blue and white Christmas decorating

Merry Christmas Eve.

Can I add an extra merry?

I know it’s a busy day full of family and friends and running and going and general merry-making.

But I wanted to press the pause button for a second.

Just a second.

And make a Christmas wish.

Blue and white decorating Christmas

In this room, tucked away in the corner is a table that my brother made for me.

It’s completely made up of all the tiny scraps from all the letters and clocks and shelves and boxes that have gone before.

Each little scrap.

Each little piece of junk from the floor of a woodworker’s shop.

Each little piece destined for the trash.

All those pieces coming together to form something wonderful.

Pallet Wood Pieces Table

He wanted a table top….but he created a piece of art.

Look at the patina and the individual pieces and the jagged and worn and weary edges of so many past projects.

No pattern.

No rhyme or reason or symmetry.

Simply joy.

Pallet Wood Table edge

The day he gave it to me, he brought it in sheepishly and put it down and shrugged his shoulders and told me he made me something different than anything he’d ever made before.

And he wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

It was different.

And a little random.

And rough around the edges.

And I smiled and jumped up and down and awkwardly dolphin clapped and told him I loved it.

And I then I took another look and told him it reminded me of……


blue and white Christmas Thistlewood


If I’m keeping it real here….there are so many times when I doubt myself and my projects and my decorating and my questionable red velvet pant choice and I then I see someone newer and shinier with perfect teeth and perfect hair and the appearance of perfection and birds singing around their head and rose petals dropping when they walk.

And I try to tell myself I’m amazing.

I really, really try.

I remind myself of amazing things I’ve done and that really good hair day I had a week ago and the project I finished that at the time seemed worthy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But inside I shrink.

Self-doubt creeps in.

And amazing seems light years away.

blue and white fabric

Maybe that’s why I identified with the table.

It’s kind of like me without the red velvet pants.

Different.  Random.  A little rough around the edges.

But all those scraps and junk and random bits of absolute nonsense?  Together they create joy and uniqueness and imperfection and character and a one-of-a-kind personality.

And I realized that somewhere along the way….

….a little bit of amazing just showed up.

Blue and white Christmas decor


And that’s my Christmas wish.

That we realize that perfection is over-rated.

And unnecessary.

And sometimes even a little boring.

Because the joy is in the unique, wonderful, incredible, unique person that lives inside each and every one of us.

Never ever, ever, ever forget that you are special.

And brilliant.

And amazing.

Just the way you are. 🙂

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Lisa Lisa

    You are amazing! Thank you for being who you are, and showing it to the rest of us. Have a very Merry Christmas and a rough around the edges, not perfect, unique New Year :)

    1. Image for Jayne McLeod Jayne McLeod

      me too, opps, blessed with the wonder that is this amazing season of the year....merry Christmas ! Jayne (Canada)

  2. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    I love you, Karianne. I really do. Thanks so much for making me smile every single time I push 'click here'. Merriest of Christmases to you and your precious family.

  3. Image for Debra Boyer Debra Boyer

    Karianne, haveno self doubts girlfriend! You ARE amazing! I love every single project you do, but, more importantly, you have such a wonderful way of writing your posts. The bubbly special person you are comes through loud and clear. Please, don't change one thing about yourself. You inspire me . Merry Christmas to you and yours. Love to all, Deb

  4. Image for Deb Deb

    Kari Thank you for the reminder to stop and take the day in and enjoy what it is meant to be - not perfection but a day filled with family, love and happiness. Thank you for entertaining me over the year - you were born to be a story teller and I look forward to each and every one of your posts. Wishing you and your family health and happiness in 2016! Deb

  5. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    It seems strange to wish someone I have never met a Merry Christmas but through your blog you have managed to make many of us feel like friends. All the best to you and your family.

  6. Image for Dale D. Dale D.

    Not only amazing but your words are magical that inspires, often with tears or laughter. Have a holly, jolly Christmas!

  7. Image for Judith Judith

    How right you are. I have 2 boys, the younger with severe autism. Having a special needs child made me realize that the most beautiful things are found in imperfection!! Love to you and your family :)

  8. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Little Missy... Let me tell you my secret. I don't read your blog and peruse the pages becuase of what you do or how you do it. I don't even like farmhouse decor! There, I said it. I decorate our home entirely differently...without apology. I don't get pizza from the gas station. I can barely stand chalkboard paint (I know...blasphemy, right! LOL). But, I love you...the person. I read every word you write and love seeing your home's decor and the precision with which you do both. You are a motivator, an encourager, an overcomer, a leader and you could easily have invented the word triumph! You set yourself aside for others. You push hard to win. You have tenacity and resolve like nobody's business. Never, ever, ever doubt you worth! That's why this gal follows along. Merry, merry Christmas and farmhouse baskets full of love! (I'll have to borrow one of your baskets, though. )

  9. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    You are that special unique person! Have a Blessed Christmas. Take a little Christmas break. We will miss you but we will live! Peace

  10. Image for Margaret Elkins Margaret Elkins

    What an inspiring message. Let's all celebrate our uniqueness and what we see in others. What a wonderful start to a new year. God bless.

  11. Image for Michele @ The Vintage Vixen Michele @ The Vintage Vixen

    Why do we doubt ourselves so much??? It is really a shame. But you, Karianne, you are truly a gem!!! And reminding us all that we are rock stars just makes you that much more wonderful!!! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!!!

  12. Image for Lori Lori

    Such wonderful and timely words Karianne!! I so needed to read this take and take it to heart! Thank you for your gentle kind creative spirit!! You are a treasure!! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  13. Image for Deby Deby

    Can I just tell you how much you inspire me? I so look forward to your posts. They are always beautiful, funny, entertaining. But, out-of-the-blue one comes along that touches the heart. This is one of those. Thank you. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

  14. Image for Catherine McD Catherine McD

    You are amazingly talented, Karianne, and I know too well the feeling of self doubt, but you have leaped beyond that to accomplish things beyond your dreams, inspiring thousands along the way. Thank you for your gift of warmth and support. Wishing you all the blessings of Christmas and health, peace, and happiness for years to come!!! xo

  15. Image for Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane

    Thank you, KariAnne, for the amazing gift of your blog. Each and every post provides inspiration, humor, and beauty. Sometimes it's a feast for the eyes, sometimes for the heart, but most of the time it's both--and that takes real talent, girlfriend. I had to chuckle that we both pushed the pause button on our posts today...if only we could! Merry Christmas, Thistlewood Gang, from the Mulberry Bunch. :-)

  16. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    First of all, I can't believe you feel that way because you are so totally amazing...and we all can see that so clearly. Secondly, how great to know you feel this way too sometimes. Just this morning I actually thought...maybe I should just let this blog thing go because I'll never be like (insert most other bloggers names). But this reminded me that we all have something special to bring to THIS world and THE world. Tonight more than any other night we are reminded we have so much worth in His eyes. Now we just need to see it in our own reflections. God bless your family on this Christmas karianne. Sending "you and yours' my best wishes for a wonderful New Year. Nancy

  17. Image for Peggy Peggy

    You are a Rock Star everyday! Amazing and unique in every way. You share the joy that is inside you to so many people. Wishing you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas with your family.

  18. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    That was beautiful Karianne...and as usual, I'm dripping tears in my coffee. May you and your family have a very merry and joyous Christmas! ;)

  19. Image for jennifer farnes jennifer farnes

    well, my dear sweet friend....from my perspective you seem pretty darn near perfect to me; but you are the good kind of perfect. the i-can-see-myself-as-not-so-perfect kind of humbly perfect. the kind of perfect where you are totally unaware of the sweet and calming and foible-prone-in-an-every-day-good-way kind of perfect that makes each reader aware of the same things sparkling inside them. the kind of perfect that doesn't care if it isn't all shiny. the kind of perfect that is real and true and not sought after. the kind of perfect where it makes sense to just keep striving to BE and to BE BETTER each day in all those necessary little ways. yeah. you are so perfect in all those perfectly good kind of ways, my friend. and you have enthusiastic, ribbistrating, wonder-filled, magical, find-perfect-in-a-moment, break-your-heart-with-tenderness perfection down...well, perfectly. i love you. peace, blessings and every joy of the season to you and your precious family.

  20. Image for Sue Sue

    Karianne. Joy to you and your family! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. We and the world are better due to you. Please let your zany wisdom continue to shine brightly! Cali-Sue

  21. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    You really are amazing!....but I know how you feel...I sometimes feel the same way! But you really are....amazing! Never stop being who you are. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  22. Image for Gail Gail

    If God had wanted boring, he would have made us all the same. He wanted beauty in all shapes and forms. He sees beauty in all shapes and forms. He loves all shapes and forms.. We are the ones who blur that love... Look in the mirror and KNOW that you were made as you are for the glory of GOD. CELEBRATE that love.

  23. Image for Donna Donna

    Karianne you ARE AMAZING! You give me so much inspiration and laughter with your wonderful stories. Don't ever doubt yourself you bring so much joy to others! Even though we've never met I look forward to your emails like I would from a dear friend (which I consider you as my dear friend ). May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a New Year filled with health and happiness and of course creative inspiration to share with all of us.❤Donna

  24. Image for Ruth Ruth

    Wishing you a Happy Christ filled Christmas and New Year. I love you. Thru your enthusiasm, your words and stories, and your Rock Star projects. Ruth in southeast Alabama

  25. Image for Cassandra E Cassandra E

    I'm so glad you shared this. I had an epiphany of sorts the other day. I was in a kind of hipster coffee place wearing my new (gifted to me) beautiful poncho. It's thick, of baby alpaca wool and a chunky cotton collar with a simple pattern down each side. It's gorgeous. There was another younger, "prettier" woman in a thin, plain grey poncho and all of a sudden I felt old and garish and over-poncho'd. I reflected on it, and realized if the ponchos had been reversed, I'd feel like mine was flimsy and hers was glorious. We're funny creatures. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  26. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    So beautifully said.....and so true! What a blessing you are to your readers - to be so open and honest and share so freely. Thank you for the reminder to stop and push "pause", especially during the busy holiday season, thank you for the encouragement to remember who we are and what we stand for....and just how wonderful we really are! Thanks for sharing yourself and your testimony....Merry Christmas, dear friend!!

  27. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I am trying to quote someone but I forget who so here goes: You are like no other so rejoice in that fact!!! Hope you and yours are having a Very Merry Christmas!!!

  28. Image for Parry Parry

    You are amazing! Not everyone can spill her soul in perfectly crafted words as if it's over a cup of coffee with a friend. You send that into our inboxes all year long - hope for what's next. All the best for a merry merry Christmas and wonder for 2016. <3

  29. Image for Julia Julia

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. You have brought a smile to this girl's face by your transparency! You truly are a masterpiece!

  30. Image for Patty O Patty O

    You are a perfect you! I will admit to feeling self-doubt as I read through your blogs and see your house. But...alas, I am self-proclaimed 'A Thankfully Imperfect Woman'. If you'd like to see my beautiful but always a bit imperfect house, you can check out the last in a string of blogs showing my Christmas decorated rooms: Merry Christmas to you and your family Karianne! From another imperfect admirer! Patty O

  31. Image for Colleen@Lilacdrivedesigns Colleen@Lilacdrivedesigns

    We all know that perfection is overrated and unachievable. Let's all embrace the amazing in each other every day. I show my amazing through art, crafting, creating, sharing kindness and a love of home décor, much like Karianne does as well. My brothers show their amazing through their music, both are such talented and amazing musicians. The world is one amazing collective of talent, skill and dreams, without which it would be so boring. I'm thankful for creative and talented writers like Karianne, and so happy she shares her heart and her life with all of us. Merry Christmas!

  32. Image for Peg Peg

    A little bit of joy, and wonderful, and uniqueness, and random, and character, show up in my mailbox every time I hear from you!! Wouldn't have it any other way!! Merry Christmas Norwegian princess!!

  33. Image for Patti Patti

    Karianne- You are a doll, so precious. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Never forget, you were "fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14

  34. Image for june june

    Feeling a bit overwhelmed this morning...entertaining in a few hours - just immediate family and grandma. But I started to let the perfectionism part of me show it's ugly head. So I grabbed two cookies and headed to the office to clear my head. What a blessing to open your post first in my emails and read your wonderful inspiration. You are an amazing woman Karianne and I love you for that. You inspire me every day to be me and to live in the moment and enjoy all that I have been blessed with. Blessings to you and your family this holiday season!

  35. Image for Debbie Esparza Debbie Esparza

    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family! Thank you for sharing from the heart, and yes, we all need to remember not to judge ourselves so harshly. You are truly amazing and I enjoy the time I spend with you.

  36. Image for Susan Susan

    I love you, my most amazing friend! Thank you for being such a joy to me every day, just as I am sure you are a joy to everyone you touch! Wishing amazing you and your amazing family the most amazing Christmas EVER! <3

  37. Image for Krista Krista

    I love your daring to be authentic & share your struggle with insecurities. As I read your words, I could so clearly see God saying to you, "But I created YOU to just be you". We are all perfect in His eyes. It doesn't matter what the world sees or thinks. He sent us the most wondrous gift & part of that lives inside of us. Embrace who God called you to be, be proud to let His light shine through. I see it, He does, too! :-)

  38. Image for Pat Pat

    Merry Christmas and thank you for being the extra special YOU that you are!♥ I look forward to the new year and all the wonderful things you'll have to share with each of us reading and enjoying your's the sunshine in my day!

  39. Image for Sherrie Sherrie

    I'm a faithful reader, and this is one of my favorites. I have no words of wisdom, but I'm so happy that you chose to share your gifts with others. That's all God asks us to do with the blessings we have been given. No hiding under a farmhouse bushel for you! "All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, so that the Lord, for all his love." Merry Christmas!

  40. Image for Fabian Fabian

    You just described lots of us! But know this, each morning I look forward to your amazing blog that makes my day start with a smile....happy holidays and thank you!!!

  41. Image for Sara D Sara D

    Amen! Brilliant spot on post as always Kari Anne. You are such a talented, beautiful person and I love reading your truths. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!!

  42. Image for Marie from The Interior Frugalista Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    Oh my gosh Karianne, this was a tissue box read! You do realize that this post was like opening a present on Christmas Eve. At least, it was to me and for that, I thank you Karianne. That table, in all its unique randomness, is beautiful and has loads of character - much like it's owner. Wishing you a Beautiful and Merry Christmas with the ones you hold near and dear to your heart!

  43. Image for Rosalie McCreary Rosalie McCreary

    It's because you are real Karianne as well as unique, funny, insightful, and park at an angle in this parallel world that I read your missive every day!!! Super Star that you are! I wish you and your wonderful family a Merry and Joyous Christmas!! And a healthy and prosperous New Year!!

  44. Image for Susan Susan

    I only read 2 blogs regularly, yours and MMS. I love how humbly and sweet you are. Jesus loves all those broken mismatched parts of our lives and makes us whole and beautiful. That's what your story made me think of. God Bless you and your family, love in Christ, Susan

  45. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    You, Kerianne, are amazing, and that's the truth!!! (Blthhhhhhhhh). Channeling a little Lily Tomlinson here!! I look forward every day to your words as they either make me laugh or make me think. You are a treasure. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family and a Happy 2016!! Cindy

  46. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Merry Christmas dear friend! Even though you don't know me, and I have never met you, I read your posts every morning while drinking my coffee (with vanilla almond milk) and feel like you are a dear friend.

  47. Image for Leona Leona

    And if I could push one would send to you a wish ............. [ * ] Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a thank you for all the stories, laughs, tears ,and ideas and inspiration. Hope Santa brings you more bobby pins and red lipstick .

  48. Image for Tricia Tricia

    ....... and you remind me so much of me! I never scroll past your blog - it is one of my favorites! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Image for gina gina

      Yes! So many times I smile because the posts reflect something I thought, said, or did! That's exactly why I feel so comfortable at Thistlewood Farms! You have made a home for you and your readers....and ...well...we are all probably a big family of misfits! Merry Christmas!

  49. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    And because you are exactly who God meant you to be, is the reason everybody loves YOU. For YOU. Thank you for following your heart, Miz karianne, and projecting it out there for any and all who choose to take it in! Merry Christmas, little one.

  50. Image for Donna Donna

    Greetings as many of us scurry around finishing up the last details of preparation. Thank you for reminding all of us to take a breath and not to expect perfection. We are all unique with special gifts, big and small. I know someone who could use a dose of Karianne's wisdom. Hopefully, she will find some courage and peace here. Yes, we understand but need reminders. Simple gifts of our presence (not presents) is what is most needed by all. Again, thanks. Wish you could teach a class with a healthy dose of self-worth thrown in for all to chew on. I would come.

  51. Image for Melanie Melanie

    Thank you! I really needed to hear that ! I am a self doughter also and want so badly to change. I will in the new year have more confidence in myself and remember your words! Thank you and MERRY CHRISTAMS FROM MY FAMILY TO YOURS !

  52. Image for Debra W Debra W

    Thank you for all that you are. "WONDERFUL." You are amazing and bring a smile and sunshine into my life every time I read your post. Keep on being the Wonderful that you are. Merry Christmas and God bless You and Yours.

  53. Image for stephanie bauling stephanie bauling

    Merry Christmas Karianne! Thank you for taking the time to share your are an amazing person, who is funny and creative....who makes me laugh and cry! Things you write are things we can all relate to about ourselves, our children and life! I read your blog and think "I wish I was your neighbor, because you would be so much fun to be around!" Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  54. Image for Sherry M Sherry M

    There are tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat after reading this. I had these same thoughts and felt what your words described today before I found your blog post. I can totally relate. You just made me feel better- thank you. What a gift.

  55. Image for Kathie Kathie

    You ARE amazing. I so enjoy your creativity, sense of humor and love of family. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  56. Image for david david

    A lovely wish and a good goal for me (master of the "well, that looks terrible" inner monologue) to keep in mind for 2016! Now if I could just find my red velvet pants....... Merry Christmas to you and yours and thanks for all the inspiration and the laughs over the year. David

  57. Image for Michelle B Michelle B

    Wishing you and your family the merriest of Christmases! Your blog never fails to bring a smile to my face. You are such a positive, happy influence on everyone who reads your blog. We all need reminding sometimes to slow down and appreciate all that we have. I think age brings with it a bit of realization that perfection and appearance are so fleeting and that the truly important things lie elsewhere. Cheers to you, KariAnne. I hope your holidays are as merry and bright as you! :)

  58. Image for Betsy Betsy

    All of the sudden, like magic, I am feeling very proud of the gifts I made with my own two hands. Thank you Karianne. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  59. Image for PJ PJ

    Karianne, your posts always make me feel as if I have had a wonderful visit with a dear friend. You may not be perfect, but I like you just the way you are (Billy Joel, anyone?). Best wishes for the happiest of holidays!

  60. Image for Velia Velia

    Karianne you inspire your readers with your candid and humorous writings. I think you are amazing.... Blessings to you and yours this Christmas season.

  61. Image for Leslie Leslie

    One of my favorite posts...ever! Thank you for always keeping it real and right where we all need to focus..❤️

  62. Image for Terri Terri

    Absolutely best Christmas post I've read...... Your words blessed me.... and reminded me of what "Real" is...... Thank you.... Blessings to you and your house!!!!!!

  63. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    I have just spent the last few minutes reading all the comments to you from all those above. There is nothing that I could add, that hasn't already been expressed. You are touching so many people with the good gifts that God has bestowed upon you. You are using your life to make the world a better place, one heart at a time. Perhaps your success is BECAUSE of your humility and "self-proclaimed" lack of perfection! Whatever it is, please don't change, we love the imperfect/perfect YOU. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy 2016!

  64. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    I just read your blog from December 24th and I needed it today. Your blog is the first thing I open to get my day started. I can depend on you to up lift my spirits, bring tears to my eyes and cause me to almost pee in my pants. May you never run out of red lipstick and funny stories. Thanks for being you!

  65. Image for Lisa @ Ruthie Bell Home Lisa @ Ruthie Bell Home

    Glad to know I am not alone in this! Anytime you put yourself out there and try to do something creative, you are essentially traveling in uncharted waters. I'm sure that is where all the good stuff is though. ;) That is a beautiful table also, btw!

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