In the weeks ahead, we will warm our ovens, mix our casseroles and pies, and gather around the table. The newly-crisp mornings whisper that our homes will soon be filled with family.

Soon we will have guests coming to celebrate the seasons with us. And many of us will be decorating our homes for those Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. The Ever Thine Home® collection, created by Barbara Rainey, helps make these holidays meaningful as well as lovely. Here are six easy ways to beautify your home so your time with friends and family will be about more than the gathering.

1. Welcome well. Autumn is a special time of year when the crisp air sends us crunching over vibrant leaves to the coziness of indoor spaces. As we enter homes across the street and invite loved ones into ours, a warm welcome is key. But before you get out the dust cloths and buckets of Clorox, remember that true, meaningful hospitality is not about inviting people into your perfect home; it’s about inviting them into your imperfect heart.

Announce the gratitude of the season with the Give Thanks banner from Ever Thine Home® to create a natural, farmhouse feel to your front door. This subtle whisper of the gospel can be a reminder that an open home is simply the doorway to an open heart. Click here for ideas about how to use the banner.

2. Set the scene. Consider for a moment what story your home is telling. Milk-splattered walls and toy-scattered floors might tell tales of little giggles erupting from behind bouncing baby curls. Shoe-strewn doorways and teetering laundry towers might speak for a tired workweek just passed. Or you might have neatly swept walkways and crisp, clean sheets waiting on beds that guests will soon fill.

But there’s more of the story that needs to be told. In the midst of daily living, add something that centers your family on Christ and resets their attention to giving thanks. Here’s an easy way to get started—with Written & Remembered. As you and your family learn about gratitude from the read-aloud stories of faith heroes, write thankfulness postcards to practice giving thanks. Or you might choose to simply have each family member jot down one thankful thought each day throughout the month of November.

3. Craft conversation. Thanksgiving potlucks, elementary class Pilgrim parties, caroling choir concerts, Christmas cookie exchanges, and other holiday events offer countless reasons to grab a friend and get together. Don’t miss these opportunities to truly connect.

As you gather and are tempted to talk about this year’s hot toy on the market or that family member you’re dreading seeing at the holiday meal, take the time to go deeper. Offer to have the party at your house and use Untie Your Story to encourage your guests to share about gratitude.

Add a vintage feel to your table with these 12 muslin napkin ties. Loop each tie around a silverware serving set and get your guests talking. Each ribbon is imprinted with a question like, “What little things are you thankful for today?” or, “Name a person or event before your time for which you are thankful.” The questions invite heart-bonding conversations over ideas that really matter. Don’t miss your chance to spruce up your table and make these simple interactions worth something more!

4. Make the gift giving count. In the hurried blur of the holiday weeks, it’s easy to miss out on so much. Remember that even the smallest reminder that Christmas is about Jesus is important. In the already-hectic hours of shopping and gifting, choose a simple gift of beauty and truth to your holiday lists. AdoreHymns, honey-stained wooden ornaments each imprinted with lyrics and history of a classic Christmas hymn, are an easy, budget-friendly gift. Split up the eight-pack set to give a charming piece to neighbors, teachers, and community workers. These ovals fit perfectly into a Christmas card and are a nice touch tied on packages.

5. Trim with truth.In the magic of the Christmas season, remind your family why it’s such a sacred time of year. Focus your eyes on the One we celebrate so that you can turn your family’s hearts toward the Christ child. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate event or a cluttered conversation. It can be as simple as trimming your tree.

Adorenaments®: His Advent Names are-hand painted globe ornaments that display four names of Jesus. As your family decorates the tree, you’ll find easy conversation about who Jesus is through the free read-aloud book available for download that highlights each of Christ’s names. There are other sets of Adorenaments as well—all part of the Ever Thine Home Christmas Collection.

6. Worship the Babe in the manger. No home is complete without a spotlight on the real celebration of Christmas morning. Before the living room is cluttered with wads of paper, focus on Jesus. The He Came Near nativity can help your family remember what the day is all about.

Metal silhouette characters against a Bible verse-imprinted backdrop proclaim Jesus’ birth in front of a ruddy stable audience. Tarnish marks symbolize the roughness of the world into which He came, while the cream background declares the beauty and the purity of the Christ child. Display the nativity on your kitchen countertop or atop a piano or mantle for your guests to see.

No matter how much you do or don’t do in terms of holiday festivities, it’s okay! Each part, from the big surprises to the littlest details, is sacred when shared with a family focused on Christ. Make these moments in your home and holidays about Him and they will be worth remembering.

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