• Anonymous

    Sometimes some memories can get in the way of enjoying life. I agree that it is up to us not let them stop us from finding joy.

    Did you take these pictures? If so you are one talented lady.

    Merry Christmas, HB

    • Hi HB, Thank you. It’s easy to hold on the some really bad memories. It is conversely much better when we let them go.

      Yes, the photographs are mine and of some of the decorations in and around our home. Thanks for such a nice complement. Happy Holidays to you too. 🙂

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  • Jon Jefferson

    Decorating in my house is a love hate relationship this time of year. My wife and kids are all raring to go but you can’t let them loose too soon. With my wife her excitement builds up so much that if we don’t open presents soon she gets bored. So it is up to me to get the timing right to balance everything (of course I am just the man so I have no real power here).

    • Hi Jon, I find that it’s that way for many. Man or not… LOL… good luck with keeping the balance in your home during this time. 🙂

  • Doreen Pendgracs

    Susan: I think that our enthusiasm for the holidays experiences the same ebb & flow as other things in our lives that take energy. Sometimes we have it, sometimes we don’t, and sometimes we can find it if we are encouraged.

    The holidays always make me think of my cousin, who was very good at showing love, being caring, and appreciating the good in every situation. She was dying of cancer and within days of losing her life … yet, when surveyed by hospital staff as to the quality of life she was feeling, she gave it a 10/10! I was stunned, as I sat by her bedside, knowing that she had so much pain that she had to be on a morphine drip, and that she had to be lifted with a hoist to go to the bathroom bc/ she couldn’t stand up any longer. But b/c of the care she felt from friends, family, and the hospital staff, she still gave her quality of life a 10/10 . What an inspiration to us all to appreciate the love and kindness in our lives.

    • Hi Doreen, It really is that way isn’t it. It’s funny how cathartic it was to just go for that year in memory of my friend.

      What an inspiration your cousin must have been to all around her. I was touch by your story. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂

  • Rebecca Rider

    Thanks for sharing this story! I love reading your posts – and it’s interesting the way the things we do can have a positive impact on others without our even realizing it!

    • Hi Rebecca, Thank so much… I just never know if others find what I write helpful or interesting. You made my day.

      How true that is. If never hadn’t approached me, I’m not sure how long it would have taken me to get back into the spirit. 🙂

  • Anne-Marie Kovacs

    I haven’t been decorating much for a few years now. Just the minimum really, mostly because I still have teens at home. I’m not sure what got me “turned off” from decorating. Certainly nothing significant like your story. Perhaps just fatigue, and, as you ask, who notices anyway? But, you are right, there is joy to be found in the season and definitely, decorating, does brighten the spirit. Thanks for the reminder. I will be putting up the tree and a few fun extras this year!

    • Hi Anne-Marie, I get that. Life is so hectic at times, it’s hard to add to an already busy schedule, especially at this time of year. Good luck with your decorating and have fun. 🙂

  • Elizabeth Scott

    Your story really touched my heart! I will admit that the last few years, I have been going through the motions. You made me realize how important it really is to let go of the hurts and worries and enjoy the time we have. I have young children still at home and I need to make memories before they are grown. Make traditions that they can pass on to their families. Thank you for the reminder that life is too short to let it pass by.

    • Hi Elizabeth, That absolutely true. Memories that are created stay with you for a lifetime. Have fun with it this year. I know I will. 🙂

  • One thing that struck me about your story Susan is your friend probably would not have wanted you to stop enjoying the season. That said people need to take time in their own way and now it looks like the right time for you. Having a close family member die on Christmas Eve brings all sorts of memories and like you now I decided to celebrate and remember the good times.

    • Hi Susan, Boy isn’t that the truth. There was a time it just didn’t feel right. Happy, now it does and I and so enjoying it, especially the fond memories I have of my friend. 🙂

  • Pat Ruppel

    Such a touching story with a powerful message. Thank you for reminding me that no matter whether holidays or everyday life, it’s attitude and what we make of it.
    You wrote a good one this time and touched my heart 🙂

    • Hi Pat. You touched mine with your kind words. It’s never easy to just let go of something like this. When we can, it is very freeing and cathartic. 🙂

  • You are again back to celebrating the holidays. I am glad about that. It might be a big realization for you that you were making many people happy. Think of the ways we touch other lives. Isn’t it amazing!

    • Hi Bindu, Thank you. It feels good to enjoy the holidays and remember my friend in the good times. I agree, it is amazing. 🙂

  • Wow, incredible story. It’s funny how we never really do anything that only affects us… it always impacts someone else whether we know it or not. Great reminder of what the holiday spirit is truly about.

    • Hi Dan, That is so very true. Sometimes the littlest things have the greatest impact.

  • John

    That’s a great story Susan and probably not easy to recall. I know for my mother it will not be a joyous time this year as she lost her husband and our father recently.
    It’s difficult to move on but eventually we create new memories and new traditions with other people. After all the holidays are about people.

    Have a Merry Christmas.

    • Hi John, I am so sorry for her and your loss. I do agree, but it isn’t always easy at times. Merry Christmas to you as well. 🙂

  • Liz

    I love seeing the homes all done up, but like you were, until recently, I don’t have it in me to deck the halls. It is my husband who has wanted the decorations up lately. Qu’el surprise! May your home be blessed with the spirit of love during this season! Hugs to you , Susan!

    • Hi Liz, Sometime it takes a nudge from someone else to get us there, doesn’t it? Much love and hugs back my friend.

  • Gina Baker

    I don’t know that I have anything specific… but holidays have just not been great for me in a long time- ever since my parents got divorced. However, my dad invited my mom this past Thanksgiving and things went pretty well. So hopefully it gets better. Lovely pictures, BTW.

    • Hi Gina, It can be that way at times. I am so glad that it appears the there is a healing of old wounds. Time has a way of doing that.

      Thanks, the pictures were fun to take and play with. 🙂

  • Lubna

    Thank you, Susan, for brightening up the life of those you come into contact with. Happy holidays.

    • Hi Lubna, What a very lovely thing to say. Thank you my friend and to you too. 🙂

  • Such a fantastic story Susan, and I’m very happy for you that you were able to change things around. Things do change for us over the years and eventually Christmases past are often haunted , as you said , by bittersweet memories. I don’t celebrate as much as I used to, but we have a small tree we usually get with some miniature ornaments we have kept from a very close friend of our who died over 20 yrs ago. But you have to live in the present, and which is not always easy. A truly moving story. I loved the photo’s too.

    • Hi A.K. Thanks and so am I. That is so true. In the end it was up to me to celebrate who my friend was. She would have never wanted me to stop doing what we both so loved doing together. In a strange way, by giving others pleasure I am honoring her memory. :).

      The photographs were fun for me. I took many more pictures then I showcases. Some may show up in future posts 🙂

  • John Barton

    “there will always be things that happen that can derail us. It is up to us to not allow that to happen.” Once again you get to the essence of emotion and don’t tell anyone but I shed a little tear when reading your blog. It was just a few words that got me going! I remember sadness and even some regrets but as you say “there will always be things that happen that can derail us. It is up to us to not allow that to happen.” Best wishes and happy memories. John

    • Hi John, Thanks John, Isn’t that the way? A few words can say volumes. My holiday wish for you that it is all that hope for and more. 🙂

  • claudiajustsaying

    I’m a quasi decorator hope I can follow your lead and get really in the spirit. I put up the tree and love it and I will be touring the White House at Christmas next week. Claudia

    • Hi Claudia, When we do something that gives us pleasure it infectious, isn’t it? I am so jealous, I would love to see the White House at this time of year. Have fun.

  • Your story reminds me of a friend who once told me she didn’t take down her Christmas tree until Easter. She was a single mom with four kids at the time and just couldn’t deal with the added stress of the holidays. It’s ironic that we often deal with strife by closing ourselves off to the things that can help bring us joy.

    • Hi Jeri, Why do you think we do that? Is it because we a think it’s easier? In reality it only makes it that much harder by making us more aware of what it is we are doing. I hope your holidays are full of joy and much fun, my friend. 🙂

  • Kelly Wade

    Wow, I can see how that would be incredibly difficult and make the season a little bit harder. It’s true though that sometimes your unaware of the effect your own actions have on others and that what you do can actually improve other’s lives, no matter how small. I really liked this story, thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hi Kelly, It has taken me awhile but I finally got there. :-). I know what you mean. It’s funny how that can happen from just the simplest conversation.

      Thanks you. It pleases me greatly that you enjoyed my story. 🙂

  • Adrienne Jones

    Lovely story. It’s always good to find out that someone appreciates our hard work, especially for something no one needs to do like decorating for the holidays. I’m glad that conversation helped you feel the spirit a bit more!

    • Hi Adrienne, Thank you. It really did help. Funny how that can works sometimes, huh. 🙂

  • Vikki

    It was a very touching story. Definitely carried the holiday spirit.

    • Thank Vicki, It really has. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing this story. It’s another example of how we influence other people’s lives even when we may not be aware we are doing it.

    • Hi Cheryl, That is so true. It is the simplest phrases that can have the greatest impact at times. 🙂

  • Susan — such a touching story. Of all my nearby friends, I’m the only one who puts up a tree and decorates. They are so appreciative when they come to my home. It brings me great joy. Right now I’m grumbling about all the work — about to decorate the tree and living room is filled with boxes. But when company arrives on Saturday it will be magical to share the holiday with the people I care about.

    • Hi Jeannette, I had to laugh because when I saw your comment I was doing and thinking exactly the same thing. But when my friends arrived their reaction was magical and it made it all worth the effort. Happy Holidays my friend. 🙂

  • Martin Casper

    Susan…this is a real thought provoking story. Thanks for sharing. Over the years, due to the commercialization of Christmas, I have become disillusioned with all aspects of Christmas. However, your authentic account of your story gives me this thought to bear…our influence is so powerful. Whether it is Christmas or no holiday at all, what we do really counts and can make the difference in someone else’s life. Thanks again.

    • Hi Martin, I love how you got the lesson. it isn’t so much about the season or time, it’s the spirit we carry into it. The simplest things we say and do can have profound impact on someone. Happy Holidays, 🙂

  • Anne

    Thank you Susan you have inspired me to put more effort into the Festive season than I usually do.

    • Hi Anne, You are so welcome and I hope your holidays are the best every this year. 🙂

  • Crack You Whip

    Actually, your posts brighten up my day! I stopped decorating years ago for the same reasons. I figured no one cared, why should I? Maybe one day I’ll stop being a grinch and get back into the spirit, but this does help.

    Always beautiful posts from you…

    • Hi my friend, I’m so glad I was able to brighten you day. When you’re ready and the spirit moves you you will have a great deal of fun. Happy Holidays, 🙂

  • I really enjoyed this post Susan. As you know from my previous posts I too have lost so much, but it is so nice to turn that devastation around and make happy memories.
    I’m so glad you decorated. It is funny how others can find so much happiness in something so simple 🙂

    • Hi Rebecca, We do have much in common, don’t we? It’s not always easy to see the good when a tragedy strikes, but time does help that.

      Me too, My neighbors have been so gracious with expressing their appreciation that is have warmed my heart. I feel my friend smiling done on me every time some says something. 🙂

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