Charming Looks for Christmas & Seasonal Stream of Consciousness

With just a week before Christmas – perhaps you’ll reunite with family after years of separation. If you’re traveling like so many millions will be, I pray the journey is gentle and safe. I hope however you spend the holiday, you will do it with PRESENCE and without the pressures of PERFECTION. So much easier said than done. We tend to set our expectations sky high (lookin’ at YOU, multigenerational American get-togethers!) when it comes to the holidays. It’s as if every year we develop amnesia for all the ways we are bound to be disappointed. Yet if we allow the present moment to simply be…to not judge every nuance, there are gifts hidden there. Think you maybe don’t have the patience? I’m soooo with you. And so I seek the grace for help.

Charming Christmas Looks & Deeper Reflections

I’m still sharing holiday inspiration since so many folks are still searching. Were you aware a good number of folks begin collecting their holiday decorating ideas in April?

Atlanta Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse Christmas placesetting by Liz Williams Interiors with a lovely snow globe at each plate.
Breakfast room place setting by Liz Williams Interiors – Atlanta Home for Holidays Designer Showhouse

Yep.

I’m so thankful you drive your adorable little red vintage sedan (with its tree tied to the top) here and park it at this site as you seek inspiration for Pinterest boards and idea collections. 🙂 I love welcoming you inside:

Hello Lovely Christmas joy at my front door with holiday wreath and me and sis dressed in festive wear. #hellolovelystudio #christmasdecor #christmaswreath #christmasdoor
Hello Lovely Studio

Blogs are most definitely old school now, and I happen to think they are retro cool. Yet even if they fall from favor, on the first of the New Year, it’ll be my 14th year blogging at Hello Lovely. (My 16th year as a blogger!).

Sweet white knit mittens filled with rosemary sprigs and hanging on a rustic white cabinet for Scandi Christmas simple decor - Vintageologie.
Vintageologie – see more Scandi inspired style HERE.

If you don’t already have a Pinterest board devoted to inspiration seen on Hello Lovely or a board with Christmas decorating ideas, it’s still a great way to organize ideas!

Inspirational Ann Voskamp faith quote relevant for Christmas on Hello Lovely Studio. #annvoskamp #faithquotes #christmasquotes #christianity

I’m sure you have seen oversized paper snowflake decorations everywhere on social media…

and they are a rather easy DIY:

I’m a big fan of white paper lunch bags so I always have these on hand!

Inspirational Ann Voskamp faith quote relevant for Christmas on Hello Lovely Studio. #annvoskamp #faithquotes #christmasquotes #christianity

I have a hoop wreath on our front door once again, and ya know, I think it’s all about perspective.

Gorgeous winter wreath on a teal door - roses, pinecones and eucalyptus combine for a striking Scandinavian style Christmas vibe - Truloveblooms on etsy.
Truloveblooms on etsy

While some might see an unfinished, partial wreath, I see a smile. 🙂 Hahahaha.

Inspirational Ann Voskamp faith quote relevant for Christmas on Hello Lovely Studio. #annvoskamp #faithquotes #christmasquotes #christianity #gratitudequotes #thanksgiving

Oh, this thought from Ann Voskamp above! The thing about that method is it also works for loving things. Including God. If you start with the small things, the love can grow.

Spectacular white home decorated with elegant exterior Christmas decorations by Boxwoods Atlanta for the Home for the Holidays Showhouse 2016.
Atlanta Holiday Home/Boxwoods Atlanta

Does anyone need to hear this message below as lists for holiday hosting or gifts or decorating for Christmas grow longer?

Inspirational Ann Voskamp faith quote relevant for Christmas on Hello Lovely Studio. #annvoskamp #faithquotes #christmasquotes #christianity

Because I need to hear it each and every day.

The reminder to BECOME what we long for may seem daunting until we recognize it can happen as we let go.

Atlanta Home for Holidays Christmas tree with red ornaments, ribbons, and festive gifts with wood sled - AHL.
Atlanta Home for the Holidays photo: DHCPhoto; Design: Christ Holt

Oh that we would have the courage to allow whatever our life looks like to be what sets us free, what impossibly transforms us.

Pet love quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #doglovequote #catlovequote #petquotes

This is an entirely different approach than striving for a far off peaceful destination and using that imagined, better future as a coping mechanism in the now.

Valspar Bare Necessity paint color on paneled wall in a home by @thevintagehousethatcould.
Valspar Bare Necessity pink paint color – @thevintagehousethatcould

For me, the only way I can truly let go and let be…

Personal growth quote about strength and building on Hello Lovely Studio. #personalgrowthquotes

is with spiritual practice daily–

Simple Christmas giftwrap idea with brown kraft paper, twine, pinecones, and simple embellishments for a Scandinavian holiday feel - Freshideen.
Freshideen

daily transformation and daily surrender and daily renewal and daily starting over.

Inspiring New Year quote to promote hope, peace, love, and encouragement in the days ahead - Hello Lovely Studio. #quotes #newyearquotes #encouragementquotes

You may be surprised to hear that I receive a lot of pushback about what to me is a very personal and hard-earned discovery (and not some self-made system of self-care).

Christmas tree and fireplace with stockings in cozy living room - @tatianas_home_decor. #christmascozy
@tatianas_home_decor

There are folks in my life who believe I have it all wrong…

Van Gogh inspirational quote about love. #quotes #vangogh

that my soul has been saved, that I am covered by a one and done decision, that if only my church attendance improved, my life would be richer.

Seeking daily transformation, for me, is not an act of religiously, over and over, placing these sticky fingers back on the controls. It’s not going through the motions or self denial.

Elvis Presley inspirational quote. #quotes #elvis

Rather, it is in a very human, embodied way, daily seeking the grace to loosen my grip, to surrender all of those illusions of control, to open my hands to receive joy and suffering.

It’s examining my life and asking for eyes to see the invitations hidden within the difficulties and blessings. This is a critical part of spiritual journeying I either missed or ignored until about 10 years ago.

Funny quote and life humor on Hello Lovely Studio. #funnyquotes #humorquote #sillyquotes

The beauty of daily transformation is how it looks slightly different for everyone.

Though stillness and silence seem to be non-negotiables, I have learned one may even work from a place of surrender, stillness and peace.

Funny Christmas quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #christmashumor #holidayquote #funnyquotes #humorquotes

Don’t you find that miraculous? Playing the piano, singing, and composing is sometimes a part of my daily transformation – here’s a Christmasy song I didn’t write but sang the other day (you can see my shoulder, just not my face!

Follow That Star

What a gift that we have an inner landscape…we have divine DNA…we have these deep places in the soul that can never be harmed, that can hold truth, beauty, and blessing.

Gratitude quote that is perfect for Thanksgiving - Hello Lovely Studio. #gratitudequotes #couragequotes #thanksgivingquote

For many folks, scripture or ancient wisdom are anchors in such places in the soul.

Cozy country cabin patio with lanterns, candlelight, sectional, and rustic winter vibes - CountryGirlatHeart. #cozywinter #cozychristmas
CountryGirlatHeart

Not simply as memorized words or ideas or stories rehearsed…

Ann Voskamp faith, Christianity, hope, and inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #faithquote #hopequote #annvoskamp #christianity

but as living, breathing, shape-shifting energies with the potential to heal and direct.

London cafe in winter with wreath - @prettycitylondon.
@prettycitylondon

For me personally, I’m not great at memorizing quotes or scripture.

Encouragement quote - if you're reading this, I hope something beautiful happens to you today - from Michele of Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #encouragement #positivevibes

That is, unless it truly resonates.

Mini snowman with mittens and blue sweater - @nadiine.o. #snowman
@nadiine.O on Tumblr

When it echoes something already hidden deep within me.

Uplifting inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio from @mattcama: Not to spoil the end for you... #quotes #inspirationalquote #strugglequotes #encouragement #healing #hopequotes

There’s a mysterious recognition and experience that happens.

Farmhouse Christmas decor with galvanized large bell hung from ribbon on green vintage door - Hello Lovely Studio. #christmasdecor #christmasbell #farmhousechristmas #vintagechristmas #frontdoordecor

I don’t know much of anything at all. And I certainly can’t confidently claim my truth is truth. I only know the truth found me…right where I am. Not in some polished up, mentally fit, scholarly bada$$ state, but as a small blind beggar with outstretched open hands.

Magnificent Christmas decor on exterior of the 2016 Atlanta Home for the Holidays Showhouse with exterior decor by Lisa Mende and Boxwoods Atlanta.
2016 Atlanta Home for the Holidays Showhouse; design: Lisa Mende; decor: Boxwoods Atlanta

And this is the place in the post where I hush for a few moments.

Lovely Finds to Give or Receive

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Madewell Sydney Crossbody Bag in Burnished Caramel
Sydney Crossbody Bag (Burnished Caramel)

It may be worth your while to browse Target for their selection of amazing gift ideas too.

If you’re in the market for any new furniture or home decor, Wayfair likely has what you need. Don’t forget to peek at their Closeout and Open Box deals.

To get your shopping done in one place, try these ideas (this year, I’m giving the Billion Dollar Art Gallery to someone who has everything and needs nothing!):

Online Shopping Ideas

Etsy

Gourmet Gift Baskets

Shutterfly

Charlotte Tilbury

Serena & Lily

Minted

Emerson Fry

Madewell

H&M

Ilia

Amazon

Olivela

Pottery Barn

J. Crew

Aveda

Thinking of each of you and hoping that as we wait together for the holy day to arrive, we can somehow align with a peaceful flow that is ever flowing.

I reflected on that flow another time here.

Something mysterious and amazing happens to me each year at this time as I allow it to be done to me rather than shape the season into something of my own making. It’s not a small thing for a control freaky DIYer.

Christmas cozy tablescape - @liekes_world. #romanticchristmas #rusticchristmas
via liekes_world on tumblr

We’re always going to be changed by what reality brings. From my perspective, change and reality mean God. And for me personally, God moves as profound love energy within all life.

Oh that in imperfectly incomplete thoughts and words here, in the white space between them, a bit of love breaks through.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

Hello Lovely is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

White Slipcovered Sofa
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29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
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Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
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Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
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Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
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11 Comments

  1. Linda Adair
    December 19, 2022 / 6:54 am

    You are a beautiful writer and your reflections mirror many of my own thoughts. I look forward to our quiet meetings in the early morning. Congratulations on your blogging anniversary, keep up the good work!

    • Michele
      Author
      December 19, 2022 / 4:39 pm

      Thanks for spending mornings here, Linda. It is always uplifting to hear from you and know that there are friends near and far on the journey with me. Wishing you wonder and blessing during this holy season, friend.

  2. Lynda
    December 19, 2022 / 7:27 am

    Hi, I wanted to thank you so much for your blog..it is the loveliest of lovely!! I have cancer and ur sayings make me feel better every day..this may be my last Christmas but thank you again..
    Lynda..bless you

    • Michele
      Author
      December 19, 2022 / 4:38 pm

      Oh, Lynda. What a journey you are on, and I wish I could join you in a deeper way as you move through these holy days with illness. There is so much rich mystery that we are only able to glimpse when time is suddenly more precious, yes? The veil gets lifted. Praying for your heart. Thank you kindly for spending some of yours with me. I’m always here with an ear or a word from the Lord for you if ever you need it. xox

    • Sheila in SF
      December 22, 2022 / 10:05 am

      You are a light to all of us with your profound words. May Christmas fill your heart. Thank you for continually keeping your blog alive. So many times I have found the write words I need to share in your blog.

      • Michele
        Author
        December 22, 2022 / 2:29 pm

        So wonderful to hear, and I’m so grateful to have your support. Blessings and joy to you and yours this Christmas. 🙂

  3. Paula Holmes
    December 19, 2022 / 7:32 am

    Michele,
    You are a shining light in a dark world. Thank you for continuing to point us to all things lovely especially Jesus!
    Christmas blessings,
    Paula

    • Michele
      Author
      December 19, 2022 / 4:34 pm

      Merry Christmas and thanks so much for adding beauty here. Learning to live with so much darkness is the work of a lifetime. What a gift to be joined.

  4. Evelyn Agent
    December 19, 2022 / 7:54 am

    I read your post most days. I especially enjoyed the post today. I was disappointed I was unable to listen to the Christmas song. Merry Christmas!

    • Michele
      Author
      December 19, 2022 / 4:33 pm

      Oops- sorry bout that – it must not have uploaded properly. I’ll try again and let you know if I can remedy it. Merry Christmas, and thanks so much for letting me know.

    • Michele
      Author
      December 19, 2022 / 4:43 pm

      Hoping the video with my song is there now – sorry bout that!

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing