christmas cookies.

Howdy Sugar Pies! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Christmas! Well, my house is, I still have to finish up my shopping, wrapping and baking. But for me that’s the fun part! In the mean time I would like show y’all what I’ve been up to! The theme this year at The Farmhouse is “Merry and Bright and lots and lots of Snowy White!” Come on in!

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I love the word Merry! To be Merry is to be jolly… cheerful… light-hearted…carefree…joyful… joyous… festive …happy… gleeful!  Proverbs 17:22 says  “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”   That’s one of the reasons I love to decorate for Christmas (and  all the seasons for that matter)…it creates a merry…joyful….and festive atmosphere….and that kind of atmosphere is good for us! Beauty inspires! Beauty lifts our spirit! It refreshes us.  It can give us a positive outlook on life. It’s a way of celebrating the glory and blessings of God. Our environment and the atmosphere around us can effect our emotions, and our emotions can affect our physical health. Dr. Don Colbert says ” How you feel in your heart can show up in your body, for your heart and body are more powerfully connected than you have ever realized.”  So even the tiniest bit of  candle glow or sparkle here and there can remind us that Jesus is the true light of the world, that He is the reason for the Season…and in Him we have hope and a future.

In this post I’m going to share with you some very simple, inexpensive and heartfelt Christmas decorating tips  using flea-market finds that I already had but found new ways to use them.

So my dear Sugar Pies….. let’s all have a very MeRrY Christmas!

“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts.” ~ Joan Brown

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A vintage canning jar filled with pure white “snow” and topped with a candy-cane red and white ornament….sweet and simple yes, but the colors are oh-so-meaningful to my heart.  Y’all know I love me some farmhouse white! Milk-white…egg-shell white….whipped-cream white….sugar-white…white-washed-barn white…picket-fence white…lambs-wool white….but most of all snowy white!  It reminds me of these  wonderful life-giving scriptures….

“Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

” We may think our hearts are pure and white because of the good things we do or the nice things we say. But when we compare our “whiteness” to the purity of Jesus Christ, even the whitest heart cannot come close. Jesus is the only One who can truly make our hearts whiter than snow.” ~Roy Lessin

When you receive and unwrap God’s gift of Christmas , the one with your name on the tag, you’ll find the most wonderful, exquisite,  pure form of  love than you can ever imagine…His son Jesus….and in Him (and only Him) we can have an abundant life on this earth and the key to heaven! Wow!

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“Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, filling the sky and the earth below!” ~ J. Watson

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
just like the ones I used to know
May your days be merry and bright,
and may all your Christmases be white! ~Irving Berlin 1942

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“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk by the fire…it is the time for home.” ~Dame Sitwell

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My vintage milk bottles (filled with salt) once graced my fireplace mantle, by simply moving them to a new spot in my kitchen, and adding a few icy snowflakes and ornaments, a whole new Christmas-y look was created.

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.” ~ Harlan Miller

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For a clean simple look for my baking center I  added….

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Just a bottle ‘o’ milk (salt), a gingerbread boy, a vintage cookie cutter and an oversized icy snowflake.

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On my chalkboard….(which used to be an old headboard) I’ve written the simple, yet delightful, word “joy” ! Of course I used my favorite Chalk-board Markers found here on Amazon. I also wanted to share my secret for erasing these markers…sometimes they can be a little stubborn….click here to find out how I clean the chalk-ink off!

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Opposite my kitchen is our family room…it’s actually just one great-room.

“The holly’s up, the house is bright,

the tree is ready, the candles alight. “~German Carol

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There’s something about old enamel dishpans that I can’t resist. Maybe it’s because of the farm-wife stories it could tell, like  the hundreds of times it was used to wash dishes after a hearty meal, or when it was filled with green beans to snap or corn cobs to husk  while sitting on the front porch in the cool of the day. Or the sweet little babies that were bathed in warm soapy water until they were squeaky clean and ready for a nap, or perhaps it was filled with a layer of  soft hay to protect  the fresh eggs gathered from the hen house. Well, during this festive season it has a new purpose sitting on my coffee table  filled  to the brim with pinecones, Rudolph’s nose-red ornaments,  “snowy-flocked” branches and “snowballs” for a Christmas-on-the-farm look.

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I took this sweet baby Jesus home from an Emilie Barnes Christmas Seminar about 20 years ago…it’s one of my favorite Christmas decorations…notice the Cross above His dear little head.

“Open your heart’s door, open it wide, for the Infant so meek and mild

Let Him come in this Christmastide, make room for the dear Christ Child.” ~ Maye V. Crow

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The fireplace mantle….one of my creamy white pitchers now holds sparkly candy cane ornaments. The  “It’s a wonderful life” sign was one of my purchases a couple years ago at an Ozark craft fair. Love the movie!img_19701

An oversized ornament (last year from Lowes) takes a spot on top of my white candleholder.

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Last year I stuck twigs into the top of the tree…this year, candy canes. When I took this photo we had not decorated the tree with our family ornaments yet.  I placed the big snowflakes on the tree and later we hung the smaller ornaments in and around them. My Buffalo Plaid curtains are actually fleece blankets I purchased for $20 each from a mail order catalog ( I think it was Collections Inc.). I just attached clip-rings and hung them on a rod …easy peasy!

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Three little carolers all in a row…. on top of my player piano.  These craft fair cuties have been part of our holiday decorations for about 23 years…so I guess I can safely  and happily say they are vintage!

Sing hey! Sing hey! for Christmas Day…twine the mistletow and holly,

for friendship glows in winter snows, and so let’s all be jolly. ~Old English Carol

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Adorned in  vintage tinsel and lookin’ quite sassy is my barnyard piggy.  I  named her Honey…. she’s so cute that whenever I look at her I just have to say “Oh! HoNeY!

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On my next post I’ll share more of my “Merry and Bright” Christmas decorating.  In the mean time I need to finish up my Christmas shopping! Speaking of Christmas shopping…here are a few gift ideas that I recommend…

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Mr. Coffee’s  Cocomotion  Hot Chocolate Maker (Click here)

Can I just tell ya how much I love this Hot Chocolate maker!!  You just pour in four cups of milk and 8 tablespoons of cocoa powder (or syrup), press the “On” button and walk away! It will begin to whip the chocolate-milk goodness, heat it up and in 10 minutes you will have the creamiest hot chocolate at just the right temperature (hot, but not burn your tongue hot!).  Drop some marshmallows in a mug and pour….yum! It turns itself off too! No more standing and stirring for 15 minutes!

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Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Mix

It’s best to start with quality hot chocolate mix….Ghiradelli is one of the best I’ve tasted.  Sometimes I’ll also add a little heavy whipping cream to the milk to make it even richer! When I lived in California we would go to San Fransisco each year and would always go to the old factory at Ghirardelli Square to have hot chocolate or a hot fudge sundae. YuMmY!

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Philosophy Yummy Bath and Body Cleansers

OH! hoNeY! These are  fabulous! The scents are so lucious and dreamy and the packaging is adorable! Red Velvet Cake…Cinnamon Buns….Spicy Pear Cobbler…Pumpkin Spice Muffin…Gingerbread and Double Rich Hot Cocoa! I look forward to taking my showers with these delicious fragrances. I drizzle the ultra-rich  shower gels on one of those netted scrubbies and I can’t believe the bubbles and lather it makes. They can also be used as shampoo too. Any gal would love these!

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Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book Of Southern Pies (Click here)

This book is a little treasure! It is filled with wonderful tips on making fabulous pies from a dear southern lady who ran her own restuarant in Virgina. She was famous for her pies and was affectionately known as The Pie Lady. The photos are beautiful and the little stories are heartwarming. “This little book offers a true slice of Southern Hospitality”.  There are more than 65 All-American recipes for pie…what more could a farm-girl want?

Be Blessed Sugar Pies! Next time I’ll bring you more peeks into The Farmhouse!

I love hearing from you! Stop in and say hello! And let me know where you are from too!

Hugs y’all!

Aunt Ruthie

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