Warm greetings from our cozy, little home to yours! I hope you are feeling healthy, warm, and safe on this final day of 2022.
Our family enjoyed a quiet Christmas celebration this year, spending lots of time together ~ time for reminiscing, sharing favorite Christmas memories, and exchanging heartfelt cards and gifts. We are a small family now, just my sweet dad, my loving husband, and me. This is our second Christmas without my dear mom, Darlene, and my brothers, Johnny and Jeff. We all agreed that although it looked like Christmas, sounded like Christmas, and tasted like Christmas… it just didn’t feel like Christmas for any of us this year. We could all deeply feel the presence of their absence. They will always live on in our hearts. Love is like that…
My heart was telling me to add some new holiday traditions this December. So, this year, I embraced an old-fashioned holiday tradition for the very first time ~ drying orange and apple slices.
As the fruit dried slowly in the oven, I savored lots creative time, die cutting and ink blending some dried citrus slices to use on handmade cards. Hot cocoa and Christmas cookies also inspired some special greeting cards. (It always tickles my fancy when art imitates life!)
Such simple pleasures! It was such fun to hang dried orange slices on our kitchen wreath, fill bowls with dried fruit, and to make a dried citrus garland for our pantry.
The ‘week between’ has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year. I cherish the time between Christmas and the New Year to make space in my days for quiet reflection and writing letters to faraway friends. I love adding birthdays and anniversaries to our special Celebrations wall calendar! I also spent many hours creating the pages in my new 2023 Self-Care bullet journal.
My husband had vacation time this week, so we enjoyed some walks in pretty places and a visit to the Christmas flower display at our nearby conservatory. The ‘week between’ is just perfect for walking hand-in-hand, dreaming together, and reminiscing!
Many years ago, my husband and I celebrated the Christmas season together in Paris. Many, many years ago, I celebrated Christmas and New Year’s with dear friends in Germany. The ‘week between’ is a wonderful time to share such special memories of faraway friends who have become our German family. For the past 45 years, I have always celebrated the New Year twice! With a video call at 5pm (Central Time), we can ring in the New Year in Germany with our dear friend. We sing Happy Birthday, as we enjoy the German fireworks celebration at midnight together from her balcony! “Same procedure as every year!”
Tonight we will honor our Irish roots in a new way! My husband and I will try a special New Year’s tradition from Ireland. Just before midnight, we will open our back door to ‘let the Old Year out.” Then we will open our front door at midnight to “let the New Year in.” It will be so nice to welcome 2023 from our front porch, greeting any neighbors we see outside!
Perhaps you might also be feeling ready to “Let the Old Year out.”
We can hold on to all of the blessings and precious memories…
as we open our hearts wide
for a more gentle, peaceful, New Year!
Throughout the year, I enjoy the wonderful words of the Irish poet, John O’Donohue.
His words during the ‘week between’ always call to my heart.
“As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.”
from: Bless the Space Between Us
John O’Donohuefrom: To Bless the Space Between Us
Wishing you a good start to the New Year, friends!
explore new possibilities,
and open your heart!