Find Joy in Holiday Imperfection

Driving yourself crazy to have the “perfect” Christmas?


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Just. Well. Stop.

Relax! Quit rushing around. Quit expecting magic from the busyness. Quit Over-Christmas-ing. Just let it be. Let this season be what it is. Afterall, it is what it is no matter how many presents you buy. It is what it is no matter how many trees you put up. This is a special, wonderful time of the year. Don’t demand perfection from it or yourself or your family.

This year, strive for imperfection.

In that vein. Well, I’ve been waiting to give you a house tour until my house was “picture perfect.” It is not finished. (Will it ever be?) And I know that even when it finally is finished, I’ll never have “picture perfection.” If you want to see a magazine farmhouse, it is easy enough. Go to Pinterest. You’ll see perfect white sofas and organized closets and kitchens with clean sinks. They are very nice and pretty. But that’s not where I live.

Come on into my house. It’s messy and crooked and lived in. It is imperfect. (As am I.)

This is the side porch, the entrance that everyone uses.

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This was decorated in about 10 minutes. Yeah, I see it now. The tree is crooked. Oh well!

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When you walk in the side door, you come into our…I don’t know exactly what this room is….it is where we eat when there are more than 4 people here. Yeah, I see it now. Something needs to be on the table. Like a table runner or a flower arrangement. Oh well!

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Hanging on the wall is the old tobacco basket I found in the barn. P1170092 (480x640)

We are still in the eating room here. This is the opposite wall. That mantel is an old one, from a family member’s house. That little stove is just a little electric heater. The EGGS sign is where I kept record of the eggs my chickens laid their first year. Oh this year? I have the same chickens but only get one egg every other day. They’ve molted and I don’t use artificial light, so they aren’t laying. And that’s a dulcimer that I’ve been meaning to learn to play. Yeah, I see it now. That garland is too heavy for the mantel. Oh well!

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Now, this is where we eat every day. I call this area our “breakfast” nook. It is the old kitchen. We put ventless gas logs in the fireplace. There was just no affordable way to fix the interior of the chimney or put a lining in. I don’t like ventless logs, but I do like them better than nothing. Oh, this room is imperfection. Loaded with it. It’s just a mess. But whatever. I’m still at a loss of what to do with it. Oh well!

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This is a simple hot chocolate bar I set up when some folks came over. It could look better. But oh well! The hot chocolate was delicious and appreciated. And that’s really what matters, right!

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OH NO! We interrupt this post to run outside! Farm life! One of my horses has escaped. Be back soon…..

Well, that took hours. My husband is out of town and it is raining. Our fence across the creek had washed out, so one of my horses crossed the creek and was grazing in an un-fenced hay field right beside the road. I ran out and caught him and walked him down the street, back to our pasture. I then started working on the fence problem. I found two posts and got them into the ground. Then I ran white electric fencing across the creek. It is not electrified, so you know what I did? I ran to the house and grabbed some plastic, dangley, shiny, Christmas party decorations on the line. I’m hoping these will scare the horses away. Horses hate freaky things like plastic bags. Surely they’ll hate shiny Christmas decorations. I got soaking wet, standing in the creek hanging Christmas ornaments from the white electric wire. And I was frozen! Cold water in my boots, wet socks, wet blue jeans, wet everything since I spent a long time in the creek. Even my under-roos got wet! (TMI?)  So. What a wild afternoon. And the funny thing? Just as I’m hanging the last decoration on the fence line, a friend and neighbor stopped by to see if he could help me do whatever I was doing. “What exactly are you doing?” he asked me. “Hanging Christmas decorations on this line so the horses won’t cross the creek…” You should have seen his face. He is a true farmer, raised in this type of country life. I’m just trying to get by. I’m sure he thought I was crazy. (probably true.) Believe me, I fully understand the entertainment value we provide to our community. Anyway, I came in, took a hot shower. And now I’m back to the tour. Let’s go.

Here is my new kitchen. I love this room. Are we finished with it? NOPE! I still haven’t decided on a backsplash. My favorite thing in here, I THINK, is my antique sink. The floors are wormy chestnut, as I’ve written about before. They may be my favorite thing. Oh, and the range. I love that range. Maybe it is my favorite thing. Okay, never mind. I don’t have a favorite. This is just a great kitchen. It is pretty perfect actually. Just not done. One day though—-after I get a backsplash and finally decorate it, I’ll give you a full tour. There are a couple of surprises in here that make it super fun. I should turn on all the lights in there and take another photo. I see that now. And maybe move the towels on the sink and that trash beside the sink. Oh well!

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And here’s my dining room, which I also love. So vintagey with that wall paper. This is the room that sold me on the house. I haven’t done a thing in here except to replace the light fixture.

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It has become my Santa room at Christmas. Here’s the other corner of the room.

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So that’s it.

Let’s see what’s happening outside.

The guys are taking a load of Christmas trees to a 18-wheeler truck. Maybe they are coming to a store near you? I can tell you this. They had a good life here. Everything is done by hand and very carefully. Bye-bye, Trees!

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So Merry Christmas season! My favorite bracelet, with a James Taylor song quote, applies to Christmas too. The secret of Christmas is indeed ENJOYING the passage of time. S~l~o~w d~o~w~n the Time and Enjoy. Can you do that this year?

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Wait. I have one more thing to share today, but it’s from my Sassy Soul-Horse, Merlin.

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Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl done moved to the Country, Rebekah


  1. Love, love, love the house! I could see myself kicking back with a cup of hot chocolate and looking out at the snow, or baking in that kitchen (and I don’t even bake as my family will tell you)! It’s perfect!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Barb, thank you! That kitchen has made me a better baker for sure. I’m pretty good at sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire too. Still waiting for this season’s first snowfall. Hope it comes soon!

  2. Brenda Towsley says:

    Thank you for the tour! Love your home! Looks like a home to live in not a show room, but still a home to enjoy looking at when visiting. Love your kitchen, every bit of it. My home is a modular. Always trying to give it some character. Wanted an older home like yours but the land is what the woodworker wanted and the house was there. I drag all the decor up and sometimes I drag a quarter of it back down because I feel like I am just spending to much time with it. More important things to do like spending time with grands and friends. Have a blessed imperfect holiday season!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Brenda, I miss you! How are you??
      Yes, this house has character, but no straight walls or floors….

      • Brenda Towsley says:

        Ahh, thanks for that Rebekah. That “I miss you” comment. Made my evening. We have been having some difficult months within our family. Things are starting to quiet down hopefully I can touch base with all my far away friends more often. Straight walls are over rated. lol.

        • Rebekah Teal says:

          so sorry to hear that times have been difficult. here’s to easier and better days ahead! (got to be, right!) thinking of you…

  3. Margaret Rohn says:

    Beautiful home. Love your Christmas trees in all the rooms. Why are you sorry there is nothing on the one table. At least it is not stacked with “stuff”. Most people have a hard time keeping a flat surface cleared off so that is a positive note.

    Have a Merry Christmas and give the horses a huge from a “Saddle Pal Gal” SPG.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Thank you, Margaret! I guess I gave the wrong impression on that table. I’ll have to take the 5th on what is usually has on it. 😉

  4. Dori Troutman says:


    I loved this. It is always my motto at Christmastime! And this year I am DETERMINED to make a quilt starting like, next week! 🙂

    I loved the house tour. And I’m ready for a personal visit! I think your farmhouse is company ready! Farmgirl bloggers here we come! 🙂

    I bet I know exactly what you were thinking in the freezing cold creek…. “NO SNAKES WILL BE IN THIS COLD WATER”!!!

    Big farmgirl hugs…

    – Dori –

  5. Ruth Ann Smith says:

    Oh Rebekah, I love your home. It is so cozy, warm, inviting and it looks lovely. Love a home that has the welcoming lived in feel. I so miss living in the country. Was raised living on a working farm and so miss chickens, horses, cows, pigs, etc. Until my friend gave up riding I would visit there and get my horse “fix”, but now that is gone. Living my country life through your posts. Thanks for sharing your lovely home.
    Merry Christmas!
    Ruth Ann

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      I love it here, Ruth Ann. We found a wonderful house on a wonderful farm in a wonderful community. Lucky, for sure. If I ever moved back to the city, my horse would have to come too. 🙂

  6. Debbie says:

    Happy December, Rebekah!
    I think I can… slow down and enjoy Christmas…I’ve been feeling the ” pinterest pressure ” too but I’m not giving in…! I have a couple of festive things I want to make to add to our holiday house dressings but keeping it simple and relaxes for sure… Your home is so darned charming and homey… Good for you and thanks for the reminder to not go crazy at Christmas… It’s so not worth it! Give Merlin a pat for me!

    Hugs from the beach farmgirl!

  7. Rebecca says:

    Beautiful. It all looks perfect to me….lived in and loved.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      At the house I had before this one, I used to say–we live here. It is not a museum. Sit on the chairs. Relax.
      This one just lends itself to that. I don’t have to say it anymore.

  8. Doris Hall says:

    Ohhh! You must be my “soul daughter”. I love all your post and especially this one. I am so imperfect. With 5 children, 13 grands and 3 great-grands all my imperfections make for a very cozy and fun filled place to be at Christmas (they love it). I wish you a Merry Christmas with much peace and many blessings to share.

  9. Dianne says:

    Rebekah: I love your words this time. So true. We use to have all our parents and friends for the holiday and now they have all passed. There is just hubby and me. We just have a quiet peaceful time. We don’t NEED anything and we are not techy. It gives us time to savor the spiritual side of Christmas. God Bless you and your family P.S. being a BIG JT fan. Did you make your bracelet?

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      No, Diane, I’m not crafty enough to make something like that. Someone on etsy made it for me. Love that song and those words.

  10. Reba says:

    Thank you for the “encouragement” of just letting things be not so “picture perfect.” I just bought a log home in the mountains of TN, my dream of almost 38 years. Even though it is a log home and absolutely beautiful, it is also on a farm. That is what drew me to it. It is NOT a log cabin in the mountains just to go to relax. We will LIVE here, every day, enjoying “the passage of time” and soon, hopefully, get some chickens, cows, etc. And yes, I have neighbors too that were “raised” living in this area. We seem to be entertainment for them as well, but in a friendly way. They have looked out for us, and warned us, so to speak, of bad weather and what to listen or look for and what to expect. I love this place already and am learning to relax and just be!!! I didn’t realize how “up tight” we lived until moving in to this area. There is always something to do…so no time to get “bored.” But when finished, it is a “good tired.” From a farmgirl in the country in a TN log home, have a Happy Chanukkah and a Blessed Christmas.

  11. denise says:

    loved the tour! and Merlin too!

  12. Bonnie ellis says:

    How delightful to see a true blue REAL lived in house not from a magazine. That’s the way my house is too. Really lived in. That’s why it’s not in a magazine. lol Thanks for sharing.

  13. Diane Van Horn says:

    Your house is so warm and inviting! No one really lives in those Pinterest perfect houses. You are so right about trying to make everything perfect, sometimes it is the imperfections that make the best memories or at least a few laughs. Enjoy your Christmas and give Merlin a cookie for me!

  14. Marilyn Collins says:

    The pictures are beautiful as is your house. You sure put a lot of work into Christmas. We do too. After all Christmas only comes once a year so we might as well make the most out of it. Thanks for sharing the photos and your house.
    Marilyn and Family

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      We love Christmas here, but we don’t really put a lot of work into decorating. It looks like we do? yay! We decorate the Christmas trees quickly, haphazardly, and lovingly. They always look good when we plug in the lights. Like magic! We pull decorations out of the attic and keep putting them up until it becomes work for us. Then we stop. Since we moved here, we have not put up ALL the decorations and Christmas stuff we have. (we have tons) (of course, having snakes in the attic just might have something to do with that! haha) I have always been the person who plays Christmas music all year long. Now that we live on a Christmas tree farm, we REALLY stay in the spirit 12 months a year.

  15. Beth says:

    Love the house tour – beautiful and lived in – Sorry, but I don’t think I’d make it pass that great porch, especially if I could watch Merlin from there! Love your posts. Have a Merry Christmas.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Merlin would like that! For you to sit on the porch and admire him. I do enjoy that porch. I can hear the chickens clucking and see the horses on the hill. And I have a view of our red barn there too. It is a favorite spot for coffee and tea.

  16. Rosemary says:

    Your post touched me so! Your home and farm are beautiful, warm, welcoming and down home, just like you!
    I have 8 kids. We have messes. A lot of them. All day long! When we have company, we clean like crazy, the dishes are all done and I always say our home looks “fake clean”. (Sigh)
    Oh well, we all desire clean homes, orderliness, etc. But, we live here. Plain and simple. I will embrace my imperfections this Christmas season and do my best. If someone comes knocking at my door and the house is a disaster, I will smile and offer them a warm cup of hospitality, just like you would. :). Merry Chrisrmas blessings …

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Thank you, Rosemary! I love the quote that goes something like–I keep my house like this so you will feel better about yours. 🙂 I enjoy visiting someone’s home when it feels lived in and cozy. Yes, let’s offer that cup of hospitality!

  17. Joan says:

    I’m not sure I have any more words of love for the tour – it is PERFECT just the way it is!!! And I can see why people would love to just stop in for a warm welcome. There is NOTHING out of place, crooked or a miss – no need to apologize for anything. You are special and all that you do. Merry Christmas and God bless.

  18. Pamela says:

    Oh, Rebekah! Your new kitchen just takes my breath away. Also, I am completely impressed that your Christmas decorations are up on December 1st. Not happening yet at this house. Love you!

  19. Denise says:

    Love your home. It looks like real life. Perfect imperfection :). Your kitchen is just fabulous too. I could live In there!
    Interestingly I’ve given away the idea of perfect Christmas this year too and am concentrating on living the spirit and really enjoying the season with the people I love. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I love the fun real perspective you keep writing on life. Very refreshing for my soul.

  20. Vivian Monroe says:

    Beautiful pic of Merlin, love love love the house. thanks for sharing. I just put up a backsplash, couldnt really decide either what I wanted, nothing just didnt jump out at me, then my husband had some old barnwood. voila, jumped out, so barnwood planks up, and then I have one of those ikea magenetic strip things that you put your knives on. I love it. 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas and I think your house is perfect, lived in and real. 🙂

  21. Jodie says:

    The kitchen!!! I love it!!!! I have been waiting and waiting fir the pics of the kitchen to see how you placed and used that beautiful sink and those floors!!!! What a gorgeous, beautiful kitchen! Well done! Your house is so cozy. Every room, nook and cranny. I so enjoy your house tours. Thank you for taking the time. As far as Christmas, I love simple. We put up a tree. I hang my Grams ornaments. We don’t buy but a few presents for the babe. We go to 1-2 festivities. And we call it good. And it is so magical. Enjoy your magical imperfection this year.

  22. Ruth Merritt- says:

    Hi, Beka – Just saw Elton John in Vegas (on t.v.) and was thinking of you. Of course I’ve loved your blog forever. It makes me miss you so much because if sounds just like you (well, it IS you) but, you know what I mean. Anyway, wishing all of you a Merry Christmas. Take care.



  23. Cindi says:

    You are living my dream!!! Oh boy, if I had that kitchen I would never leave it.. well, maybe to enjoy the porch. Or the dining room. Or to hang Christmas ornaments on the fence. Now there’s and excellent idea!!! Thank you. I will look at those not-so-perfect-but-will-do decorations of mine with different eyes now.

  24. Pamela deMarrais says:

    Rebekah, you have such a cool house! It shows how down to earth you are. Your house is a reflection of you, right down to the cocoa station for your guests…. Some true Southern hospitality! Your kitchen is gorgeous, and I love the wormy chestnut floors. They bring history to a new space. Good job!
    Thank you for reminding me not to get too carried away with the holidays. It’s not about what’s under the tree, but who surrounds it.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family…. And Merlin!

  25. Claudia says:

    I live in a house built in 1875. When I walk up the stairs to the second story, the grooves in the stair treads remind me of what I love about this home. The crooked walls, no closets, small cozy rooms, a peaceful heritage of days gone by. i love it will all my heart. It fills my soul with joy everytime I enter. What more can we ask for??? Merry Christmas.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Claudia, I love your words about your home. “peaceful heritage of days gone by.” “fills my soul with joy.” You are right. There is nothing like an old house. I’ve got those groves on the front steps too. Precious to me. I have lived in 3 houses that I built and then, this one. This one feels more like home than any of the others. I sure would like a decent closet though, now that you mention it. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  26. Robin in New Jersey says:

    You are so much fun! I *love* your kitchen! We are hoping to remodel our kitchen in the future and I will use yours as inspiration.

    Have a great day!

    PS. My first magazine came. The Christmas issue. SO excited! Thank you!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Thank you! I still have work to do in there, but ONE DAY I’ll be done! I’m glad you are enjoying MaryJanesFarm Magazine. I have to say-IT IS THE BEST!!! Ever! 🙂

  27. Susan says:

    Love your kitchen, even though its unfinished. Your house is very nice. One point..,,always measure from the ceiling before you hang a picture. ..its one tip i learned. I dont think theres anythibg oerfect about this life though, so why try. I say if your happy and healthy who cares wgat yoyr hoyse looks like. …enjoy tge adventure. .Merry Christmas and HAPPY New Year! Susan

  28. Susan says:

    Love your kitchen, even though its unfinished. Your house is very nice. One point..,,always measure from the ceiling before you hang a picture. ..its one tip i learned. I dont think theres anything perfect about this life though, so why try. I say if your happy and healthy who cares what your house looks like. …enjoy the adventure. .Merry Christmas and HAPPY New Year! Hope you don’t overdo it…enjoy Christmas. Susan

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