Random thoughts on a cold, sunny, almost Christmas morning:

1. Do you still want to be friends if I tell you I had Christmas cookies for breakfast this morning?

2. If you follow me on Instagram, be sure and check out my stories this morning.  I posted a live tour of the front of the house with the most beautiful sunshine on the planet.

3. If you are having a party and need fresh greenery?  Please do not stop, do not pass go and head directly to Trader Joe’s.  They had the most amazing Christmas greenery.  Seriously.  There are bundles full of different types of greens and when you open up the bundle there is so much more greenery in there than you expected.

4. If you in the DFW area, do you have any recommendations where we can donate our time as a family?  My kids are all home and everyone wanted to spend an afternoon together spreading a little Christmas cheer.

5. I am so happy right now.  My mother used to tell me her heart was happy when all her chicks were back in the nest.

I never understood what she meant.

Until now.

I always knew my mother was brilliant.


Enough randomness.

Let’s see what the internet has been up to this week.


We all need a little savings at Christmas.

Here are 24 thrifty Christmas decorating ideas.

This story about a tiny dollhouse.

And the best part?

The story is cute, but the decorations are even CUTER.

Love the simplicity and charm of this Christmas mantel.

And the brilliance of using a tree skirt to decorate it.

See the details here.

And if you ever wanted to make your own fresh wreath?

This is the tutorial for you.

Easy and simple.

Find the DIY here.


And in random news this week:

These super cute present toppers

Super cute photo wrapping ideas

This made me think

Great last-minute gift idea

This living room tour

Perfect dish to take to someone’s home for the holidays

This Christmas cottage tour I posted

This made me giggle

This Christmas house tour is truly beautiful

And this.

I almost cried when I read it.

Here’s a little Christmas message about what is truly important.

And one more for the road.

This is the game that my brother made for me a couple of Christmases ago.

But the story that goes with it?

It’s so much better.

Merry almost-Christmas to you.



Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Niki H. Blake Niki H. Blake

    HI there! Not sure if the shelter downtown is already full to serve Christmas dinner or breakfast...we did that one year. I know there are more....I'll think and try to let you know! Merry Christmas from Frisco!

  2. Image for Beth B. Beth B.

    Karianne: I have a suggestion on family project if you like it. The background is my Mom will be 95 in two weeks, and in a nursing home. She is Stage 5 Dementia with other complications. There are 7 stages for those that aren't familiar with how it slowly robs people of their memories. Nearly everyone there has various stages of Dementia and worse - Alziemers. Most all have additional complications, like strokes, or partially disabled due to falls that can no longer be repaired fragile bones, some with with the addition of Emphysema. Some of these patients are stuck in their rooms a lot. Kind of a mixture of issues. The worst of it is that many are forgotten by their own families! We are across town from you, but there are probably homes near you that also need some cheer. With no family member that checks on them, their just are just are always needs that Medicaid will not cover. A Medicaid patient is left with only $60/mo for essentials and it doesn't go far. They need things. Wheelchair covers, Wheelchair arm fleece covers, personal products like scented hand lotions, shower gels, new toothbrush, a new set of pajamas, socks that are skid proof, even alum cups with their names on them that can keep ice cold longer, wheelchair cup holder attachment. Some like aromatherapy type of gadgets that can fit on a lampshade to make their rooms and closets smell calming or even like Christmas. Most of the men like Flannel shirts, and transistor personal radios that they can listen to sports or news. Bird Feeders are sometimes popular for those that have windows and are bedridden. It is something to watch out their windows when the days are so long. The love wreaths with their names on or by their room door. Even their rooms decorated with something Christmas. Going in and doing something simple like reading a story to them and/or playing some background music, playing nearly any game with them even if it means helping them move the pieces. Just about anything to break up the day. Sometimes just talking to them helps. I've helped several ladies brush their teeth, and rubbed hand lotion on dry hands, and believe or not even this little thing makes them feel good, and is so helpful. Our facility has an angel tree, with a number. The number coincides with a room number/patient.. As of last night, there were still angels that have not been pulled. But if your family wants a project, this is one that gets forgotten or overlooked nearly every year, and these seniors so dearly need assistance and attention. I've pulled two angels off the tree to help out besides my own Mom. If you want to be involved this facility, email me. Those that have Medicaid/Alz designated halls are in the worst need. You can sponsor or adopt a resident for the day. It's amazing what a smile anyone can put on these faces and that in itself is rewarding. For everyone that reads your blog, consider helping a facility near you. It means the world to these who have forgotten who they are, and live in shell of what they once were. I know for the facility I'm helping our gifts have to be wrapped and delivered to the home by the 19th for the Christmas Luncheon on the 20th. The staff has asked the families that do come in to help in any way. Anyone interested in this type of suggestion, or needs other elderly suggestions, please let me know. These patients have been robbed of something dear. Their memories. Christmas is particularly hard for them when they have no family that shows up.

  3. Image for phyllis phyllis

    You can call any service organization and as for a family in need. You can then 'adopt" the family for the holiday, or a day or whatever. You could bring food and cook with them, make or take crafts, or decorate their house. You can find donations of clothes to suit that family. I think it's a great way to let one family know that someone cares for their specific needs and your kids would probably enjoy being actively involved. My classroom used to do it each year and the day we delivered the food and gifts (made by the class or donated) as well as a gift card for other necessities was the best field trip of the year. I didn't send the whole class, but everyone wrote notes, madecards and drew pictures. We went through the Salvation Army to get our family each year.

  4. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    A great family activity would be at Feed My Starving Children in Richardson. You spend 2 hours packing dry meals for children overseas. It’s fun and when done, there is prayer over the boxes to be shipped and you learn where they’ll be sent. It’s a wonderful charity!

  5. Image for Carol Carol

    Dear KariAnne, I'm still reeling from your Grandmother's nativity and am late in savoring your random ideas from today! Can I go back to Thanksgiving and tell you how grateful I am for all your stories, sad,funny, contemplative. I love them all!!! Thank you for YOU! But, was most surprised by your return note TO ME in response to your daughters success. this past week. You've made me feel like I'm one if those chicks, home for the holidays. Thank you for that!! And now am anxiously awaiting Christmas morning, hoping I recieve one of my most desired gifts....you latest book. More stories you have shared, as if we were holding an early morning coffee clutch, watching the sun rise and the house is still. Merry Christmas and God bless, Carol

  6. Image for june june

    I use to work for Meals On Wheels. Many homebound do not have families locally. Its probably to late for you to have background checks to deliver meals ... but what about following a driver on their route and singing Christmas Carols when they deliver. I have also taken my boys when they were young to sing carols while residents in assisted living and nursing homes enjoyed their meals.

  7. Image for nita nita

    Karianne, I guess I'm the only one who eats Christmas cookies for breakfast! And Christmas candy....lol....with a very hot cup of coffee!! Nothing as good early in the morning. My friends in the DFW area volunteered to put flags on the veterans graves this year and had a wonderful time and the kids really loved it.

  8. Image for Judi Judi

    You can always be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army during the holiday season. Call your local SA to find out when and where they need ringers!

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