Thursday, January 8, 2015

Why I (still) Love January and Tips to Help You Love January, too.

There seems to be two camps of thinking about the month of January. I, for one, am deeply entrenched in the camp that believes January is a beautiful month.

Here are a few tips to help you move a few steps closer to enjoying this delicious month.

1. Fine tune your Christmas decorations, so they are easy and quick to take down. 

This was a picture I took two years ago. I have since gotten rid of everything that does not give me lots of joy. I now have just 3 Christmas bins.

There is no reason to be grouchy before the month even begins. :)

2. Stock up on all your favorite hot beverages. I  think of January as a cozy month, which means favorite mugs and favorite drinks.

We had a mini-crisis the other morning, when we thought we were out of Tetley tea. We dug around and found one last box. Phew.

3. To compensate for all the fun lights of Christmas that are now packed away, I add a few things for sparkle in January.

     * I add a string of lights to the bookcase. These fun floral lights are from IKEA.

     * I love to put candles ... everywhere.

     *I use reflective surfaces. I love this pewter piece from Germany. It is part of a communion service. And the silver pedestal was a wedding present, 37 years ago. (this is the top of our television cabinet) 

4. Choose one area of your home to decorate in a new way.

This year, I challenged myself to do the mantel using only things I already had AND things I had never put on the mantel before. (with the exception of the Mt. Rainer picture which is always up for winter)

The fish plate was chosen for its shape and sentimental value. It is from Viet Nam, where I grew up. I loved the texture of the bamboo tray. And, I wasn't ready yet to put away all of the Christmas advent art from True Cotton.

Dave brought this beautiful vase home for me from Romania. The typewriter is from Home Goods.

5. Do something fun and new. Read some new books, try a new recipe, find a new route for your morning walk. New is good for a new year. 

I chose for my new thing, to sign up for Jeanne Oliver's amazing (and free) on.line course, Becoming: the Unfolding of You.

It is great. Eight weeks with 22 different women teaching from their life story on our identity in Christ and then sharing something creative from their lives.

The spiritual content has been amazing, but I am also really inspired by the creative bits. In the first lesson, Jeanne showed us how she decorates her mantle.

Jeanne likes to use something fresh from her yard, even in the winter. I liked this idea, so I went to our alley and clipped a few branches from my neighbor, Amy's, Christmas tree. (an interesting tidbit about Chicago is that if you want to get rid of anything, put it in the alley and it will be gone, usually within the hour)

Pretty, eh? 

6. Use your Christmas gifts. Read the books your kids gave you, watch the movies, get the massage from the gift card. (I wish) 

Jenny sewed for me a beautiful tablecloth from my mom's fabrics. A perfect cheery bit for what is turning out to be a very cold month. (-20 with windchill)

So, how about you. Do you love or loathe the month of January


  1. I learned by my dear mother's example to make sure there was something to look forward to in January. She always said there would be a let-down after the busy-ness and lights of the holiday season so I should plan a things to look forward to. I took her advice in a BIG way and married my sweetheart one January afternoon many years ago. Our anniversary is always the most special part of January that I look forward to. I'm part of 'Becoming', also (thanks to you) and loving it so far. I love to add candles and warm, snuggly throws and things to add warmth and light on the cold, gray, dreary winter days.

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  2. Hi Glenda,

    I loved this post. Here is a decorating/organization question for you: I know you live in a charming apartment with limited storage so I'm wondering what tips you might have for others who live in small spaces with little to storage space. A good friend of mine refers to the trunk of her car as her attic because she has to store things there sometimes. I love how you change things up for every season but I was wondering how you manage that in a small space and small budget. Any tips would be super appreciated. Miss those Stalker-Childers faces! Stay Warm.

    1. Thanks, Kate.

      My best tip is to get rid of everything that you do not love or use. Then you have less to store.

  3. Adrienne, that is a great way to have more fun in January. Happy anniversary to you and your Dave. I did the opposite, and got married on Thanksgiving weekend, the beginning of the holiday rush. :)


  4. I'm a fan of January, even more so that I, too, have kept some extra lights from Christmas still on my mantle - just minus the garland and wrapped in burlap. And I finally am rearranging my living room. It's been the same for 8 years and I bought some new chairs. Loving the conversation-focused room (instead of TV focused!).

  5. I love January! For me, it's time to reflect back over the holidays, declutter and hibernate with a few good books--and make and eat soup!!


  6. I have a love/hate relationship with January. I love the coziness of it all, but hate it when I have to go out. I love being on break and hate it when the kids have to go back to school.

  7. January is the month that makes me want to clean, simplify, and organize. I always seem to get more reading and movie watching done, so I like it for that reason too. I love your post about how to enjoy it more! I always light a candle the minute I get home in the evening, in the winter especially. I have January decorations that I put out - lots of silver and mercury glass in the kitchen/dining area (my hutch is my mantle). In the family room, I put out fun snowmen, to remind me that snow isn't just a nuisance (I love your picture of Mt. Rainier though, and it makes me want to find (or take) a gorgeous snowy picture to put out too!).

  8. I love it. Thanks for the fun ideas, Glenda! I'm still waiting to put my ideas to work as the house is still full of company :)

  9. I'm not a big fan of the month of January but time flies by so fast, I'm not going to take it for granted. These are great tips and ideas for truly savoring the time we have, especially us, who are indoors so much in the winter.

    I didn't know you grew up in Viet Nam. That must have been a very interesting childhood!

    I've heard of Jeanne's course but have never joined. Please keep us updated, I'm curious.

    Jane x

  10. I have a love/hate relationship with January! Good or bad it is a fresh page ~ a new chapter ~ a time to reflect and for getting things done. I have my Christmas decor packed by room. There are too many things that I love so I still have way too many bins. I know in time they will dwindle down and that is ok with me. I too have joined in on Jeanne's course and still need to watch the Friday videos. Lissa blew me away with her passion ~ love her so. Can you not get Tetley in the US? It is my tea of choice ~ they also have a wonderful Earl Grey vanilla which I love. Happy Sunday. xo

  11. I'm a January lover,
    despite the brutal temps
    here in MN! January has
    always been like September
    in my books: possibilities.

    Love your lighting ideas.
    It's critical for our bleak
    mid-winters....Let their be
    light : )

    xo Suzanne


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