Authentic RedBarn Holiday Imperfections

“It is the heart always that sees before the head can see.”  -Thomas Carlyle-

Holiday hustle of gifts, music, decoration, creative adventures, family coming in the front door loaded down with presents, excited to stay the night.  Add in the amazing food that will be shared.   It’s tempting to paint the town red and live in the glory of Christmas all year-long.  Somewhere someone does that, don’t they?  The perfect Christmas!

No secret; the world is full with woe and friends I know well are fighting off sadness during this season of good cheer.   There is no ‘perfect Christmas celebration’ and it seems the best gift we can give each other is to acknowledge that.  Keep our hearts and heads open for whatever the days, and years, happen to bring our way and love one another through it all.

 My sister and I talked about just that topic last night on the phone.  I was stressing a little about recent visits with friends who find the holiday season to be a reminder of  ‘life not turning out how they wished it would have.’  She has faced down some hard situations and has had plenty of practice in learning how to  push onward.  I love how I can feel a big-sister story beginning to brew even before it comes into my ear.   One past year her husband(left in an orphanage at a young age) was moping and  expressing his disdain for any Christmas celebrating to be held in the home.    While she felt sympathetic, she also felt there was nothing to be gained by constantly reliving  the hurts of yesteryear and expecting all in the house to  do the same.  It was starting to look as if a sad sort of Christmas tradition had taken them over.   So what did she do?  When she had  heard enough she declared, “The kids and I are going out to buy a tree.  It’s up to you.  Should we set it in the corner of the living room or should we rent a hotel room and have our Christmas there?”   At moments like this I’m never sure what the moral of the story is.  Maybe we each must take our own.   I am sure that her big-sister lessons……. fill my heart with strength, give me  new perspective and always give me a chuckle!  Thanks, Sis!


 Here’s where we eat!  I’ve been making gift baskets, mixing a new batch of potpourri and writing cards.  This is table # 2….table #1 looks worse.


When they say “don’t believe everything you see on Facebook”…. believe that!  This caramel recipe turned out terrible and I completely wasted two hours of my time.  The cream cheese sugar cookies are really good though.  I’m thinking the cherry on top is as close as I’m going to get to serving fruitcake.  That makes who sad?


I have a few spots decorated half way and it’s OK.  A little greenery around the leftover jars of Crab Apple jelly from the fall batch.  Not a bad look.


And the angels appeared.  At my house one has a glued on wing, one is missing her wing  altogether and the other  surely must have something she could be sad about.   These girls have seen alot of years but somehow  keep showing up to smile and bless us through the season.


Every container in this whole house seems to end up holding some sort of creative project leftover.  Do I clean them out or cover with a Christmas plate?   These 3 cute little monkeys are coming to visit…..and bringing the fun with them.


Who put all of that stuff on top of the refrigerator?  Planning to read the new book my friend Liz is talking about.  Something about making your life better by tidying up and ‘getting rid of’.   She might have to come and help me get started.  How do I toss the cool ‘Voyageur Brewing Company growler from the August trip to Grand Marais?   The red tea-pot that I love and never use? The old ceramic hen?


The start to a holiday arrangement.  I can see the smile on the face of my granddaughter as she ran to hand me the found branch and knew I would love it.    We talked about adding more to the jar.   Today it feels quite complete just the way it is.

20151221_102103_resized Decorating the mantel and taking hold-steady-now greeting card worthy  shots for my card biz is way fun.   Another day.  In this little moment of ‘being RedBarn authentic’ it gives me great pleasure to reveal that I often must share this best place in the house to dry  gloves.


Does setting an owl under the tree distract from the fact that I only have 4 gifts wrapped?  If you are between 9 and 11 and love nail polish you know I’ve started with you this year.

20151127_204019_resizedI’ve always loved high fashion.  I’m not even kidding.  We do have our dress-up look that mostly hangs in the closet and I suppose we could have taken something off of the hanger for the Christmas photo.  We didn’t.  And feeling well, kind of ‘authentic’ with the whole matching husband and wife photo.   A long and lingering fall(now that’s a perfect gift in Minnesota)gave us some  no-place-like-home evening bonfires and extra time to get the RedBarn acreage tidied up before real winter set in.   It’s here…brrr.

Best wishes from the RedBarn:  ‘May you have a perfectly imperfect Christmas season and may you find that you like it that way.  No hotel rooms, please!  May you  find the will to grab onto the moments of authentic happiness amongst whatever else comes your way.  Or, may you write your own story and fill it with the good you find.”   Merry Christmas-2015!!   BRB

About beckystattelman

Thank you for visiting at May you have one very special 'countryside of life' sort of day wherever you are. Smiles!

5 thoughts on “Authentic RedBarn Holiday Imperfections

  1. I love this wonderful post! You and Randy look wonderful…especially is your comfy clothes. Getting dressed up for a pic just wouldn’t be natural. Love you both, Mary

  2. Wonderful but this said…. we once had Christmas in a hotel room – meeting daughters coming from Ireland and Barcelona for a short weekend, it turned out to be the easiest way to spend the most time together. We had a wonderful time, doing things Denis and I had done 25 years before when we lived in Paris – cheap ethnic restaurants, walking, walking, walking, free concerts in churches etc.. I asked one daughter if she missed having a big family home where we always met (we have moved a lot!) and she said no, for her home was in her head when we were all together. Being together – that’s Christmas for us – in our home or in our heads.

    1. That is a precious story!!! Thank you for sharing it. If I wasn’t so content with my own country-style life I would want yours. You have made the most of where you are plopped at the time and put on many, many flight miles. All those years ago, Denis was flying from France to destinations in Africa(as I recall)for his work? You look so good with all of that walking, walking, walking. Happy New Year!

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