Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library


Christmas Decor 2013 {In the Cafe}

For the past few weeks my family and I have hemmed and hawed over whether or not we were going to decorate for Christmas this year. The girls and I were saddened by the loss of nearly 20 years worth of ornaments and decorations.

You see, each year, while the kids were sleeping, I’d go to different stores and search for ornaments for each of them. Something that represented them: their interests, their personality, something funny that’d happened during the year. Then I’d take a marker and put their name and year on the bottom of the ornament.

My hope, my dream, was that each kid would take their box of ornaments to their new homes and begin new memories with their families. And they’d have stories to tell, laughs to share.

But much of that was lost in our move from Pennsylvania to Missouri. The rest we thought had been lost in transition from our rental home to our new home. Or so we thought….

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Miss 16 loves penguins. Every year, we try to get her something penguin related. And a hat tip to Katie, sometimes changing the perspective makes things look so different.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

When my son was a little boy, he used to like to take things apart and put them back together. I assumed someday he’d be a mechanic. In the Fall, he’ll begin his studies as an Engineering major.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

When Miss 18 was about 6 years old, she drew a big circle on a piece of paper, inside the big circle she drew seven little circles; when I asked her about it, she said: “The big circle is God and the little circles are us inside God.”

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

Miss 20 and I share many favorites, the biggest being the color purple. One year, I bought a little purple Christmas tree to put in my living room window. This year the tree will spend its final Christmas with me, next year, it’ll light up my daughter’s dorm room.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

This sweet little nativity set reminds me of the last Christmas pageant I was in when we lived in Colorado Springs…

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

I used to have an extensive collection African American Christmas dolls. They included Santas, carolers, angels, and a beautiful mobile doll in a red santa suit with a white seal. Believe it or not, collecting seasonal African American dolls is incredibly difficult.

Christmas Decor 2013 {Living Outside the Stacks}

And, most precious of all, a little macaroni Christmas tree. Its creator is long forgotten but the glitter lives on…

Thank you to the hubs for following his hunch and checking the box in the garage. No, we don’t have all of our decorations, but we have enough to begin anew.

I’m linking up with Katie at Creole Wisdom for Christmas Decor 2013. It’s her very first link up, join up if you can!

And Merry Christmas to all…

Daenel T


Throwback Thursday: If You’re Stressing Over Christmas, You’re Doing It Wrong {In the Cafe}

Originally posted: 9 December 2010

If You're Stressing Over Christmas, You're Doing It Wrong {Living Outside the Stacks}

The other day I was watching CNN and they were talking about how to soothe the guilt over not being able to give the number and types of gifts one would like to give this Christmas season and I was kind of thrown for a loop. I always thought Christmas was about celebrating the birth of the savior with the gifts being secondary (possibly even tertiary) on the list of importance.  Then I read an interesting post by Stefany on her blog To. Be. Thode. about how she and her husband want to refocus the meaning of Christmas from the secular to the religious by encouraging their children to choose 3 meaningful gifts rather than providing them with a list of “stuff” that they want.

What a brilliant idea!

Christmas has become so commercialized that the meaning {even if you don’t celebrate the Christian aspect of the holiday} has been lost.  I’m not sure I even understand why people feel the need to go into debt to celebrate this ONE DAY out of the year.  If you share your love with your family throughout the year shouldn’t that be enough?  And if your children are counting gifts, then it’s probably fair to say they may be a little ungrateful and you need to cut back until they can show a little appreciation.  Christmas is not supposed to be a time of angst and debt accumulation, it should be a time of celebration, joy and, dare I say, relaxation.  Seriously, if you’re stressing over Christmas, you’re doing it wrong.

Call us grinches if you like, but my husband and I don’t buy each other gifts nor do we buy for people over the age of 18.  Furthermore, we only buy what we can afford and we can only afford to pay for things with cash.  So you know what that means?  Our kids and grandchildren get meaningful gifts from us and we get the gift of appreciation from them.  For us, Christmas isn’t about how much money we spend or how much stuff we collect but about the joy we get from sharing the love that we have for each other and the knowledge that this holiday is about the greatest gift of all ~ God’s love.
Daenel T


December Photo A Day {Instagram}

Day 22: Decoration

Decoration {Living Outside the Stacks}

A Christmas ornament that I received during the ornament exchange for the ladies at might church. Right now it’s hanging on my door knob because we didn’t decorate this year. Lazy.

Day 23: Joy is _______

Day 23 Joy is hanging with my girls {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hanging with my daughters. They make me laugh like crazy. The boy is OK too. {from the vault}

Day 24: Tradition/Something I always do

Day 24 Tradition {Living Outside the Stacks}

I love grinding my own beans for my morning coffee. There’s something therapeutic about that whirring sound.

Day 25: Lunchtime

Day 25 Lunch {Living Outside the Stacks}

The girls and I decided to bake cookies on Christmas afternoon. They were, uh, edible. But we had a ton of fun. Notice the boy isn’t around for this either.

Day 26: Mess

Day 26 Mess

We woke up the day after Christmas to a beautiful mess…

Day 27: How I relax

Day 27 How I Relax {Living Outside the Stacks}

I relax with a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee. How else?

So that’s my week in review. Nothing super exciting, just a life that I thank God for every single day. How was your week?

Are you on Instagram? If you are, give me a shout out, I’m 4daenelt!

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