How Christmas Movies Gave Me Back My Holiday Spirit!
As I posted not too long ago,holiday traditions can be a challenge in the empty nest. All of our traditions are morphing and changing and turning into new ones. A new grandbaby is on the way, I’m leaving Christmas Day, Christmas won’t really be at our house this year, and I really wondered if there was any point in even decking the halls this year. And then, for some reason, I started watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Maybe because there wasn’t anything else on that night. Maybe I was tired of the stale news cycle, maybe I was tired of sad shows and cop shows and just downright ugliness in the world. Whatever the reason. I got caught up in the plot of one of the Christmas movies. Then another. Then another. (and yes, I know they’re all virtually the same movie, but with different actors, sometimes, but whatever). And before you know it, I felt the familiar joy well up in my heart, and that itch to festoon the house in ribbons and garland and tinsel and tradition. So that weekend after Thanksgiving I went to town. Actually, I may have done a bit before Thanksgiving. I used to be the Crazy Christmas Lady. Truly. There are numerous bins in our garage, in shelves built just for our Christmas collection of decor, lights, trees and well, stuff. Hallmark ornaments! Blown glass ornaments from Germany! Tons of Santas I used to collect. But I’m finding as the years pass, I’m becoming more sentimental, and tend to just want show off the pieces that have personal meaning and value to our family.
- There’s our very first Christmas ornaments, handmade by one of my husband’s first employees, back in 1982. Hand Beaded and light blue, there’s one for each of us. Christmas isn’t Christmas unless they’re on the tree. They’re still so pretty.
- This ornament picturing my Mom and Dad taken a couple of years before we lost them. I remember this Christmas Day so well, and am so glad we have these pictures to remember them by.
- This homemade ornament created by our talented daughter, Amanda.
- This giant Santa that has moved around with us, and always seems at home near the tree.
- This loved and worn Santa that my sister gave me when I was around 5 years old, and living in Finland.
- The vintage pink ornaments I found in my Mom and Dad’s attic, along with this sweet little Moppets musical angel from my childhood that was tucked safely away, and still plays perfectly! I mixed the old ornaments with newer ones, and love how they blend together.
- This old ceramic tree my Mom gave me years ago, that has graced many of the homes we’ve lived in. I remember thinking it was so cheesy when she gave it to me, but it’s ended up being one of my favorite things.
- This beautiful Santa my sister in law Teresa made me years ago when she was into ceramics. I just love it!
- And finally, the quilted stockings Mom made us in the early 90’s. I’ve changed out my ribbon and garland themes and colors over the years, but these stockings remain, no matter what else changes. They remind me of her, and all the Christmases that they’ve seen, filled to the brim with tiny treats, and lip balms and toothpaste, and socks, and perfume and ponytail holders and legos.
Just displaying all of those things brought me so much joy. It’s an eclectic collection of holiday memories through the decades we’ve been together. Who cares if nobody comes over to see? I will. My husband will. And they bring us joy in our empty nest. Memories and traditions and pieces of the past that we weave together with new memories and new grandbabies and happy wishes for us all. And that’s what’s needed right now!
And speaking of joy, the hubs and I enjoy the Magic Elf. You know the one I’m talking about right? The difference is, our Magic Elf, Bradley Sparkles, is extremely mischievous and has an adult sense of humor, since he visits adults. I’m not sure if he reports anything back to the North Pole about us. At least I hope he doesn’t. He just appeared this morning. I highly doubt I’ll be able to highlight any of his escapades and keep my untarnished reputation. Sorry.
Say hi to Bradley! (Caught him hanging out in a couple of spots in the closet this afternoon)
What brings you joy this season? Do you have treasured ornaments or decorations that remind you of the past? Or newer things that help you embrace the future? Share with me! I’d love to hear about your Christmas treasures and traditions.