Random thoughts on a Christmas Eve morning:

1. Sending all the Christmas wishes and joy from our house to yours this weekend.

2. My favorite thing about this Christmas? It’s full of rest and joy and books and family.

3. I love all the bed-making advice from last week’s post. You all represented. And now? Can I ask you for an advice favor? I’m putting together wise words to kick off 2022.

Can you give me the best advice you would give me for the new year in the comments?

I’m going to compile it into a post for all of us (and I’ll give you credit).

4. We are heading out on a cruise after Christmas. I’ve never been on a cruise before and I ordered the cutest “cruise” dresses. They are colorful with tons of flowers.

5. It was an amazing week on the blog. We talked about:

And now?

Let’s see all the amazing things I found for us from around the web (including lots of recipes).

These are simple ideas for decorating for New Year’s Eve.

I love the idea of repurposing Christmas garland.

See that and seven other ideas here.

This beautiful Christmas table.

So many fun ideas.

You can see them here.

Hello breakfast.

Nice to meet you.

If you are looking for something for breakfast, these pecan sticky buns look so yummy.

See the recipe here.

And this cranberry fizz “mocktail.”

It’s the perfect addition to New Year’s Eve.

See the drink recipe here.


And in random news:

The best books of 2022

These yummy scones

7 decluttering tips

These snickerdoodles

These chocolate mint cookies

These journal prompts

This is perfect for breakfast

These DIY room sprays

How to preserve greenery the easy way

These german sour cream twists

And these.

I love these healthy food trends and I’m going to work on number two in 2022.

And one more for the road

This is the perfect craft to take you from now to Valentine’s Day.

See the how-to-here.

May your week be merry and bright and….


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


  1. Image for Kris Kris

    Merry Christmas, KariAnne! I'm currently surviving a blizzard by using a tried-and-true technique--baking. My Christmas cinnamon rolls are rising in the oven as I type this. Thank you for all you do to brighten our days. As far as advice .... I'm not great at that, but I'll repeat something a friend told me during a difficult period in my life. "Be gentle with yourself".

  2. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy your cruise. I've never been either but I can live thru your adventure. Safe wishes, Happy Holidays and love across all the States you touch daily. God bless you Karianne. Wear those pretty dresses.

  3. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!! I love so many of the options you provide that look high end with affordable prices. But, I really wanted to tell you that I tried your Mom’s Cranberry Nutbread recipe and it is truly the best!! Thanks for sharing🎄🎄

  4. Image for Maureen Merrow Maureen Merrow

    Thank you for your uplifting posts. I've tried to live by the motto.." If it doesn't affect your family or your life, then don't stress over it" Merry Christmas to you and your family 🎄

  5. Image for Kristin Kristin

    Life . . . and people . . . aren't perfect; nor will they ever be. Things rarely go as was we dream or plan. Love what is and embrace the reality of the moment.

  6. Image for Pat Pat

    I know it’s difficult to change but you mention 2022 rather than 2023! 😂 Thanks for sharing all the goodies and Merry Christmas! 🎄

  7. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. Please ignore us for a couple days (maybe a week?) and have some family time. Hope you stay warm and with power during your big freeze.

  8. Image for Laura Ingalls Gunn Laura Ingalls Gunn

    The best advice I can give anyone in the new year is not to make resolutions, choose a word, withhold nourishment, or try to organize chaos. Because all these things tend to fall by the wayside very quickly. However if you practice gratitude in finding joy in the little and everyday things I promise you your life will change. In a good way, forever. KariAnne, I look forward to Thistlekeeping each week. I love how you shine the light on others. It fills my heart with joy. Thank you! See what I did there? Now both of us feel GREAT!

  9. Image for Polly Lunt Polly Lunt

    Loved our cruise! The food is wonderful...we started as passengers, and ended as cargo!! 😆 Fav advice is actually a quote I try to live by..."I don't think we find compassion. I think we become the space that compassion wants to live in"...Judith Hanson Lasater I shorten it to...be the space for compassion.

    1. Image for PJ PJ

      For those of you who love quotes, I highly recommend Susan Branch's book, Distilled Genius, which is a beautifully illustrated book of quotes.

  10. Image for Jo Jo

    Love reading your blog! Merry Christmas to you and your family & a happy new year 2023, KariAnne. 🎄🤶🎅🎄🤶🎅

  11. Image for Kim Kim

    Cruises are wonderful!! I've only been on one, to Bermuda, but it was fantastic. You're going to have so much fun!! As far as the New Year goes, everyone starts off with big resolutions and plans for change and they can feel overwhelming very quickly. So I always say just take one day at a time and be kind to yourself. Merry Christmas my friend!

  12. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Merry Christmas and thank you for all you do! Not quite sure what you want, but I’m taking the way I think you are asking for..when I use a big roll of tape, such as packing tape, when I’m done, I fold over a tiny bit, so next time I can find the end easily…or when filling a baggie with left overs, first fold baggie down a bit, then fill, most likely you won’t have any leftovers on the zip part of the bag to wipe off before you seal it..have a blessed new year..

  13. Image for Linda Primeaux Linda Primeaux

    I can only give you a prayer for the coming new year. A Prayer to Keep God First This New Year Dear God, Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you've allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day. We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts. We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you. We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground. We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways. We ask that you would keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a close walk with you. Forgive us for the times we have worked so hard to be self-sufficient, forgetting our need for you, living independent of your spirit. Forgive us for letting fear and worry control our minds, and for allowing pride and selfishness wreak havoc over our lives. Forgive us for not following your ways and for living distant from your presence. We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again. We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for your refreshing over us. Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been, hissing his lies and attacks our way, we trust that your voice speaks louder and stronger, as you remind us we are safe with you and your purposes and plans will not fail. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground. We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us; we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed. We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but to say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.” Help us to be known as great givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own. May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives - your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing. To you be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen. You KariAnn are HIS glorious child!

  14. Image for Valarie Sanford Valarie Sanford

    Merry Christmas and Bon Voyage Karianne! My advice: Major in the majors and minor in the minors. Blessings and happy new year!

  15. Image for Diana Diana

    Bless you and your family KariAnne throughout 2023. Have fun we will be here when you return waiting for stories and pics of all your adventures.

  16. Image for Darlene Darlene

    Merry Christmas to you and All your beautiful Family. Enjoy your cruise, you will love it. I will give you a quote that My Grandson said to me one day when I was watching them and helping them do some things to surprise their Mom. He said to me Grandma…..Just Breathe! He is a smart and funny young man now. God Bless us Everyone🎄🎄

  17. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Wishing you and yours a Blessed and Merry Christmas. May 2023 be filled with happiness,love and peace. Joan,Marion and Marilyn

  18. Image for carol cupp carol cupp

    Here is something I try to remember: 'Before I speak, I ask myself: Is it necessary, Is it true, is it kind, will it make a difference. Otherwise, I don't speak'

  19. Image for Olga Haberl Olga Haberl

    Have a wonderful time on the cruise. You'll love it! My advice: look for God's nuggets in every situation and season. Sometimes we have to look hard but He is faithful and will always provide. Merry Christmas! Thank you for all the 2022 content. I am looking forward to what you have for us in 2023.

  20. Image for Barb E Barb E

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful time on you cruise - personally I think it’s one of the best ways to vacation. Some advice I’d like to share: “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you.” And one more: “Love the people God gave you, because He will need them back one day.”

  21. Image for Nancy Brantley Nancy Brantley

    Wishing you A Merry Christmas and fun cruise trip. I've been once on a cruise because my husband wanted to go but I never intend to cruise again.....it was everything I thought it would be and less. Nothing on cruise ship interested me and the islands were what they are.....I perfer traveling around the world. Italy, Rome, Paris, etc.

  22. Image for Susan J Susan J

    Merry Christmas Kari Anne! I loved our cruise and keep wishing for another one anywhere!!! My words of wisdom are easy: “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” James 1:19

  23. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    My fav quote I learned recently from my elder daughter, and I am so happy to share it with you for your readers too: There is NO such thing as perfection. So, practice doesn't make perfect.....practice makes PROGRESS.

  24. Image for PJ PJ

    Merry Christmas, KariAnne! My two favorite pieces of advice are: "Comparison is the thief of joy" (not sure of the source) and "Give grace to your younger self." As an older person, I have learned to look back at the younger me and be less judgmental about the choices I made. This past week's storm brought down lots of sticks so I should have plenty of material to make that lovely twig wreath.

  25. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Give thanks to God and be thankful for everything that you have because they made you what you are today, and that's a pretty good thing!!!

  26. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    Merry Christmas to you and your precious family! My favorite advice: Anytime I find myself feeling envious of those with more, I turn around and look at those with less. This will lead to a prayer of gratitude and a desire to help others. A wonderful place to be.

  27. Image for Caryn Caryn

    Merry Christmas KariAnne!! Cruise advice here from someone who has cruised 9 times... Take an over-the-door shoe caddy and hang it on your bathroom door. It gives you LOTS of extra space (which cabins on cruises are very short on)! Also, hopefully you got a balcony--if not, just know they are worth the extra money. :-) If you can, arrive at your destination port a day ahead of time. It makes it so much more convenient and if you're flying in, you don't have to worry about missing your ship because of airline delays. Pack necessities in your carry on luggage. For 1 cruise, we flew to Hawaii but our luggage didn't. It took 3 days to get to us! Some cruise lines allow you to bring your own drinks--check. Keep your phone on airplane mode! HAVE FUN!!!

  28. Image for Karin Karin

    Merry Christmas KariAnne! We've been on several cruises and enjoyed them all! Have so much fun! There are two pieces of advice that I often think about. One was from our former pastor...he said to "Love Extravagantly, Forgive Graciously and Encourage Endlessly until His Kingdom fully comes!" The other one is from my very wise grandmother...she always said "don't meet trouble halfway - it can make the journey all by itself!"

  29. Image for Sally Sally

    The best advice I have received came from my older sister; "Never date anyone you wouldn't want to marry. You never know who you may fall in love with."

  30. Image for Peg Peg

    One of my favorite quotes is part of Desiderata: "If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." It's a good social media reminder! Enjoy the cruise!! xoxo

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