If you think it's still too early to have your house decorated for the holidays, Joanna Gaines might just sway you.
"I start anticipating this day long before November even thinks about arriving," she wrote in the latest issue of Magnolia Journal. "While others have yet to clear away their pumpkins, our household has entered a full-blown holiday mindset."
Her reason is valid: "We are faithful first customers at our local Christmas tree farm . . . in early November, you have your pick of trees."
Their punctuality isn't the only beloved tradition in the Gaines household. In her essay, she recalled memories of "evenings spent making peppermint bark with my girls" or sitting fireside "with all of the kids snuggled around us, gazing at the lights til our eyes are too have to keep open." But, mostly, she noted that the key to Christmas, for her, is to keep things simple and to keep them the same year after year.
"For other things, we're excited about learning, seeing, or exploring something new," she said. "But Christmas is different."
On how she divvies up decorating:
"Everyone takes a task: the older kids lead the charge on hanging the ornaments while the younger ones hunt for everyone's stocking."
On not falling for "trendy ideas" for decorating the tree:
"I want to decorate our tree with our same ornaments that we ooh and ahh over each year, one maybe commemorating Drake's first Christmas or another perhaps celebrating Emmie's first lost tooth. And our tree could never be complete without the kids' homemade offerings. And while the Popsicle-stick picture frames have cracked over the years, and the photos within them have faded — it only make me love them all the more."
On her go-to recipe:
"It's rare for me to get excited about a new holiday recipe. I'm not looking for ways to reinvent the season. Instead, all I want is to gather the same ingredients for the same beloved cinnamon rolls that I've baked on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember."
On the one decoration she always unpacks:
"Every year, Chip and Drake hang my very favourite antique sign, the one that we got early in our marriage that says, 'Christmas Trees For Sale.'"
On keeping things the exact same year after year:
"We count down the days, just to experience it nearly exactly as we always have. It is so comfortably familiar and perfectly nostalgic that, frankly, we have no desire to improve upon it at all."
On adding baby Crew to the mix for the first time:
"This is our first Christmas with baby Crew, and we get to experience our family traditions through his delighted smiles, with his bright eyes serving as a sort of mirror. I hope he'll see that we're not looking for new and improved. But rather that we're taking the best parts of every Christmas past and unpacking them for Christmas present."