Random Thoughts

Five Things Friday

Seating 16 people in our tiny living room

The five little things that made my week…

1. Family isn’t always a mom, a brother, or a cousin, or even anybody related to you. It’s the people who stand behind you and inspire you to reach a little higher, who embrace you for who you are and embody who you want to be. For the first time in eight years that my husband and I have been together, we’re spending our holidays at home. And while we missed the presence of our respective parents and siblings, we were blessed to be surrounded by some of our extended family on Christmas Eve — 14 of them (more if you count the four-legged children) for an all-night feast at our house!

Seating 16 people in our tiny living room

2. We host a lot of parties in our home, but it usually involves the chiminea firing outside and everyone eating on their laps. For Christmas Eve, we thought it would be fun to make it a more formal affair, and dragged a 12-foot table into our tiny living room. I’d never seen our cupboards so empty until I realized we’d set nearly every plate, fork, and glass that we had!

White elephant gone right

3. White elephant is so much more fun when the only rule you establish is that the gifts be something your guests already have around the house. (More greatest hits from the evening: a vibrator — ahem, massager — and an entomophagy cookbook.)

Our first Christmas tree

4. Our first Christmas tree together is far from fancy, but it was chosen and chopped down with love. It’s filled with dozens of ornaments passed down from Will’s family, some over 30 years old and some he’d even made himself when he was a kid. I love our tree so much, I just want to keep it up year-round!

Meaningful Christmas ornament

5. A sea urchin skeleton found in the tidepool near our house. Now that we’ve started our own Christmas tree tradition, we’re taking our time collecting meaningful ornaments from our travels and our friends. I’m excited and motivated to collect as many ornaments as I can from all the national parks we visit and revisit in our lifetime!

Happy holidays, dear friends, and happy weekend! May it be filled with lots of love and laughter.

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »


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