When life doesn’t feel festive

Christmas has been happening in our home since the day after Thanksgiving. First the music then the decorations and tree.

Bring me all the seasonal decorations and holiday plaid, the twinkling lights and glittery eye shadow that seems appropriate to wear even for school drop-off.

Yet with the joy and over-the-top festivity is an underlying sadness that comes and goes when least expected.

My mother died a long time ago. That first Christmas was devastatingly painful. So were the second, third and fourth.

It’s been 28 years and while Christmas is 98% joyous again, there are moments when I’m overcome with sadness. They’re fleeting and less frequent but still intense.

Today, a song triggered tears and then a smile. 

I was wondering when this wistful moment would happen. I embrace these moments because I want to miss my mother. This is part of loving and losing people.

When we decorated the tree, nestled at the bottom of the box were hand-made paper ornaments from when my mother was in grammar school. They made me smile and Daisy insisted on taking a picture.

Always, the highest ornament on our tree is an embroidered angel my mother made the year I was born. It’s my favorite and I like to imagine she was busy needle pointing away, while I napped, racing to finish by Christmas.

A few friends are going through some rough times and they’ve admitted to not feeling very festive this year.

I can relate, pretty sure we all can. 

Not every Christmas can be the best and most-over-the-top.  

It’s OK.

It’s OK to have a less festive season, to opt-out where possible, to commit to one less thing and cry or be sad more than usual.

We’re human. Life is happening. Christmas gets inserted and, well, the only way is through. One step at a time.

Today, I asked my husband for help wrapping presents.

This weekend, we re-arranged plans to lessen the pace.

Tomorrow, I’m going out with the girls, my husband is going out with the guys, and the children are going out with their g-parents. It’s a win-win all around.

All the while, my diffuser is misting Christmas Spirit + a relaxation blend because December 25th is hours away.

And it’s all going to be OK. Promise.

—  

Sarah and I both send love, happiness, and health to you and yours. 

Thank you for being here week after week and we’ll see you back here in January.

Until then,
Be well.
Stacey (+Sarah)

Podcast: Interview with Suzanne M. Klahr

In this episode, we get to know Suzanne Klahr. We talk about the big decision to build a career in the public sector on the heels of graduating from law school and what it means to be a CEO / wife and how this made her marriage stronger. We also discuss the magic of traveling with children and reinvention.

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Something We Love: Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies recipe 

Ina Garten is one of our favorite cooks. We have all of her cookbooks and eagerly await every Instagram post. This brownie recipe is OUTRAGEOUS and for serious chocolate lovers. For Christmas Eve, we bake a tray and when it’s fresh from the oven, gently press peppermint bark crumbles into the top. You’re welcome.

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