Gathering together and decking the halls – it’s the jolliest part of the holiday season, right? And boy, did we do that with gusto here at Weatherstone and in New York City! I’d host everything from elaborate seated dinners with a choir or a talented musician performing to cocktail parties for hundreds of guests adorned with an army of Christmas trees. The reason why? Well, I grew up with a feverish love of the Christmas (which I inherited from my beloved mom and grandmother), so no idea was too outlandish, no task too daunting – we truly did it ALL in the name of yuletide joy. The weeks leading up to those events would be an absolute frenzy of shopping, planning, decorating, wrapping, baking and making every inch of the house festive in EVERY way imaginable. How I will miss doing that with my mom this year. The memories of those extravagant, enthusiastic celebrations of my younger years are ones I still cherish to this day. Those holidays were truly a moment in time – ones for the books, as they say.
I adored those years and yet, if I am honest, I will admit, some were exhausting and I left the holidays depleted, run-down and in need of a rest (I often wondered what a quieter holiday would look like and was quite sure I’d never find out – little did I know).
Aside from the parties, the decorations were always lavish and plentiful! I’d use all my best china and flatware and incorporate an abundance of rich, vibrant, festive-colored flowers on my table in oversized gold antique urns. And boy, did we have sparkle to spare! I’d cover trees in the old-fashioned tinsel until branches were barely detectable, baby’s breath was sprayed en masse with glitter and lights twinkled all over the house. We’d have multiple trees with multiple themes, with no detail spared. I’d wake up during those years with glitter on my face and in my hair, ready to tackle another holiday endeavor! It was truly a wonderland.
Now we have arrived at Christmas 2020. With the pandemic surging around the world and people suffering and struggling to stay safe and care for their loved ones, we are left with a very different version of the holidays this year. This year, I am planning my Christmas rather tranquilly, from solitude, with deep gratitude in my heart. I have remained healthy and am so appreciative for the love and support I have experienced, especially in recent months. I want to celebrate this Christmas in a way that acknowledges all that is going on around the world as well as where I am at personally. And truthfully, as I get older, I admit that those Christmases of the past were likely going to evolve into something simpler regardless! So, I’m trying to find my way to a new sort of Christmas.
This year, I’ve decided to shift most of my decorating endeavors to the outside and go with a much simpler approach. Since we do not have children or grandchildren and we will not be entertaining indoors at all, we have decided to spread our holiday cheer outdoors and share our creative efforts with our neighbors and friends! In an effort to keep things uncomplicated and a bit more pared down, we decided to do only wreaths this year (now, I won’t tell you how many, or I may not seem as pared down as I claim to be!). We are hanging wreaths in every location we can find in an effort to bring the usual festive indoor décor to the outdoors (and the abundance of wreaths were a great way for me to support my local nursery). The property looks holiday-ready and sharing that joy with the outside world reminds me of a community that is still very much together, despite our sheltering in place.
Indoors, I am opting for a very simple and natural look. I am again using only wreaths, even on my tabletops, adorned with natural elements like apples, nuts and oranges, which are then decorated with candles. The simplicity of this look and the glow of the candles is just the right amount of festive for this Christmas, as well as a nod to traditions of the past. We may not have trees this year, but the wreaths still fill the room with that heavenly evergreen aroma!
This holiday season, I think the most important thing we may do is show kindness to ourselves and others. Do not feel the need to overcompensate in an effort to make this look like all the other holidays from your past because it simply will not and that’s more than OK. Be realistic. And give yourself a pass on anything that begins to feel like a stretch, emotionally and physically. Honor some traditions, but also consider what you have to offer others (and yourself) if you are not racing around, exhausting yourself and spending on all the extras. Take advantage of those quiet moments to reach out to loved ones. Or rest with a book and a cup of tea. Support your community. There are so many ways we can offer love and assistance to those in need right from our own homes without ever stepping foot outside the door. It’s the best way to remind others (and yourself) that we are not alone and that we are still capable of caring very deeply for each other, even from isolation. Rest, reflect and enjoy the very rare lack of physical movement at this time of year. It’s OK to just “be”, even if it’s Christmas. But most of all, remember, embrace the “different” of this holiday season and seek out moments of joy. There is always the potential to create our most memorable holiday moments, even now.
And lastly, find joy in the small moments. It was W.B. Yeats who said, “The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper”. Don’t let that magic of the holiday season pass you by!
Wishing you all peace, love and above all else, good health this holiday season!
In a time of world wide panic and sadness, how wonderful to return to natural beauty. As always, your creativity and panache shine through. Wishing you a blessed New Year. Lori Grodnick
Lori – thank you so much! It seemed like an appropriate year to stay grounded and simple. Hope you are your loved ones are all safe and well. Enjoy your holidays and continued strength in 2021!
Thank you, thank you for so beautifully sharing your thoughts! So much of what you said resonates deeply with me and it’s gratifying to know that these thoughts and feelings are shared by another. I like your idea of focusing especially this year on the outdoor decorating to share the ‘cheer’ and can only imagine how beautiful your efforts must be. Warm wishes to you and healing in 2021.
Evelyn – thank you so much! Yes – this was the perfect year to focus our efforts on the outdoors. We may be isolated day to day, but we are not alone and we want our community to know we are with them and we are thinking of them! I love what you said about healing in 2021 – may we all be able to begin that process. Until them, stay safe and stay well. Enjoy your holidays with your loved ones!
Always appreciate your perspective whether on the written page or in beautiful photographs. Hope to see a book by you on Christmas celebrations in the future……a holiday we we need to celebrate in spirit everyday. Blessings to you for a a Merry Christmas.
Patricia – Thank you so much. And I love that idea! I do adore Christmas, after all. Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy holiday!
Wise words. I wish that many had your perspective and empathy. Unfortunately on Instagram and in the media, with the privileged, that’s not what I witness- But simplicity, kindness, patience and gratitude for what is are all needed in this time of grief and deprivation. We are all the better for people like you.
Julie – I am humbled by your kind words. And I agree – there can be a lot of negativity out there. I am much more interested in how we can serve each other, lift each other up or perhaps offer some support or inspiration. If we are to get through this in one piece, we need to help each other!
Carolyne, what a beautiful post. This Christmas is different in so many ways, but there is absolutely joy to be found in the quiet beauty around us and enjoying the holiday at a less frenetic pace. Wishing you many Christmas blessings!
Laurie – there is something wonderful to be found in the calmness of it all. It gives us the time to take deep breaths, rest a little and focus on the ones we love, even if it must be virtually. This will be a memorable holiday regardless, so we must try to put a good face on it if we can. We are lucky to be well and able to do so! Enjoy your loved ones and have a very Merry Christmas!
I couldn’t agree more! Beautifully written! My library holds several of your books, maybe all? Thank you for this beautiful post. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Tammy – a very Merry Christmas (and happier new year) to you and your family as well! I’m humbled to occupy a section of your shelf. Enjoy your holiday and stay safe and well!
Merry Christmas 🎄Best wishes for a Happy,Healthy New Year 2021!
I have given you book sets as gift through the year’s. You talent is beyond word♥️
Jennifer – thank you so much – how kind of you! I’m flattered to have made your gift-giving list. A very Merry Christmas and Happy, healthy New Year to you as well.
You have…such a gift…for presenting beauty in so many chapters of life. What a wonderful life!! One has to just…look…our sunrise & sunsets here have entertained us with “such ethereal colors, shades, configurations.” Your home is…perfection. Heavens, how I, too, miss our glamorous galas…no holds barred. Yet, my pink clouds & pale blue water are mesmerizing…HAPPY TIMES!!
Franki – thank you so much! And I agree – sometimes all we need to do is step outside and take part in the grandest celebration of all. I have never felt as comforted and as humbled by nature as I do now. Keep talking those walks and staying strong and inspired! Wishing you all the best in the new year.
Yes, I think we are all working from a quieter place this year. 2020 has taught us to appreciate what we have and to reflect on our lives. But, at the same time, “we need a little Christmas, now” to get us through the end of the year. Best wishes to you, Carolyne, and to your loved ones. Thanks for bringing beauty to us all. Have a healthy, happy 2021.
Cynthia – A very happy, and most important, HEALTHY 2021 to you as well! “A little Christmas” can go a long way to bringing us joy and carrying us through to a new (and hopefully much better) year! So do all that makes you and your loved ones happy together! And have a wonderful holiday!
your blog captures my sentiments exactly! i love your sense of humor in it! Your use of color is not equaled by any one and i am reminded of one of the dresses that you designed which i was lucky enough to own..beautiful magenta and orange! Sending you wishes for all the best in the New year! J
Joyce – thank you for that memory! I do love those colors together still. Thank you so much for your kind words as well – design and working with color feeds my soul and makes me feel alive and well. It is my most uplifting endeavor during COVID. We all must find the things that inspire us to carry on and create beauty. Have a wonderful holiday!
Beautifully said, may you continue to cherish those great memories of the past, stay safe and well, and have a Merry Christmas and may the year 2021 bring us all health and love for one another!🎄
Maria – Thank you! Wishing you safety, good health and better times in 2021. May you and those you love have a very Merry Christmas this year!
Your simplified Christmas decorations are beautiful and serene – I love the way they look. I decorated much more simply this year too, and also didn’t put up my Christmas tree or the majority of my holiday items. Instead I have simple wreaths, poinsettias, and a select few favorite holiday trinkets here and there. I’m sure next year I’ll be back to fully decking the halls, but for now I’m enjoying this pared down, easygoing style and keeping my Christmas focus on baking, watching my favorite old holiday movies, and reading in front of the fire.
Wishing you a lovely, peaceful Christmas and a New Year filled with health, happiness, and all good things. Thanks for sharing your home and yourself with us. xoxo
Melissa – sounds like you’ve found the exact right balance during this stressful time. If you are reading by the far, you’ve done something right! Enjoy your pared-down decorating (accompanied by an easier clean-up) and be content with your lovely efforts. Wishing you and yours a wonderful, peaceful holiday season!
This is the season of love. Let us all learn from our life experiences, to better our knowledge to love. Love is the nourishment for our souls. May we all love ourselves best. We will be stronger to pay love forward.
Merry Christmas to You and Yours,
Connie – I couldn’t agree more! Self care is paramount at this time and the only way we may stay strong enough to help others around us and give them our love and support. The stress, worry and sadness can wreak havoc on our mental state and our immune system. We must carve out some time to rest and rejuvenate and treat ourselves well so we are up for this immense challenge. Staying well and spreading love honors those who struggled and lost. Hoping you find moment of peace and love this holiday season!
Dear Carolyne. Your words as always on the mark. Thank you for a year of inspiration and beauty. Merry Christmas and please take good care. H
Heather – thank you so much for those kind words! It’s been a tough year for so many. Hope you are staying safe and finding some joy in this holiday season! Wishing you and your loved ones all the best!
I have long admired your creativity and appreciation for all things beautiful. Thank you for sharing your Christmas joy during these strange days. I wish you a safe and happy holiday.
Strange days indeed (in the words of John Lennon, I believe)! Wishing you moments of joy and much peace during this holiday season.
Lovely commentary, dear Carolyne and so so appropriate. And …oh the photos – gorgeous and inspiring as always. It’s funny to think of you having no trees this year – funny because I hadn’t had one in years as we always spend Christmas @ The American Club Kohler WI – this would have our 26th year (not 26 times as there were a few missed) so I always did lots of festive decorating on mantles, tabletop and lots outdoors. But this was fun doing a tree again. I also love what you say about helping others without even necessarily leaving home. Just yesterday I got an email from Toys 4 Tots and in a matter of minutes was about to set up a recurring donation AND then I got a second email about their Toy Drive and was able to buy a toy to be sent out to a child in need. It was so easy and fulfilling. So thanks for mentioning that kind of ‘helping out’ that one can do so easily. Happiest of Holidays !
Kim – yes – it’s obviously a risk to be out and volunteering but so many organizations have made it very easy for us to participate and give with a couple of clicks. It’s brilliant! And it’s the heart of what the holiday is all about for me. I am sorry you are missing your annual Christmas gathering, and although this one will be memorable for some sad reasons, it still has the potential to be memorable in good ways too. The grace with which we handle this all helps propel us forward, until we are all safe. Until then, enjoy the holiday with loved ones!
I know it will be difficult at Christmas with the loss of your precious mother so my hope for you is that you are flooded with beautiful memories of your family and all the happy times
Peace Hope and Love
Thank you so much, Sally! It is a sad one for me for sure but for so many others as well. I am definitely trying to focus on all I have to be thankful for this wear. But you are right – the memories are warming my heart daily. Wishing you a merry and bright holiday season! Stay safe.
Another beautiful visit with you! Thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas with us. Your creativity and use of the gifts of nature is always inspiring. Each arrangement simple or complex reflects love of the things you work with! Stay well and have a blessed holiday season!
Thank you so much, Ann! Creating has been my lifeline during this pandemic. Stay safe and healthy and have a wonderful holiday season!
Your exquisite taste always lifts my spirits snd I thank you. This has been a year of such extraordinary pain and joy. My son finishes his radiation on the 23rd and it can not come soon enough for our family, but we are grateful for treatments and now a vaccine! My prayer is for the Holy Spirit to touch you and others grieving such losses with HIS LOVE,.JOY..COMFORT as only HE can do. Ann H. 🎄❤️🎄
Ann – I’m overjoyed that your son is finishing treatment. I’m sure it took immense bravery and strength to reach this point. I am sending my very best to all of you (and a virtual hug). Prayers that his health continues in a positive direction and my deepest wishes of love and peace for you all this holiday season! Stay safe!
Merry Christmas!! You are a special gift to our heart, mind, and soul — thank you!! Thinking of you…embracing your inspiration of the holidays, past and current…your mom and you, pups, flowers, events….thankful for your recovery …and you in our lives. May the joy and peace of this season lift you in the coming days…as you shine on!!
Honey – that almost brought a tear to my eye. Thanks you so much for those touching words! Wishing you love, peace and joy this holiday season.
I so enjoyed reading your post of Christmases past, your words of wisdom and your gorgeous photos. I also thank you for sharing about your mother in a recent post and know that you will miss her this Christmas. She was quite a lady! May you have a very Merry Christmas! Lots of love to you.
Jane – she was the best and will be missed beyond words this Christmas! But I still feel her Christmastime joy through some of our traditions and the of her memories keep me warm and content. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!
Your Grace, Class and Serenity shines thru in all you do.
I am thankful for all that God has gifted me with and so thankful for people like you who instill in us all the awareness to not think about everything we want but EVERYTHING WE HAVE. Your mother raised a wonderful woman and daughter.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year!🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄🍾🍾🪅🪅
Elaine – It must be something in the name, because much like my mom, Elaine, you too seem filled with gratitude! Thank you for those incredibly kind words – being her daughter was my favorite role in life. Wishing you a glorious Christmas. Stay positive and stay safe!
Beautiful pictures and words. Thank you! I send holiday greetings from Munich, Germany. We are unfortunately completely in lockdown. The last days have been grim and sad in my adopted magical city. Seeing your post was just lovely.
Maria – I’m so sorry to hear that. Stay strong and positive – there is hope that better times are ahead of us. But it’s incredibly difficult to remember that when there is this much suffering still. I hope you are able to find some peace in the solitude and moments of joy with those you love. Wishing you all the best and a warm, cozy Christmas!
And the same to you! Stay safe.
DEAR CAROLYNE, A MOST BEAUTIFUL POST IN EVERYWAY. THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!!! I HAVE ALMOST ALL OF YOUR WONDERFUL BOOKS AND HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THEIR BEAUTY I SO ENJOY.THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON. SENT WITH LOVE, PAMELA
Pamela – thank you! I am so happy the books are providing you with a much-needed distraction. We all need those these days! Wishing you a peaceful, joyful holiday season. Stay strong and be safe!
Health, Happiness and Peace Carolyne
Virginia – wishing you the same! Thank you so much!
I put my big tree on the front porch this year for everyone that passes by. I light it at dawn and dusk for a bit of sparkling light.
I had to remind myself that I had always loved Christmas. Today I’m baking cookies! Be safe be happy! Denise
Denise – that sounds beautiful! I agree – sometimes just going through the motions, even when we are sad, ignites a fire in is and we are reminded of the joys from the past. Happy baking!
Beautiful post but don’t forget He’s the reason for the season.
Thank you! A very Merry Christmas to you.
Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your beautiful Christmas parties from years gone by and the wonderful, yet pared down version for 2020. Ten years ago on Christmas Day my husband died, unexpectedly, while out walking on our ranch. Since then I haven’t had the same excitement about Christmas. Unfortunately, when I sold the ranch and moved to the city, all of my Christmas decorations so carefully saved since childhood disappeared. I have a handful of decorations friends have gifted me, and I set those out, but Christmas is just not the same other than I am grateful beyond words to still be here. Merry Christmas to you, Carolyne. xoxox, Brenda
Brenda – I am heartbroken to hear that story. I am so sorry for your loss. That is too much sadness to bear every year on a day that should bring everyone a little joy. But it tells me so very much about you when you say, “I am grateful beyond words to still be here”. For you to say that after the pain and loss you’ve endured lets me know that there is nothing you cannot handle and that’s rare and empowering. Losing your husband on Christmas and then all your decorations that you cherished officially gives you the absolute right to have that day be anything you want (or don’t want) it to be. Taking the pressure off of ourselves for things to look a certain way or to act happy when we are sad is a right of passage to getting older – we’ve experienced enough of the real stuff to leave the formalities behind. I hope this Christmas you have peace and moments to celebrate all your husband meant to you. That should be done surrounded by the decorations that make you happy or nothing at all if you chose. Wishing you the absolute best in 2021.
Carolyne, it was so wonderful to read your beautiful post! I know Thanksigving was a hard holiday for you, but it seems like you have found the true joy of the Christmas season & that is so heartwarming & affirming to read! Your mother raised a BEAUTIFUL daughter & woman, inside & out. I am sure she was always so very proud of you & of all that you accomplished, but I think she is especially proud of you now. What a dear, sincere & gracious lady you are & I feel privileged to “know” you through your blog & Instagram posts. I wish you, your pups & those whom you hold dear a most blessed Christmas with all the best in the New Year! 2021 just has to be better! Sending love & hugs to you & yours!
Kathy – thank you so much. That was such a heartwarming response and it means the world to me. I’m taking it one day of the time but you are right, the magic is creeping in a bit! Wishing you a little magic of your own this Christmas! We all need and deserve a little. Hope you and your loved ones stay safe and well! Best to you in 2021.
You are a rarity for sure! The talent of extravagant beautiful decorating and taste coupled with the same appreciation for the simplicity of life is a gift; one I have decided you were given by God but appreciated and developed by you.
I remember reading that Mario Buatta once said that the most beautifully decorated home he ever saw belonged to an elderly black woman in Mississippi. He walked into her simple cabin which was so clean it sparkled, saw African violets placed on the window sills, a perfectly made small bed with white crisp linens, and simple open shelves with linens folded perfectly and stems of flowers placed on the top of each stack. It was perfect simplicity and natural fragrance which made it so magnificent.
That story has stayed with me for many decades because as your article exemplified, it isn’t the amount or cost of decoration that makes a house lovely but rather the appreciation of the natural things around us and designing these with love. Thank you for reminding us of this truth. Happy holidays!
Eva – thank you so much for sharing that story! I loved it. There are so many times when less is more and attention to those small, thoughtful details is more impactful than a room just filled with things. It’s an art to be able to make an impact with simpler things. The more I live, the more I embrace that understated elegance! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and better times in 2021.
Your words are always so beautiful and inspiring. Your past and present Christmas decorations are such a joy to behold. I appreciate it must have been difficult to contemplate Christmas this year without your mother and to put this post together so thankyou for sharing. Wishing you peace, good health and happiness. Victoria .Adelaide, South Australia.
Victoria – thank you so much. I’m taking it one day at a time and acknowledging that each day is different. Gathering the photos and writing this post was a wonderful distraction for me as well as a time to reflect and reminisce. All your supportive comments have meant the world to me. Wishing you joy and peace in 2021.
I am also looking back at Christmases past and do miss the fanfare that we had on Christmas Eve, but this pandemic has taught me and so many others that health, family and community are the true gifts of the season. Thank you for expressing this sentiment as well; it’s needed now more than ever.
Your garlands and wreaths are lovely as I would expect Anything that can bring joy at this time is a gift to yourself and others. The photos are a nice reminder of finding that joy even when things seem less than cheery.
Let us hope for a tranquil New Year and a better 2021. Be safe and well.
Viffy – I believe that despite the struggle of the past year, we have all learned a lot. Taking care of loved ones, our community and ourselves and practicing gratitude daily has become a priority for us all. We are also very aware of our strengths and all we are capable of during difficult times. That is a gift. Wishing you moments of peace and joy this holiday season and a hopeful 2021!
Thank you for your wonderful blog, bringing “Christmas” to us each time we read it.
Your blog is always thoughtful, touching and beautiful, especially so during this year of sadness, fear and loss.
Merry Christmas, Carolyne, and all the very best for the New Year.
Deb – thank you so much for those kind words! Wishing you a calm, peaceful holiday season. May 2021 bring us all some new hope.
First of all, my sincere condolences on the loss of your mum – what a legacy she has left in you! And well done on paring down and doing what you want to do instead of what you feel you have to do!
While 2020 has been what the Queen might call an “annus horribilis” in many ways, it has been a gift in others. While also experiencing profound sorrow (my darling dad and a beloved rescue who became a therapy dog bringing joy to all he met), love expanded our family as our son got married (on the fly), all of our four girls are thriving (including one leaving London for her soon-to-be husband’s family house in Norfolk and discovering she is actually a country girl at heart) and I went ahead with the scheduled launch of a new gift business (interesting timing but going really well).
What we’re seeing is that people are finding even more joy in and appreciation and gratitude for their relationships, for what they have and for the amazing bounty of this country. They are spending more time outside and with those they love doing activities which can only be classified as “digital detox”, which is terrific.
The news is full of conflict and hate, so we’ve chosen not to watch. And when things seem a little overwhelming, we always remember that while we may not understand or like why things are as they are, God is always in control.
Warm wishes for a very blessed and Merry Christmas from Maine!
Susan – thank you for those words about my mom. You bring up a very valid point – that sometimes the unexpected bend in the road encourages us to make decisions we may have otherwise put off or dismissed altogether. It sounds like this pandemic is causing some shifts in your life that may bring you hope and positive results! There must be some silver linings because the suffering has been overwhelming. And congratulations on all that is happening in your family! Wishing you a holiday of togetherness and if that’s not possible, staying safe and enjoying the peace. Wishing you the best in 2021.
I run my GARDEN CLUBs INSTAGRAM thinking it would give JOY to the older ladies and YOUNGER who are stuck at home during this time!I have been posting ONLY WREATHS these past few days!They symbolize Friendship and HOPE did YOU KNOW THAT?!!
I cherish YOUR Latest BOOK still think its THE BEST TABLE TOP BOOK OUT THERE and really need to draw some inspiration from your arrangements!SO,happy to hear you are feeling FINE!!!
KEEP GOING……….SIMPLE OR GRAND I LOVE IT ALL!
Thanks so much! I did not know that wreaths signify friendship but I love that fact! I’m not sure if we can avoid getting a tree going forward but it was certainly a lovely option for this year and now you’ve added a layer of meaning to that choice of using all wreaths. Wishing you a peaceful, joyful holiday season. Stay safe!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Stay safe, be healthy and may your memories bring you comfort. I wish you every happiness and much love.
Jamie – the same to you! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!
Carolyne- Greetings from Missouri (St Louis Area)-Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and yours. Your beautiful decor is an inspiration! I used fresh greenery of cedar and juniper tied with tartan bows throughout the outside and inside of our home! We love it, I am spritzing often. How do you keep your fresh ? I started using fresh pine in early December and maybe a tad too early!I love that you photograph your beautiful work as well! You are a true artist and designer! Thank you for being such an inspiration in 2020. Peace and all good! Wendy Roylance Fink
Wendy – we spritz and lower the heat – in the past I always had nice warm sweaters on hand for the inevitable guest who found my home a little too chilly! I think many of us put our decorations up a little too early this year in an attempt to stay positive and start spreading cheer! Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas with hope for a better 2021!
Thank you so much for your lovely post regarding this most unusual Christmas and how we all arrived here. I too am familiar with the lavish, no holds barred, glorious Christmas celebrations of our recent past. This is not one of those Christmases.
I am an event floral designer here in Palm Beach. As I am sure you know, we have not had an event of any kind since March 13 when the severity of this virus was finally realized. Long planned wedding celebrations, charity galas, clubs, benevolent groups, small businesses, large hotels, cultural events,worship services, even Memorial services all came to grinding halt. Even my own daughter is being married at her home in Nashville tomorrow without fanfare, family or friends. The celebration must wait.
Here is the lesson that I have gleaned from this situation:
We all have been given a gift of time. Who noticed that until it was thrust in our faces by this unknown virus? I had not noticed over the past 20 plus years that my work had taken over my personal life, and I am sorry to say, I was running my family life like my business. A lot of forgiveness has been asked by me and given.
The time I would normally be using this time of year for club and private clients I have been blessed to have available for my family, friends and neighbors! Time for home cooked meals delivered to a dialysis patient, time for sacks of kibble delivered to a local big dog rescue facility ( because my 5 labs are all rescues) and time to make new family memories based upon the past but moving forward with joy and anticipation of the future unfolding before us.
Floral designer and 5 rescue labs?! You are certainly my kind of girl! Thank you for these beautiful, wise words. Your message is so well said. We have been given the gift of time – and for the first time in a long time we have been permitted to use it exactly how we want – to focus on the relationships and causes that truly mean the most to us. We women take on way too much in the name of, well, EVERYTHING and it can be seriously overwhelming. So it’s important to carry these COVID lessons with us as things start to return to what I imagine will be a new normal so we don’t go back to those impossible lives. You are brave to ask for forgiveness because that is an act of strength that will surely fortify any relationship (but it’s never easy to do). And you are a kind soul to your community. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding. Wishing you a warm, festive celebration in the future with beautiful flowers, I’m sure! Stay safe, carry on in kindness and best wishes in 2021!
I am so happy you posted these examples of the new normal. I will follow your examples – I am getting two wreaths one for outside, and one for the hall, I already have red ribbon, and many red candles- so thanks to you on a smaller scale I will decorate for Christmas.
Thank you, for keeping me wanting to live in a beautiful home.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year 2021.
Lillie – thank you for your sweet words! We all need a safe haven right now so a little beauty in our homes goes a long way. That can be as simple as a single wreath adorned with a glowing candle. Enjoy your pared-down holiday. Wishing you peace and joy!
I so appreciate everything of beauty that you share. Your sense of elegance is reflected everywhere. I hope you have a blessed Christmas and all the peace and joy to you in the new year. Surely 2021 will be much better !! Gramsie 🎄🎄
Diane – thank you so much! Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2021!
I couldn’t agree with you more. Holidays need not be extravagant and elaborate to be memorable and meaningful. Although I appreciate holiday bling as much as anyone and attending someone else’s bash can be great fun.
This year we made gifts to organizations that combat hunger and sponsored a needy family through our food pantry in lieu of gifts.
Our celebration will be small but no less loving and delicious. And we look forward to a time post pandemic when we can reunite with those we cherish again.
Karen – this pandemic has brought so much need to the forefront and I’m hoping that is one thing that remains long after this is over – communities coming together to help those who need it the most. Your work sounds essentially and fulfilling. Contributing to another family’s Christmas is truly what the holiday is all about. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!
Blessings! We had planned to go home to Kirksville! But due to the extreme weather forecast we have decided to stay home in sunny SARASOTA! My memories from Kirksville include your grandmother’s gift shop in Millard near the airport! I have the clear cookie jar I purchased years ago! The house was so charming with the attached gift shop! I remember the gift wrapping paper and ribbons in the shop! Your grandmother had beautiful taste in all the merchandise! The simple days from growing up in rural Missouri are so wonderful to revisit!
May God Bless you and comfort you! I also miss my mother and know how much you adorned your dear mother! We were blessed with wonderful mothers and grandmothers! Merry Christmas
Jana – we certainly were blessed with wonderful mothers. Thank you for those memories of the gift shop – you are quite right – the simple days and life in Missouri are some of my most cherished memories. This may be the perfect holiday to celebrate in the sun. I know you will miss Kirksville but Florida allows you to do so much outdoors. Enjoy your holiday and all my best to you and your family!
How beautifully put…this should be a contemplative time when we each count our blessings and reflect on times past. There’s hope on the horizon and God willing , we will be able to celebrate next year with wisdom and tremendous joy for all that we’ve endured this year.
Merry Christmas to you and yours and especially your long time staff.
Warm regards, Kathy
Kathy – so wonderful to hear from you! You are quite right – we will all emerge from this much wiser and deeply appreciative of the everyday moments we may have taken for granted. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday! All the best to you in 2021!
Wishing you a beautiful contemplative holiday. Your home and gardens are always elevating yet tranquil. So far I am appreciating the precious gift of time – and grateful that there is no reason to hurry – Here’s to 2021 and a new perspective for all…
Thank you for the beauty you create in the world – inspirational and joyous.
Sandra – putting a positive spin on all we have been through is the best way to keep going, I find. We all led quite a hectic life before this and I think this slower pace is teaching us a lot about what truly matters the most in our lives. Stay safe and be well!
Merry Christmas, and the very best to you in the New Year 2021.
Your message truly was endearing, full of hope, thank you for sharing.
Sandy – thank you! Wishing you all the best in 2021!
Carolyne, no need to publish this but the idea of you doing a Christmas book is such a great one! I can see it in my mind’s eye now. Floral arrangements, Christmas trees, holiday wrapped gifts – with your beautiful interiors, decorative antique tchotchkes, front porch decorations, table settings, fireplace mantels, etc, etc! You can include your incredible designs from Christmases past (the gold wreath against your red leather bound books is a knockout) along with some new ones.
There is something about Christmas that makes one want to embellish as a tribute to the birth of Love and Beauty. It is also full of hope as it comes at the coldest end of a long year.
I hope you will seriously consider this. I for one would be the first in line to purchase it!
I wish you a very happy and healthy year ahead.
Tracy – I love the idea and I do adore Christmas! I will certainly keep it in mind! Wishing you all the best in 2021. It can only get better, right?
Happy New Year Carolyne and a big thank you for sharing all the beauty with us no matter what the season. I always treasure your posts and ooh and ahh all throughout reading them. All the best to you and yours.
Susie – how kind of you! Thank you. Hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. Wishing you all the best!
Just divine !
Thank you so much, Isabelle. Enjoy the beauty of spring!