Imperfect Christmas Mantel

6:00:00 AM

Do you go to the internet for holiday inspiration (decor, cooking) and then turn away because you feel an immense pressure to attain a perfect Christmas? And you know, no matter how hard you try, you won't attain holiday perfection. Well, this Christmas mantel is for you. 

If you've been a reader of Architecture of a Mom for a while, you may recall that we're working on the living room/kitchen in our house. We've been scraping ceilings and making gallery walls and all around making progress. But the mantel, oh the mantel. We took off the disproportionate mantel that we had. We didn't paint the wall because we have better plans than that. And then we ran out of time to complete those plans before Christmas. So then this is what the mantel looked like right at Thanksgiving.

Instead of throwing up my hands and resigning myself to an ugly mantel this Christmas, I decided to allow myself to be inspired. After all, we still have a mantel, and many folks don't.

So I thought, and I meditated on what we had. And this is what I came up with: interweaving decomesh ribbon and prelit garland. 

Of course, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care....

...and then we added some nutcrackers for good measure. Is it perfect? No. We still have ceiling paint on the wall and bits of unpainted wood at the very thin mantel. 

But is it beautiful? My husband has said that it is the best mantel we've had in our married lives.


And then it got me thinking. The point of Christmas is not perfection. In fact, our imperfections are the very reason that we have Christmas to begin with. A perfect God had a perfect plan to save an imperfect world. He sent His son to a scared teenaged girl and her confused but obedient fiance. He invited some smelly night-shift shepherds to the party which was in a stable in an over-crowded town in a country occupied by a foreign empire. But somewhere, despite the confusion and dirt and chaos, there was beauty. Amazing beauty. The best yet.

Embrace the imperfection of your holiday, my friend, because that's where the beauty will be found.

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