Christmas at the Circus


I'll just go ahead and admit that I am a big bloggy dork, because since Megan first mentioned her Sharing Christmas carnival, I have been eagerly looking forward to it.  Yes, I even wrote it in on my calendar.  The idea is to share your home at Christmas.. kinda like an Open House... only you get to go in your PJ's and you don't have to struggle to find small talk (yea, can't tell I am an introvert, can you)?

So, welcome to my home...

I feel kinda weird about showing pictures of the front of my house.  So, I'll just show you our new blow up nativity which sits in front of our house.  We also have our house and door outlined in white lights with icicle lights on the top of the house.


When you step inside the door, you see "Frosty" by our coat rack.


This is the table in our entry way. 


As much as I hate clutter on my entry table, most of the time, though,  it looks like this (just keeping it real)!


Our living room is the heart of our home. 

When you get to the top of the stairs, the first thing you see is our tree.


My favorite Christmas decoration is our Bethlehem village.  It sits on top of our entertainment center.  I love how realistic it is.  I feel like Bethlehem could have looked just like this.  There is a lot of activity going on in this village, much like I think Bethlehem was the night our Savior was born. 


Sitting a little higher than the other buildings in the village, is the stable.  I feel like it sets it apart more this way. 


Scott has two big "rules" when it comes to displaying a nativity.  He really doesn't like the baby Jesus to be in the manger until Christmas.  (He wins with the Bethlehem village).  He also wants the three wise men separate from the stable because the wise men didn't arrive when Jesus was a baby in the stable. 

So, we typically set the wise men on the far corner of the display. 

We have two other nativity sets which we set out on our end tables in our living room.  These are kid friendly.  I want the kids to be able to reenact the story of our Lord's birth.  I love watching them tell the story over and over as they play with the figures. 


My father-in-law made the other kid friendly set.  He and Scott made one for their family when Scott was younger and he made one for us our first Christmas.  All the pieces fit together in the nativity, like a puzzle when you put it away. (This is our 8th Christmas and I have yet to figure out how to put it together correctly...I have always stunk at puzzles)!


My sister in law made me this wreath which I hang on the wall above the Little People nativity.


Our stockings are hung in our window with care (when you don't have a fire place, you gotta be creative)!


The two older kids have a tree in their room.  It was actually the tree I used to have in my room when I was younger.  I had thought about throwing it way because it is looking kinda pathetic, but offered it to the kids first.  They had a blast decorating their tree.  The hung a string of Mardi Gras beads that Scott has brought home from a business trip last year, and they also asked me to string them a strand of popcorn/cranberry garland.  They added various stuffed animal ornaments, an American flag, a few Pooh ornaments which were on my tree when I was a baby, and they each got to pick one ornament from Michael's this week since they were all 60% off. 


Don't miss the pipe cleaner star on top... it's my favorite.

My youngest actually has a tiny tree in her room as well, that one of my student's mom had made for me as a gift when I was teaching.  I forgot to take a picture of it before I put her to bed though, and I didn't want to risk waking her for the picture.


This flashing Christmas tree was made by Scott in high school.  It was on display at his home, then his dorm, and now our kitchen window.  It makes me smile when I enter the room.  My oldest daughter always asks me to turn it on as soon as she wakes up.  Looking out that same side of our house, you can see our reindeer friends grazing out on our back deck. The kids love watching them out our sliding glass window.


My mom made this decoration many years ago and they used to hang in my home as a child.  A few years ago she mentioned that she was getting rid of them and I strongly objected.  She thought they were looking ratty looking, but I was attached to them and asked if I could have them instead.  Makes me wonder what decoration my kids will latch on to.  They hang on the bare wall above our dining room table.


Our advent calendar hangs on the wall in our dining room.  It used to have little gold foil numbers on each pocket, but one by one they started falling off.  I've been working for two years at trying to find a replacement for them.  Each night we read from Luke 2.  On December 1, we read Luke 2:1... today we will read Luke 2:1-18... once we finish the portion of Luke 2 that tells of Christ's birth, we add the portion of Matthew 2 that gives the account of the Magi.  The kids take turns putting a character up in the scene each day.  It works out best when we have fallen behind and there is more than one character that needs to be put up. 



So, that's what the circus looks like at Christmas...after the kids are in bed and I have had time to clean house. 

Grab a cookie and some hot cocoa, and stop by Megan's carnival today and have a visit inside others homes at Christmas.  You can feel free to link up your own blog, if you want to share your Christmas with us.  We'd love to see it!



  1. Your tour was so much fun! I love love LOVE your puzzle nativity set. Think your father-in-law would want to make one for an online stranger? :) And your kids' tree is great...I'm sure they had so much fun making that masterpiece! (also- I loved your entry way table....I usually can't even find mine under all the junk!)

  2. I love the kid friendly nativities where did you get the little people one? I really want one The Girl would be thrilled as I try to keep some semblance of time line about my nativity as Scott does, so she doesn't get to play with the "characters".

  3. Thanks SO MUCH for the tour of your wonderful home. Well done!!! As much as our hearts are aching to be there - it feels like we walked through your home, except for giving hugs and kisses (which I am sending virtually) Looks like you are ready to celebrate our Savior's Birthday.

  4. first of all, thanks for sharing christmas with us.
    second, how cool is it that your grandma reads your blog. i'm jealous.
    third, i love the nativity puzzle. that is really cool!
    fourth, thanks for 'keepin' it real.' good stuff.
    have a merry christmas!

  5. In keeping with our similarities, we both have a picture wrapped with a bow on it...ours is above our mantle. We are ingenious!~

    Love your home at Christmas time! I do love that you keep it real, too and how you incorporate such great family traditions into the holidays.

    BTW...those cookies were super! Hope I didn't leave any crumbs!

  6. Thanks for the tour! Our family also waited to put Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve, when we got home from church. We sent the wise men travelling throughout our house during Advent, moving them from day to day until Epiphany/Twelfth Night when they finally "arrived" at the stable.

  7. Good gravy, I can't believe you still hang that wreath! Personally, I think I could re-do it for you and it might be a bit nicer (it's not my best work)...but I'm quite flattered that you like it enough to post it on your blog!

  8. The decorations look great i love the tree

  9. Ahhh - I can't believe I didn't comment yet. I read it right away but I sometimes read really fast the first time and then give it a more thorough read before I comment. I just finished my more thorough read!
    I love your home and all the traditions you guys have. I love the Stockings in the window and Frosty by the door. I like the various ways you've made the advent season significant with reading the Bible and the calendars. What a fun Christmas season it must be at the Circus Tent!
    Thanks for sharing - I love seeing your home!

  10. Thanks for sharing your home and taking a look at mine. I was sooo (overly) excited about doing this too! Your house is beautiful and I loved your tree. Did you guys make your advent calendar? I made something like that in art class in grade school, but it's still at my rents house. I love your nativity sets and that's the first thing that I noticed we are lacking. There's always next year!
    Have a great Christmas!

  11. Okay, there are so many things I just love here, so I'll number them for you:
    1. Love that blow up nativity outside. We have no outside decorations and I've enver seen a house with one of those before! very cool.
    2. the mini quilt about the entry table is awesome! did you make that? I'm jealous... in a very Christian sort of way.
    3. love the stockings on the windows. I struggle with this every year and have yet to hang them ANYWHERE as we do not have a mantle either!
    4. you reminded me of a few traditions we have as well.... no Jesus until Christmas in the nativity and the bigs have their own tree in their room from my teaching days, too!
    5. love the deer on the deck... I'd love to have some of those in my backyard... such a fun thing to see as you peek outside!

    Merry Christmas & thanks for sharing your family's Christmas!

  12. Wow...Christmas at the Circus is spectacular! You guys are lighting geniuses...such a gentle, soft light going through your home. And your interactive Advent calendar is incredible...thanks for the great idea...! Thank you for letting us get a peek at your beautiful home and excellent decorting (and baking!) skills!

  13. just now getting here..and I just love your kid friendly Christmas ..serioulsy whose it for anywho?!


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