Take a minute to savor the season.

Finding those moments – it can be easy to speed through the holidays with all the “stuff” that has to get done.  So don’t be perfect.  What can you do to make it a meaningful time of year.  It often times is the little things.

The new decoration that found a place in our home.

The unexpected gift that is really useful.

Look around your home and find something that makes you smile.  I love to put out ALL my decorations at Christmas.  I have been collecting things for a long time and it is so fun to see so many memories – in new places.  I had to change it up a bit.

Putting up a tree this year after being unable to deal with the ornaments for 2 years was a big step for me.  I decided that the tree would have only white ornaments.  So many of the #1 teacher ornaments and sentimental ones are still in the box.  A few made it out.  I continued to use the starfish we got on a family trip to San Diego in 2006 for the top of the tree.  My husband and I lived in San Diego for 8 years in the beginning of our marriage so honoring that memory is special.

I made these special ornaments when I was a kid.  They came from a kit.  My boys always seemed as impressed as me to look at them each year so they found a spot under the t.v.

I have a thing about Nutcrackers.  I have collected them for years and I have quite a few nutcracker ornaments that went on the tree.  I especially remember going to Radio City Music Hall in NYC and getting the teddy bear nutcracker.  I have a snowman nutcracker I received from a student one year.  If every child I taught had given me a nutcracker I would now have about 1500 nutcrackers.  Wouldn’t that be fun!

I love all the ornaments of places that we visited as a couple or as a family.  They were always so fun to hand out on Christmas Eve and recall the fun adventures of the year.  I even have a memory book ornament that I write in each year to tell the highlights of the year.

This year I made a holiday memorial for Mike, my dad and our dog Lucky.  Those we loved and who are gone will be remembered.

Keeping some of the old traditions is important.  It can help you feel grounded to know where you came from and if loved ones are involved, it can make everyone feel connected.

Making new memories are fun.  Driving through neighborhoods to see the lights, taking a trip to a decorated garden or museum, going to or hosting a party – maybe seeing some live music.

I can help make the holiday better for someone in pain.  I know what it is like to be in pain during the holidays.  Making someone else smile, even for a little while, should be a goal for the holiday season.

Who needs some attention? Is there someone at work or in the neighborhood who has been going through a tough time?  What can you do to show compassion? That is the spirit.

I have been embracing the season this year.  I am happy that I am alive and that I have friends and family to celebrate with. I am blessed with a good job that I love and a home that I love and people in my life to love.  Love is all you need I believe someone sang.

Love and of course a little dog. That’s all we need.


At the age of 51 I unexpectedly became a widow. For the first 6 months after my husband died, I was in shock and numb. I journaled and with the help of friends, family and therapists was able to get back to living my old life, even if it is now very different. Before I was married, I had spent a semester in England and backpacked around Europe. My husband and I moved from New York to California for 8 years and started a family. Travelling took a back seat to raising a family and going to work everyday. Since the loss of my husband I have visited a lot of places with family and friends and took a solo trip to Thailand. I am enjoying sharing my stories and adventures as well as some of my insights to how I am traveling the path of being a widow. I hope to share my stories and adventures as well as some thoughts on being a middle aged widow. While I have some great experiences traveling to Thailand and cruising to Central America, some of my adventures involve a trip to see a Broadway show in nearby Manhattan and a shopping trip at Bed, Bath and Beyond. If I can inspire anyone to go out and continue to live a good life that would be my greatest accomplishment.

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6 Responses

  1. Leslie says:

    So happy your holidays are looking up this year! I can’t wait to see your lovely decorations in person.

  2. Just beautiful Merry Christmas! 🎄

  3. Rachel Casey says:

    Great ideas! Merry Christmas!

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