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Decking the Halls at Chateau Brett

Welcome to December 2020! We made it! I’m not sure I have ever looked so forward to a New Year in my life, as many of us. No, I’m not expecting that on Jan. 1st the world will be shiny and new, but I am hoping the “vibes” are on the more positive than negative bent. But, before New Year’s, we all have Christmas!

Now, in the United States, Christmas tree farms are sold out, Christmas lights in stores are sold out, or just not available, and people put up their decorations as early as August, some earlier, all in an attempt to salvage some peace, and joy around the world.

We no longer have children at home, at least not this week, so the shine had already fallen a bit off the excitement of the season the last few years. There is nothing like riding the wave of the excitement of children during the season. Then right after Thanksgiving I got sick, no Covid-19, but it just drained the last dregs of what I had for positivity stores left. I was exhausted to the bone and couldn’t do “positive” anymore.

I am a follower of Becca Syme, who is a life coach that works with writers. She makes everyone take the CliftonStrengths test, which is based on 34 strengths that we all have, but really work best in a world where we can rely on our top 5 strengths. Positivity is not one of those, in fact I am very low in that strength, so going from March until now with the “It’s all going to be fine” mantra has worn on me.

So, when the need for a Christmas tree came up in my house this year, it landed on my husband’s shoulders. And in true form, he stepped up. Our tree has always been that gawdy aunt that wears too bright colors, and too much jewelry. Why? Because my husband has never been into Christmas, but the bright colored lights, with red, green, and gold garland, and enough ornaments to double the weight of the tree.

I have always wanted to have a simple green tree, with soft white lights and a minimal number of selective, well loved ornaments. While I was comatose on our couch my husband came home with a tree and 4 boxes of soft white Christmas lights and no garland. We brought up only two boxes of ornaments, don’t ask how many we actually have, and now it sits in our living room, more like the delicate, elegant great aunt prone to wearing a light understated sweater with just a little sparkle and a string of pearls.

I did make sure that there were certain ornaments that bring back memories. My husband pointed out that it doesn’t matter how bright and shiny your tree is if you can look at the things on the tree and have them bring back memories. Which I think is great.

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments, because they bring back a bunch of memories of when my girls were little, and I was young, and we didn’t have a global pandemic, or government crisis looming.

I especially love the two that announced my babies, because that was probably the first time, we had taken the time to really think about the fact that we had new humans in the world and that at some point we would get to see who they became. There wasn’t much sleep from 1999 through 2000 for us. Lol.

Then there is the angel carved from a Conch shell, that I got when we went to the Bahamas. It was the first trip out of the country for my husband and I and our girls, other than going to Canada. I loved watching the girls explore a new place and a different culture from their own. It would have been nice as a romantic getaway, but I think that it was even more fun getting to see it through their eyes.

The last ornament I am sharing reminds me of a friend, who gave me the ornament. She lost her battle with brain cancer in the spring of this year and because of Covid worries I didn't get to see her before she passed, so seeing this makes me think of her and it makes me smile.

I will admit that had my husband not taken on the task, we may not have had a tree this year, and though it is different from our normal holiday trimmings, it has brought me back to the importance of the season and it makes me remember what is really important. It was the shot in the arm that I needed to get over this bump.

I hope you all find the really important things in this year of the dumpster fire, and hold on to that, because the end is in sight! Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Next up we have Brenda Margriet and her decorations! I love seeing what other people do.

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