I had considered postponing or even canceling this post in light of the great sadness that has occurred in Connecticut.  The holidays are a time to celebrate life.  So I see it fitting to post this in honor of the ones whose lives were so senselessly cut short.  

Happy Holidays! I am an unapologetic Holiday junkie. I can’t wait for the season to arrive and I decorate with abandon. The holiday season for me starts at Halloween and

findingourwaynow.comclimaxes on New-Years day. I love it all.

Just after Thanksgiving I start with my Christmas decorations. Somewhere along the line I had the good sense to hire someone to help me with the outside lights. Especially the ones I put around the roofline of our home. So there I was blazing away while the other homes remained dark, no matter. Generally, I am the only one in my Court to decorate outside, then slowly others will begin to follow.

findingourwaynow.com

Why do I do it? That is another story called “Of This I Know“. For me, if I am able, in some small way, to add a little joy or lift someone spirits with my decorations then I have achieved my goal. So what is the holiday spirit? Aside from the religious aspect, to me, it is a time of the year that we give ourselves permission to have some fun, spread some joy and to lay all our hurts, worries and frustrations aside for a time. We are bombarded with all the songs, phrases and events that help us to stay in the spirit, even when it seems hard at times. It can be a stressful time if we let it, but I simply choose not to let that happen. Instead, I like to make new memories adding to what I already have.

So, here is my story.

I was 5 and counting down the days that Santa would arrive. Time for me had seemed to slow to a crawl. I had memories of Christmas’s past, but this Christmas all my senses and observations were fully intact. That is when I fell in love with all the trappings that accompany the holidays. My family and I had just come back from the for towns Christmas parade where Santa findingourwaynow.comhad played a big part. I even had the opportunity to see and talk to him. For a five year old, it was the best thing EVER.

Shortly after that my brother and I had spent a great deal of time constructing a letter to Santa outlining all our wishes. My mom helped us, making sure it was sent out to the right address (#1, North Pole, Top Of The World), and we even went to the post office to Santa’s special mail box to make sure it was sent out in time for him to read. When we came back from mailing our letters, we made Christmas cookies, fudge and some other wonderful confections. It was the happiest of times. All was very well with the world.

The days between then a Christmas Eve seemed an eternity to me. When the eve of Santa’s visit had finally arrived. I was too excited even to think about sleep and was bound and determined to stay up to see him come down the chimney with our presents.

findingourwaynow.comMy parents had come up with a solution to get my brother, and I to sleep and appease our determination. In the home where we lived, there was a small sun porch that was adjacent to the fireplace with very large picture windows facing out to our front yard. It offered the best opportunity for us to see Santa’s approach and to hear him come down the chimney. My Dad had set up a place for my brother, and I to lay down. My Mom had given us some hot cocoa and cookies and had read “Twas The Night Before Christmas”. Mom and dad tucked us into our makeshift beds. It had just started to snow, and the moon was out just still visible. It was magical.

After a short time, against all our efforts, my brother and I had fallen asleep. Somewhere in the middle of the night I was awakened by a sound. I ACTUALLY heard something on the roof. It SOUNDED like sleigh bells, boots findingourwaynow.comon the roofs, foot falls and reindeer hooves. I was wide awake immediately and rushed out of my makeshift bed. I looked out the window, but it was snowing to hard for me to see anything. My little brother was following very close behind. When I rounded the corner from where we were sleeping I could see the lit tree and all the presents Santa had just delivered. My parent couldn’t help hearing us in the living room and made their way to us and to see what Santa had brought.

I will never know if what I heard was real or a dream. To me, it was very real indeed and something I have never forgotten. It was the most magical Christmas and one I still hold close to my heart.

Partly, because I had not understood that the driver of that feeling was internal not external. It took a long time before I finally got it, and now I hold on to it with all my heart. I findingourwaynow.comhave learned that the gift of that magic is something we give ourselves.

Now it’s your turn, what are some of your most cherished holiday memories?

Life’s journey continues…

PS: If you enjoyed this check some of my other stories, recipe and wine/winery reviews such as, A Girl Needs Her Dad, Eggs In A Cup and Ruffino Prosecco Sparkling Wine.  Enjoy.



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  • Wendy Merron

    Susan, what a lovely story! While I was reading it I think I got the same feeling inside of me too. These are the best feelings to elicit whenever we need a lift.
    Thank you!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thank you Wendy, I do love those felling too. They bring such happiness with them and hopefully to others that we share them with. Many Holiday wishes to you and yours. :-)

  • http://www.Empower2Go.com Martin Casper

    Cool story, Susan. I know that it is very gut-wrenching for all of us right now, but posts like this are heart-warming and cheerful. Thanks

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Thanks Martin, It really is. We must remember the living and that life does go on, as hard as that my seem at times. Happy Holidays, :-)

  • http://www.patricia-weber.com Patricia Weber

    Heart warming Susan. I have many fond memories of almost all holidays as I was growing up. Thanks for bringing up those memories for me with this one.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Patricia, It pleases me that I was able to do that for you at this time of year. Have the best of holidays ever my friend. :-)

  • Dan Meyers

    Susan – this is such a great story; I’m glad you shared it. I think one important part of remembering them is returning to a place where we can feel the joy that only a child can feel.

    Every year we loved to run out and see the new evidence of Santa’s visit which usually ranged from half eaten carrots and apples to one time when we even heard sleigh bells outside of our window!

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      How wonder to have those memories Dan. I believe that is truly what I love about this time of year. I have learned that adding to those special memories is so important. Happy Holidays my friend. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/m4bmarketing Susan Oakes

    Susan I love your story about your childhood and your home looks very festive. Christmas is bittersweet for me but as a close friend of mine now has a degenerative disease, all of us have decided to embrace our inner child, be happy and do silly things that make us laugh.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Oh Susan, I am so sorry to hear about your friend. Embracing your inner child seems like a very special thing to do. Creat some great memories and have a a great child like holiday my friend.

  • http://twitter.com/geekgirlusa Cheryl Therrien

    I love stories like these. Our minds give us those pleasant memories at that tender young age. What really happened doesn’t matter. It’s the memory that matters. :)

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      I absolutely agree. Cheryl. It’s the memories that are our true treasure. Without them life would feel so less full. Merry Christmas my friend. :)

  • http://twitter.com/artyyah A.K.Andrew

    Great story and my goodness your home looks lovely! Beautiful trees, never mind the decorations! it’s such a mixed thing for me the holidays these days. I’ve backed off doing so much shopping, in part through physical necessity, but also I think because it goes towards my feelings of what a materialist society we are- & I include myself in that description too. It’s just SO much money that is spent , that I wonder if it’s really all necessary. That said, for children, my goodness it is just the best time of the year, and I can remember being so upset when Christmas day was drawing to a close each year when I was little.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      HI A.K. Thank you. I understand that. We have made a decision to pair down our spending and share time with family and friends instead with food and fellowship. It has been a wonderful decision. I do love to see the bright wide eye looks on children’s faces at this time of year. I also remember the sadness when it all ended in January. Happy Holiday my dear friend. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/JeriWB Jeri Walker-Bickett

    Your story reminds me of the Easter when one of my sister’s friends (who were nine years older than me) went to great lengths to convince me the Easter Bunny was hopping around in the living room. That instance certainly made a magical impression on me that has lasted all these years. In little ways, we all need to look for those ways to bring the gift of magic into our lives.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jeri, That is so true. What a great story and memory. When we do that it makes for such great memories and experiences, doesn’t it? :-). Have a great Holiday this year with lots of newly created memories my friend. :-)

  • http://joannerambling.wordpress.com/ Jo-Anne

    What a great story I have many memories of being so excited I didn’t think I would be able to get to sleep but I did of course…….I remember waking in the morning and opening the door to the lounge room and having a peak at what Santa had left…..
    I love Christmas time as well I don’t do much decoration the outside of the house but I would love to do more I do like to decorate the inside of the house

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jo-Anne, We are kindred souls when it comes to the Holiday spirit. I say go for it with the decorations and have fun. Happy Holidays my good friend. :-)

  • John

    Wow! You really put your heart into the holiday season. It’s very uplifting to see so much enthusiasm. Thanks for those great pics of your home. It gives your post a more personal touch.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi John, What a nice thing to say, thank you. I have had a great time with my new found love for photography and it pleases me greatly that you enjoy what I have created. :-)

  • Jeannette Paladino

    Susan — lovely story and your Christmas tree is beaufiul. I, too, love Christmas and because I do a lot of decorating my friends seem to gravitate to my apartment. Most of them don’t decorate but they are happy that I do. This year is a little sad, because for the first time in memory, my brother won’t be having his four children and their children (who are now young adults) to a big and raucous get together. It was always so magical. I watched my nieces and nephews grow from infants to adulthood to parents themselves — but always home for the holidays. My brother and his wife will be moving to NC to be near two of their children and it’s transition time. Christmas won’t ever be quite the same.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi Jeannette, Ah, how life does change. I hope that this Christmas is still as joyous for you even with all the current changes. Happy Holidays and all that goes with it my good friend. :-)

  • John Barton

    Hi Susan

    What a wonderful story – it epitomizes the emotions we have at this time of year! I thoroughly enjoy Christmas and all that goes with it! It is great to know you.

    • http://findingourwaynow.com/ Susan Cooper

      Hi John, Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. It is also a pleasure to have gotten to know you as well. Happy Holidays my friend. :-)

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