Merry Christmas + Happy New Year

By Kate Riley December 24, 2012

Hello everyone, it’s Christmas Eve!  I love this day so much, each year we bake cookies for Santa and spend the evening hours with family, and then Matt and I wrap the Santa gifts after the children go off to bed for the next morning’s excitement .  My littlest kids are 6 and 8 and still true believers, so we squeeze every ounce of enjoyment we can from watching their faces as they unwrap gifts on Christmas morning. 

Christmas is a time to focus on what’s meaningful and the older I get, the more I want to surround myself with treasures in the form of books and art.  In this digital world where so much of what we consume is online, it’s nice to turn the real pages of books, and savor up close the brushstrokes of artists. 

Last month, I commissioned my very first painting when I spied this image on Pinterest.  I visited the artist’s Etsy shop and learned the painting was sold, but Karen was kind enough to repaint it for me again and now a 16 x 20” twin sits in my living room, awaiting a new frame. 

I love this painting for everything it represents.  It’s a glimmer of sunshine on a cold winter’s day.  It’s that light at the end of a long path and if you focus on it, and travel toward it step by step, you know you’ll eventually end up surrounded by its warmth.  Like in life.  I love the colors too, the medley of blues mixed with whites, a dash of lavender, and a dose of tangerine. 

karens fine art

For me, this painting also symbolic of this time of year as we turn the calendar to 2013.  It’s nice to reflect on the new opportunities for a fresh start that January brings.  Soon enough, the sunshine will melt the snow and we’ll be anticipating the blooms of spring.  Until then, I’m happy to enjoy winter for what it is, a period of dormancy.  

Nature teaches us a valuable lesson, that it’s important to rest in order to again bloom and grow, and to make the world beautiful once more.  It’s time to slow down and live in the moment, which is what I’ll be doing for the following eight days.

I’m taking this week off and will be back to blogging in the New Year.  You can find me over at Centsational Style, and I do have one roundup post scheduled here for later this week.  I’ll try to Instagram and Tweet a little, and I do enjoy Pinterest, but mostly I’m offline.  Resting.  Sleeping in.  Spending time with family and friends.  Becoming an Auntie again (my niece or nephew is due any minute!)   And taking a quick trip to the snowy mountains to appreciate this winter that will soon melt into spring.  

Thanks to all of you for taking time out of your busy lives to visit here from time to time, I’m so grateful each day for all of you!  Wishing you all the Merriest Christmas and a very Happy New Year.   I’ll be back on January 2nd. 

  kate signature image




  1. Merry Christmas, Kate! Even though I rarely comment, I love your blog and check it every day. Have a wonderful hibernation and a blessed 2013!

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Kate!! Have a wonderful time off and *see* you next year!

  3. I really like that painting, I usually am very fussy when it comes to art, but that one really pleases me. Have a good holiday and see you next year!

  4. From sunny Greece my warnest wishes for happiness and health to you and your family!
    Merry Christmas!!!

  5. Merry Christmas Kate! I have not posted in a while but please know that I still check in with you just about every day and love this CG world I stumbled upon…. I’ve been so busy with family life and turning 40 (threw myself a fab party this past weekend!!!) and now Christmas… I love this season more than ever. There are CG-inspired vignettes all around my house, no doubt worthy of their own blog posts!! I especially love my paper poinsettas I so beautifully made and attached to my bay leaf garland bannister… complete with sparkling white lights. They are perfect and somehow have upheld despite occasional ambushing from my young boys. In fact I hope to make more paper-flowers with my nieces today and maybe start a tradition of Christmas Day craft-making.

    Merry Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. You’ve become such a part of my life I should have mailed you a Christmas Card!!!

  6. Merry Christmas!

    Christmas is my favorite holiday! This day is filled with so much joy! Seeing children open their gifts and the joy on their faces. Families reuniting and stuffing their bellies. Decorations that bring the Christmas spirit alive. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

    Enjoy! ♥

  7. OMG! I have been spying a “pear” of hers for awhile! I think I will take the plunge. Good choice! Have a wonderful holiday and week off! You deserve it!

  8. I have loved, loved, LOVED her work on Etsy and I’m so glad she was able to do this for you! What a gorgeous piece!

    Glad you got away for Christmas and hope 2013 is wonderful and blessed for you!

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