Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Merriest of Christmases

These past two days have been unusually relaxing and quite peaceful.

Ryan and I spent the day wrapping up the last of our gifts, setting the table for brunch on Christmas morning, and tidying the house before we headed off to church for the evening.

I didn't have much time to share with you the rest of the house, and that's okay.

I did however enjoy playing with the boys and snugging on the couch as we read the Christmas story. I enjoyed chatting late into the night with my handsome husband as we laughed and stuffed stockings.

And I enjoyed a few too many delicious Christmas cookies.

I love Christmas day.

I love hosting Christmas for my family. For the past number of years, we've hosted a late breakfast on Christmas morning. My sisters and parents all come over after we've each had some time to do our own gifts with our families. We enjoy a big brunch, and exchange gifts with each other.

It's especially nice because it means that we never have conflicting Christmases. Breakfast is always with my family, and dinner is always with Ryan's.

As you can see, the table wasn't quite finished. Some of the napkins we in the wash still, and again, that's okay.

Everything was laid out the day before and prepped in the fridge so I could spend as little time in the kitchen as possible and as much time as I could soaking in each moment and watching the boys joyfully open their gifts.

I love watching them on Christmas morning.

Breakfast has become the same each year. When you find a good thing, why change?

We enjoyed cinnamon buns from the store, citrus salad, bacon and sausages, french toast with maple syrup and our favourite, eggs Benedict.

After gathering the piles of paper, and relaxing for a while, we headed to Ryan's parents for our traditional Christmas turkey dinner - and it was amazing, as always.


And now the boys are fast asleep, and presents have all been opened. The house is quiet and peaceful and it's hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone.

But really, that's the best part about Christmas - it's never really over. The greatest gift is always patiently waiting to be received. Our Saviour is always waiting, longing for us to come and sit and rest and be loved and welcomed as we are. The lights come down, but His light is always shining brightest, even in the darkest of times. And the gifts are opened and the tree is bare once more, but the greatest gift, the gift of life eternal is always found at the foot of the cross - the tree on which the perfect baby we celebrate at Christmas time hung for our sins. So that we, we who are broken and lost and hopeless, can be made perfect, and welcomed in and given the only sure hope - eternal life.

It's the most perfectly beautiful gift. And it's ours if we want it. And who doesn't want to be loved unconditional and welcomed as we are, and given life and joy and purpose and washed beautifully clean and made holy by his perfect blood, shed for us?

He gives us the gift of Himself, and the gift of finding Him in everything we do each day. We simply have to choose to open it or not.

Wishing you the most wonderful of Christmases today.

With love, 
the Heikoops


  1. So beautiful here, the presents wrapped in natural and greens speak to me, this is how I wrapped my gifts as well.
    Your home is like a holiday home and the stone wall leaves me speechless.


  2. Hele fijne dagen ...liefs Ria x ❤️❤️❤️

    Merry Merry Christmas love Ria x ❤️❤️❤️

  3. Such a beautiful post, Maria. It reminds me of Proverbs 31:10-31, what I strive to be. I especially love the reminder at the end of the post, the greatest gift of all!
    Merry Christmas and God bless!

  4. Happy holidays, Maria and family!!
    Your home looks so beautiful decorated for this blessed season. Your posts are so heartfelt,and I love the renovation you have done on your lovely home.
    The pictures of your Christmas cookies are beautiful. Would it be possible to know the names of the different kinds, and perhaps links to the recipes? They are so gorgeous.
    All the best to you and your family in the New Year, Robin in Umbria

    1. Hello Robin,

      All of the cookies were gifts, or made at the shop. There was an assortment of mincemeat cookies, hazelnut shortbread, filled madelines, date-filled cookies, thumbprints with jams and mini empire cookies. I don't have any recipes for them unfortunately. But they were delicious and were so intricate and beautifully made! I wish mine looked as pretty.

      Hope you had a lovely Christmas,

    2. Thanks so much for your reply! I was thrilled. I have followed your blog for years, and never commented. I never thought my responses mattered, thought one was not interested. I live a quiet country life in Umbria, and want you to know how much I garner from your posts. I love your outlook on life. Best to you and your 3 guys. Robin

    3. Well then I'm certainly glad I responded! I don't always say anything back, but I do read each one and love when people respond!

      Do you live in Umbria, Italy?

    4. Yes, I live in Umbria, Italy, in a small stone house. I love your stone walls in the kitchen! I have stone walls in the entry, but rough plaster (painted white) thru the rest of the house. Terra cotta floors. Massive beams on the ceiling. I admire the work you are doing on your house. It looks fresh and beautiful. Best, Robin

  5. Merriest of Christmas' to you and your family! Your home is so warm and inviting. I truly love your heart, and style. Your closing words regarding Christ's birth are particularly lovely. Thank you. Best wishes, Kathy

  6. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful home but I especially enjoyed the life giving words at the end! Merry Christmas!


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria