10th Day of Christmas Giveaway with Nicki Koziarz

Christmas Sale: If you’d like info on getting any of my books (tax-free & with no shipping costs!) for you or as a personalized gift for someone, click here.

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Welcome to the 10th Day of Christmas Giveaway!!

Each day, December 1-12th, I am featuring a fellow Proverbs 31 sister and an aspect of Christmas. You’ll get to know her and she, in turn, will offer a fabulous giveaway! Simply leave a comment on her post to be entered in the drawing.

And, one soon-to-be-very-giddy gal who comments on all 12 posts will win the GRAND PRIZE! You may comment on all posts until Monday, December 13th at 5:00 pm EST when the winners will be announced. (to see the grand prize and get caught up on the posts click here)

Now, for our P31 sister of the day, the simple, yet eclectic, Nicki Kozairz!

Nicki serves P31 on the She Seeks team as a writer and devotional coordinator [www.sheseeks.org]. She is a wife of ten years and a momma to three girly girls. Taylor, Hope and Kennedy keep her on her toes all day long. But, in her down time she enjoys a cup of coffee with an authentic friend, a movie that will make her laugh and cry or an intense game of tennis with her husband. Most any day of the week Nicki has a decorating project happening at her home, this keeps her husband on HIS toes [smile].

Nicki is passionate about building up the kingdom of God and serves the Lord through speaking, writing, community building and teaching God’s word. She blogs at: www.nickikoziarz.com and would love to connect with you through the blog, facebook or twitter!

Nicki’s Decorating Know-How

Today I am really excited to share with you a little glimpse of my home at Christmas. I am [unfortunately] one those that does not have tons of extra money to spend during the holidays.

I have always wanted to buy all new decorations ,but that is just not going to happen. So this year, I came up with a theme for my house: Use what you have, have what you love.

I think a lot of people get into a rut during the Christmas season because we just can’t “do” everything we want to do. But I’ve come up with 3 simple and inexpensive ways for you to change things up a bit in your home and create a warm gathering place for all the people in your life.

1. Be creative with your placement of decorations

I think a common rut we can get into with our decorations is placing them in the same place each year, or at least I do. So this year I moved our tree to in front of the window. It’s not the most logical spot in our living room for it to go, but that’s ok –it makes me happy there. [Use what you have.]

I was soooo tired of our tree skirt that had been around since at least 1979. So I took an old tablecloth and gathered it around the tree. I’m convinced it looks like snow [wink]. My plan is after Christmas to look for a tree skirt for next year on clearance…and I will make sure it is something I L-O-V-E. [Have what you love]

Think about the places where you could hang stockings? Place the manger scene? Hang lights? Hang garland? Their are NO rules for decorating for Christmas. Have fun and think inside of your box of where you could place things differently.

2. K.I.S.S [Keep it sweet n simple]

In keeping with my theme, I took these two trees that last year I had on my fireplace and placed them on the bench in my kitchen. I took all of my girls special ornaments that they have made over the years and put them on these trees. [Use what you have] We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I love looking at their little fingerprints on glass balls, chubby face pictures, tooth-pick ornaments and all those other yummy sweetness of the toddler days. [Have what you love]

3. Lose the tradition

I know. Christmas is filled with traditions! I love tradition but I won’t let it confine me…especially with decorating. So, I did it. I tossed the same stockings we have had for the past five years. [gasp!]

I found these really cute and fun stockings at a local craft store for $1.99 each and have plans on getting everyone’s name monogrammed on them soon. [Have what you love] Normally every year I do a big garland across the fireplace but this year, I wanted to K.I.S.S and tied some ribbon around my topiary trees and called it a day. [Use what you have]

Even decorating for Christmas can become an idol in our lives if we are not careful. By keeping things focused on using what we already have and making them things that we love, we can have more time for celebrating what this season is really about…Jesus. Have fun and don’t be stressed out about what you don’t have.

From my home to yours…Merry Christmas!

Nicki’s Giveaway:
One of you will win a year’s subscription to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, given by Nicki,  so you can continue to be inspired to buy things you love and use things you have creatively!

Today, to be entered in Nicki’s giveaway, leave a comment telling how you’ve ever attempted to “keep it sweet & simple” when it comes to decorating, food or any other aspect of Christmas.

One thing I always do is to place out an old glass punch bowl filled with antique glass bulbs from the 1950’s (purchased from a yard sale the year I got married. No, I did not get married in the 1950’s!!!).

Now, what is your idea? Or, just say “I’m in” and you’ll be entered. :-)

Simple Christmas Blessings,

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  • This year, the only goodies I made were things that didn’t take a lot of time baking – we made no-bake cookies, haystacks and chex mix. Those are my families favorites any way!

  • I bought new matching stockings this year. The kids had simple ones filling in while I am making their stockings! (my kids are 12 and 15!) So I saw 4 dk red with green cuffs and monagrammed letters. They had what we needed and only 4 bucks a piece. I love them. Someday I will finish the others. :)

  • I’m in! I don’t put as much stuff out as I used to & every year I try to get rid of something I didn’t put out that year.

  • My solution to K.I.S.S. is: To buy the pre-made Pillsbury pie crusts, at Sam’s Club. My family LOVES pies during the holidays and I just can’t find the time to make my crust from scratch. With the pre-made crusts, I’m able to make some of their dreams come true. In fact, my daughter is asking for Pumpkin Pies for her 15th birthday!!

  • I’m in. We started taping the Christmas card photos we receive on the side of our fridge, where we can see them and enjoy them during the season. Then after the holiday we throw them away (except for the really special ones). I don’t feel so bad about it since we’ve enjoyed seeing all thosed loved faces on a daily basis throughout the season.

  • we keep it simple by letting the kids be involved… mom steps back, throws “decorator beautiful” out the window and embraces “kid beautiful” instead!

  • I don’t have a ton of decorations and the ones I do have are more winter than Christmas so I don’t have to re-decorate in January. I leave our nativity scene up year-round. My 10 year-old daughter helped me decorate while my husband and son put the tree up and the lights on. It was great!

  • I’m in! This year I came up with the idea to place the Christmas cards we receive on the tree by just placing them randomly within the branches! LOVE it.

  • I keep from being overwhelmed decorating my 3-story house by bringing down one box at a time, emptying that one and returning it to the attic before bringing another one down. Also, for my nativity set, which has a few buildings, I drape the styrofoam packing squares from the boxes with brown fabric and use them to create different levels for the buildings to sit on.

  • I only put out the decorations that I absolutely love. It makes decorating more fun and taking care of things less of a chore :)

  • Less is more! I love decorating but with the limited funds my husband and I are now experiencing, I have taken old garland and wreaths, took old burnt out lights off, added some ornaments or whatever I have and made them new! It is fun and only cost me my time and imagination!

  • I love all the great ideas! My daughter did all my decorating this year (except for the tree, which we just got today).

  • Nicki, I loved your ideas! And yes…I do replace things exactly as I did the year before…mainly because it saves me the time and effort or wondering where to put them when I pull them out each year. I’m not really very creative! One year though, I pulled out all my ornaments, Christmas decorations, centerpieces etc. and had a friend come over and view all my “stuff”. She immediately started placing them where she would put them…and it was GREAT! New “eyes”. Sometimes we just don’t ‘see’. :)

    I host Christmas dinner for all the family every year, and one thing we started doing years ago…and don’t be too shocked…we use disposeable plates! (Did I hear a collective gasp?) I purchase really pretty patterned, sturdy Christmas plates and still place them over my gold charger plates and they look lovely, and it saves sooooo much time after with the clean-up. I just decided what was more important. Good china or enjoying time with good company? Family won!

    However…that reminds me…we’re hosting the family dinner next Saturday (it fits into everyone’s schedule in order for us all to be together)…and I haven’t purchased my plates yet! :)

    Christmas blessings,
    Joy