Christmas

CHRISTMAS :: 5th Annual Scandinavian and Nordic Christmas Series

5th Annual Scandinavian and Nordic Christmas series on the oaxacaborn.com blog

For the fifth straight year (wow!) I’ll be bringing you Scandi Christmas gorgeousness during the entire Advent season. According to the feedback you’ve shared with me over the years (and the number of times you’ve pinned the content on to Pinterest) this is your absolute favorite series. Together, we’ll be talking adventskalender, sharing interiors cozied up for the season, exploring different ways to decorate, celebrating Scandinavian and Nordic traditions, and more.

As in previous years, you’re invited to join the celebration. If you have a favorite post you’ve written, a link to a particularly Scandinavian store, a set of photos, a memory of Nordic holiday traditions, a Pinterest board full of Scandi images, or simply want to share the URL of your blog (point me to the category with the most Christmas-y content), email me! In previous years,  contributors have been from the U.S., Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom — even far above the Arctic circle — but you’re of course welcome to participate no matter where you live. I can’t wait to hear from you!

P.S. The series will begin on 1 November and continue through 25 December. Hyvää Joulua! God Jul! 

Christmas, Homeschooling

Pirates and Children: Both Belong at the Christmas Manger

Pirates & children both belong at the Christmas manger: A Christmas reflection from the Oaxacaborn blog

The kitchen lights are switched on, the dishes are in the sink, the washing machine is whirring, there’s laundry on the floor, and I’m leaning over a to-do list, panicking over the tickle in my throat and how much I have to do this week. Aveline is in the living room in her pajamas, kneeling down on the brown and grey rug in front of the little stable of twigs and moss that’s held together with nails, kneeling there in front of the baby Jesus.

She’s singing — not reciting, but singing — words as they come to her. The music is so pure and so real and so full of worship. She runs off, and comes back pulling a pirate ship behind her. “The Lalaloopsy would like to worship Jesus!” she shouts. “The pirates would like to worship!”

Because that’s how it should be, you know — no, no, that’s how it is. He didn’t come just for the shepherds of ancient yore, to be tucked neatly into a storybook and a creche to decorate our mantles and our church foyers. He didn’t come to live forever safely next to the haloed holy family statutes. He didn’t come for the perfect, for the sinless saints, for the angels in the winter sky. No, he came for all of humanity, all of us, every single one in every corner of the world.

He’s here for the blue-haired Lalaloopsy,

for the homeless woman

for the broken-down and grieving

for the sword-wielding pirates,

for the angry GI Joe

for the stowaways and the untouchables, and

for me.

And here I am, like Martha, “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” [1], in danger of taking this miracle for granted.

So come. Come, everyone one of us. Just as we are — with our baggage and our stress and our burdens and our imperfections — come. Here’s here.

Oh, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

Christmas

LIFE IN PHOTOS :: Our Tiny Tree

Our tree is tiny and simple — sparkling silver and white and blue, with an exquisite little porcelain doll my best friend brought back from Russia. The tree’s not huge, or even made of real tree, but it’s tucked away under the blue-light-wrapped windows, on a white woolen rug that looks like snow, and makes Aveline so happy.

To me, that’s perfect.

(Do you remember this feeling as a child?) Oaxacaborn / Gina Munsey blog

Oaxacaborn / Gina Munsey blog
Oaxacaborn / Gina Munsey blog

“Shaggy branches curve / Down to the heads of children / Beads shine richly / Overflowing with lights…” “Гнутся ветви мохнатые / Вниз, к головкам детей / Блещут бусы богатые / Переливом огней…” -Raisa Adamovna Kudasheva

Christmas

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS :: Dalahäst, Dala Horse

Ah, dalahästar (that’s the plural of dalahäst…I think).  I love them. Is it cliche? I don’t even care!  : )

Giant OUtdoor Dala
Dala horses in the snow (perhaps at Skansen Park?) via Hasenohr on Flickr

Cross stitch Dala
Cross Stitch Dala via Kitschn Stitchin

Dala Horse print
Dala Horse Print via Red Stuga on Etsy (based in Minneapolis; where else?!)

SONY DSC
“How Swede It Is” Dala Horse and Kanelbullar Magnets via Red Stuga

paper mache dala horses
Papier Mâché Dala Horses via Posh Chicago

HenningTrollbäck
Henning Trollbäck’s Dala Horse Poster via Fine Little Day

Dala Zoo
Dala Zoo (Giraffe and Moose) via Hildas Hem

Chalk Dala
Chalk Drawing of Dala Horse via Dirtsas Studio on Etsy

tillverkning
Dalahäst-tillverkning (Dala Horse Manufacturer/Factory) Sign Liz Highleyman on Flickr

Copper_Dala_Horse
Copper Dala Horse via Fischer Fine Arts on Etsy

via Oaxacaborn on Instagram
A Dala horse vignette in my home.

Want to decorate a Dala horse — or maybe introduce your kids to this creature? Here’s a great FREE printable Dala horse template from Make Learning Fun! You might also be interested in this video of how Dala horses are made, or last year’s Dala horse round-up.

God Jul!

Christmas

CHRISTMAS :: 5 Simple Golden Decorations

Golden_Triangle_Banner
Golden Triangle Banner DIY via Almost Makes Perfect

Pipe_Cleaner_Ornament_DIY
Golden pipe-cleaner geometric ornament DIY via Smile and Wave

Spray Painted Golden Pine Cones
Pinecones, spray painted gold via The Sweetest Occasion

Star_GarlandStar Garland via Fleur and Stitch

Golden_Candlesticks
Golden Candlesticks via Emmas Designnblogg

Do you choose a color scheme for Christmas? It can sometimes help the decor from feeling overwhelming and cluttered. This year, we are enjoying silver and blue decorations — but I love gold and white, too!

Adoption, Christmas, Humanitarian

CHRISTMAS :: 18 gifts that matter for #GivingTuesday (and every day)

#GivingTuesday is a terrific opportunity to look up and away from ourselves. Of course, this outlook shouldn’t be confined to just one day a year, but I can’t argue with a movement that encourages us all to reach out. And so, in celebration of Giving Tuesday, here are eighteen different ways to give a gift that gives. A gift that loves. A gift that matters.

For more information about a particular gift, simply click on that photo.

Image Map Provide EDUCATION IN CHINA Provide for FOSTER FAMILIES IN CHINA Provide ORPHAN CARE IN CHINA Provide MEDICAL CARE IN CHINA PROVIDE REFUGEE RELIEF around the world PREVENT human trafficking and exploitation Provide CLEAN WATER around the world FEED A HUNGRY BABY for a week PROTECT vulnerable women Provide WARM COATS AND SHOES CARE FOR Romanian orphans SUPPORT a crisis pregnancy center in Taiwan Sponsor a baby in a TAIWANESE ORPHANAGE Provide SURGERIES for infants and children in China Provide EVERYDAY NECESSITIES for care centers in China Sponsor the EDUCATION of a child in Ethiopia Build a HIGH SCHOOL in Ethiopia Provide a VOCATION for an adult or care for a child

1. Love Without Boundaries | EDUCATION | Provide education and school access to at-risk children in China ($10+)

2.Love Without Boundaries | FOSTER FAMILIES | Provide a family environment through foster care to orphaned and at-risk children in China ($10+)

3.Love Without Boundaries | ORPHAN CARE | Provide access to care, hope and healing to orphaned and impoverished children in China through LWB’s programs ($10+)

4. Love Without Boundaries | MEDICAL CARE | Provide medical care and surgeries to orphans and infants/children whose parents would not otherwise be able to provide care. ($10+)

5. Samaritan’s Purse | REFUGEE RELIEF | Provide tents, heaters, food and more to displaced people ($125+)

6.Samaritan’s Purse | PREVENT HUMAN TRAFFICKING | Provide education in at-risk locations to empower potential victims to recognize and avoid exploitation and trafficking. ($100+)

7. Samaritan’s Purse | CLEAN WATER | Provide a water filtration system to give 3,500 people access to clean water ($20+)

8. Samaritan’s Purse | PROTECT VULNERABLE WOMEN | Provide literacy classes, maternal/child health education, protection and support for victims of gender-based violence, and more. ($30+)

9. Samaritan’s Purse | ONE WEEK OF FOOD | Provide food for a baby or nursing mother for one week. ($9+)

10. Samaritan’s Purse | CLOTHES & SHOES | Provide warm coats, clothing and footwear to displaced people in refugee camps. ($25+)

11. Anchor of Hope Romania | FOSTER CARE | Provide family-like environments and other vital care for orphans, abandoned babies, and at-risk young people in Romania. (Any amount) To give directly to Christian & Marie Burtt, full-time missionaries serving in Romania with Anchor of Hope, click here.

12. Taiwan Xi En | CRISIS PREGNANCY HOME | Provide nurturing care for infants and expectant mothers at the Taiwan Xi En House of Hope. (Any amount)

13. Taiwan Xi En | SPONSOR A BABY | Provide diapers, formula, clothes, shelter and caring nannies for abandoned and at-risk infants 0-2y at the Taiwan Xi En Orphanage. ($50/mo)

14. Show Hope |  SURGERIES | Provide heart, cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries to orphans and infants/children in China. ($65+)

15. Show Hope | EVERYDAY NECESSITIES | Provide diapers, food, and clean drinking water to the special needs orphans living at the Show Hope care centers in China. ($12+)

16. Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | EDUCATION & FOOD | Provide access to education and nutritious meals for a school-age child in Ethiopia. ($19/mo)

17. Adami Tulu + Ziway Project | HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION | Provide the resources necessary to build a high school so the Adami Tulu + Ziway students can continue their education. (Any amount) Or, donate in honor of a loved one, and send a card to a friend! ($20+)

18. Lifesong for Orphans | WHERE MOST NEEDED | Provide life-giving care for children, and sustainable micro-business opportunities for adults, in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ethiopia, Liberia, Zambia, Cambodia, India and Ukraine. On #GivingTuesday [2 December 2014] only, your gift to Lifesong for Orphans will be multiplied 4x through a matching grant when you give using this link. (Any amount)


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Christmas

SCANDINAVIAN CHRISTMAS :: Nordingården

The Swedish blog Nordingården blog is an absolute treasure trove!

Nyårkök1

JUl på Nordingården-1020

FB-spis

Nya bilder 8232

adventsmys18

jul i köket4

A picture really is worth a thousand words — I can’t understand the words, but my goodness! Nordingården is a wonderland. There are SO many more lovely images; I hope you’ll check it out!

P.S. Did anyone notice the first and last photos are the same room?

Christmas, Inspiration

CHRISTMAS :: “Naptime Diaries” Advent + Print Collection

Are you familiar with Naptime Diaries? They have the neatest art! And this year they have a GORGEOUS Advent collection. I mean, it’s really something — prints, calendar, devotional.

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 1.55.31 PM

And here are a few of my favorite prints from the latest collection —

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 12.16.43 PM
Do not be afraid / I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 1.47.24 PM
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 1.47.10 PM
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

So full of hope and GREAT JOY, isn’t it? View more here.