It’s *still* the most wonderful time of the year, a Black Friday sale, and reflections on over decorating

Anyone else throw those Christmas lights up a little early this year? Like maybe a month or two early? I have to admit that despite all my posturing and practice of liturgical rigor in the early days of motherhood, I happily blitzed through Walmart for 1,000 extra sparkle lights the week before last.

Dave came home in the newly dark 5 o’clock hour last Friday and found me perched on a ladder in the front yard cursing and stringing up lights by myself, realizing in the cold twilight how much math is involved in the process. Is math the right word? All I know is that it is not as easy as it looks to get those strands lined up and I wished I had a dozen outdoor outlets, but alas, Clark Griswold I am not.

I’m excited for thanksgiving, in whatever form it takes and whatever number of guests it features. All are welcome, as is the case every year, and all are equally free to recuse themselves over health concerns or other anxieties. As for me and my house, we will serve the turkey. (And the Lord.)

It has been difficult to find time and, honestly, the energy to put much of anything creative into the world lately. I made a huge push (pun unintentional but perfect) to finish the Postpartum NFP Survival Guide last month, and the process of multiple hours-long days of editing and find tuning was exhausting to my overstretched 2020 brain.

I’ve popped in on social media twice since the election and both times been sick to my stomach afterwards by the hatred, the vitriol, and the viciousness there. I truly don’t miss anything about Instagram. (Well, I thought I missed the pretty decorating pictures, but then I had a flashback to 2014 and remembered Pinterest, lol)

Speaking of the Postpartum NFP Survival Guide, it’s on sale this week at nearly 40% because Black Friday is really more of a season this year, is it not???

If you’ve been on the fence or know a newly postpartum mama who you think could benefit from it, snag yours here. (Giving it as a gift? Awesome! Just use enter the recipient’s email in place of your own at checkout, or drop me a note with their email at [email protected])

I’ve had a couple people ask for more details on what it is, exactly. I tell them it’s a bit like a more interactive e-book, minus the need for an e-reader or an app. It covers everything from common postpartum struggles with hormones, emotions, and relationship stressors to tips and tricks to help nudge your cycle gently back into place even while breastfeeding.

And best of all? Every Postpartum Survival Guide now includes access to an exclusive online community, Th Postpartum Posse, just for postpartum NPF using mamas.

(Already purchased yours? Check your inbox, you’ve been invited into the community too. and no, it’s NOT on Facebook.)

A few mamas have graciously allowed me to share their feedback:

“This is exactly what I needed. I just had my 3rd and thought I knew everything I needed to know, but this is opening my eyes!” – K.L., postpartum mother of 3

“My husband gifted me this after our last baby was born in October and I tore through in a couple days. It is SO good not to be alone.” A.N., postpartum mother of 4

“I was impressed how detailed and attentive you were to hormone issues and common experiences with postpartum charting.” H.C., NFP instructor

You can order yours here – the discount is good through midnight on Black Friday, November 27th.

I’m seriously, seriously contemplating putting up another 500 Christmas lights this afternoon. It’s just such a weird, dark season of life for so many people, and it has helped me tremendously to narrow my focus a bit to the four walls of our home and the illegal amount of people contained therein. (Add a couple neighbor kids watching Dude Perfect in my basement and we’re officially over the respectable number of occupants. #bigfamilyproblems)

It has also been so stabilizing to have the liturgical year to fall back on and to lean into. You guys know me and I’ve never been the craftiest or homemakey-est gal in the blogosphere, but gosh darn it we are going to ADVENT OUR HEARTS OUT THIS YEAR.

Because saying, Come, Oh Come Emmanuel has never felt more appropriate or more urgent.

I’ve got a whole post on Advent plans and tweaks to those plans which the present darkness will make necessary, so stay tuned.

A blessed and gratitude filled thanksgiving to you and yours, whatever form your own celebration takes this year. Though there is much darkness in the world, the light is greater; and the darkness has not – and will not – overcome it.


  • Hannah

    I needed this.
    I’m gonna pull myself out of brooding about America, hearken unto the cries of my kids for snacks, and string up some Christmas lights!
    Come o come emmanuel!!!
    We need Him so badly this year.
    I’m gonna sing my heart out….

  • Anne

    Amen! Extra prayers for us nurses when covid gets even worse than it already is….this has been the most physical, mental and emotionally exhausting and trying 9 months of my career. So thankful for the sacrifices people have made to keep others safe and keep my patient ratios semi manageable. Love the way you write!! I also got my nativity set out early this year…keeps my mind in the right place seeing it when I get home.

  • jeanette

    I was informing my husband this morning of something I discovered last night which I had forgotten until just now: we threw away our artificial tree last year, because it had a string of lights that were not working (it was a pre-lit one) and was just a temporary little one we bought on sale for $29 the second year we lived here (and we were only supposed to live here less than one year), intending to buy something more suitable when we moved.

    A few years more have passed and still no move. So, we have no tree now, and we still don’t know how long we will live here since COVID rules brought our home search to a grinding halt. So, do we spend money on a new tree that we are forced to guess will fit wherever we move to next, (which translates into making a choice to buy something small again since it has to fit here, too), or just skip it this year. It’s not like this is the biggest decision we have to make in life, I just hate waste and don’t wish to be frivolous about spending money.

    Since the COVID stuff means my pregnant daughter and her husband and children will not be coming (and please, no surprises), and since my husband could care less about Christmas and resembles Scrooge, do I really need to buy a tree? Well, my thinking is, this year has been so extremely devoid of so much, so it would have been at least nice to have a tree in my home.

    We used to buy real trees each year when we had children in our home, but after they left, we used artificial ones. We had a spectacular one that I got at a bargain price, but when we moved here, the movers somehow made the stand disappear (a few years later I found it…too late since we discarded the useless tree since there was no stand).

    I don’t know what to do about it, but have to decide quickly. It’s going to require online ordering, I don’t know if it will ship quickly (how many times this year did I order something that was going to come in a few days and it didn’t). At this point in time I’m not keen on going shopping for one in person.

    A tree will not magically materialize! So, who knows what I will decide. As for lights outside, we haven’t done that since having kids either, so we got rid of those years ago. But we have a neighbor up the street who more than makes up for it with an excessive number of decorations that are greatly appreciated to enjoy from afar, and there are other decorations around town.

    But with COVID, we spend nearly all of our time inside, and the indoor decorations of Christmas do add not only a symbolic display of the mystery we celebrate, but the glistening, glittering, and glimmering lights and decorations add something else that has been missing all year: warmth. Being in isolated circumstances so much has taken the ;warmth out of life.

    So, deck the halls and be merry and all of that stuff. They’ve tried to crush people of faith all year with rules and restrictions and protocols that are maddeningly stupid, but they can’t rain on your parade of decorating your home. Oh, and sing your heart out, too, since they squashed that one at church as well, since we project too many respiratory droplets (really?).

    This year we need to make sure our nativity set is the centerpiece of our home, so we connect ourselves deeply to this Holy Family that brought the Savior into this world by making acts of faith under adverse conditions. It’s a good reminder that He brings a joy that no one can take away from us.

    Jenny, be careful on ladders. Thank you for lighting up the world with your own sense of joy, and bringing some warmth into the life of those who are in the darkness.

  • Christine

    Totally agree! This is the earliest our Christmas decorations have made an appearance. We’re soaking up all of the Christmas lights we can this year. Blessings to you and yours! 🙂

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