Wreathing

Over the years we have made numerous Christmas decorations and wreaths. The wreaths are probably my favorite. This year we added two new ones.

The one on the right I had made about four years ago- Wreath Making on the Cheap. The Jack Skellington one was in the process of being made for a couple of years. Both are now hanging up on the doors to my wife’s office. Inside her office is a shrine to The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ll share that in a future blog.

The wreath on our front door was completed last week by yours truly. Since our home is going more “elegant” it required me to take the red and green off of it. This one has a bunch of “picks” that are gold, silver and white in colour. Honestly, these were small decorations that we had sitting in a box and saved for years. Now they have a purpose.

I’m a fan of making decorations and homemade ornaments and such. Last year two of my favorite pieces were made: Upcycles Boards.

Do you make your own Christmas Decorations? Let me see in the comments. I love being inspired by others.

Lights!

With the help of a friend today- our outside Christmas lights went up. I’m really happy with our new lights. I’m also glad that my friend Greg did the hard part.

I have a healthy fear of heights. Or rather a fear of falling from heights. Greg brought his harness and locked into the roof anchors. Afterwards he did tell me that it was kind of frosty in the one side and pushed his comfort zone as well.

I like the look of the lights. There is one spot that I’m going to correct tomorrow. Can you guess which location that is? It’s the one dark spot on the upper peak. That’s where the two strands of lights connect. I can leave it for the night. Because it’s cold and dark.

A big thank you again to Greg for his help. I probably wouldn’t have gotten the lights done without him. Now it’s starting to feel like Christmas.

Can You Ever Have Enough Christmas Decorations?

Boxes of Christmas decorations have exploded in my home. It isn’t until I begin bringing them out of the attic that I realize how much we have. It may be time to downsize some of the decorations. It took me a good half hour with help to get everything out. That doesn’t include our four artificial trees and those decorations!

Bins and boxes filled our dining room table as well as the floor space around. Opening each box contains a new surprise. Sometimes it’s exactly what I was expecting inside, but most often it contains the unknown.

Since we changed our colour theme last year to silver, gold and blue- we now have an abundance of red and green balls and baubles. Lucky for us, it should fit in nicely in our basement. Downstairs has more earthy brown tones as the colour scheme.

I have been working on some new layouts to keep it looking uncluttered. I also kept the same design of the garland from last year. Of course this means having some of our cutesy decorations needing a place to live. We have so many stuffed toys that come out for Christmas. As well as a growing collection of Nightmare Before Christmas trinkets.

My family is surprised that I am so far behind in decorating. Good thing I have a week of vacation to do the displays and set up the house just right.

Let’s get decorated!

Halloween Is Over

It took less than 30 minutes for me to pack up the Halloween decorations and put them back into the attic. And of course, I decided to bring some Christmas decor down. Specifically the one that has brought the family the most joy.

Creepy Santa has Returned. He came out of the attic the day after Halloween- knowing that his time to emerge and terrify was upon us. He immediately disappeared into his first hiding location. Waiting to be discovered.

The only other decoration that makes an appearance so soon is Timmy- our tin soldier. All year-round he sits in the corner of our outside front entryway underneath our security camera. Once Halloween is over- he gets turned to guard our entrance. I was thinking that I may move him to the upper balcony instead, so he can watch over the neighborhood. He is the perfect pop of color needed for our house.

Because the weather was so nice today, a part of me was almost ready to put up the outdoor Christmas lights. But some of my plans were changed around and the idea fell towards the back burner only to be ignored completely by sundown. Maybe it’s too soon for Christmas decorations. Hahaha.

Have you begun slowly Christmas decorating as well? Or do you bring everything out at once?

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Cheesy Goodness

It’s that time of year when rich foods fill you up and your brain becomes mushy. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is the time to overindulge and the have a reason for working out in January. I do the eating part. Not the workout part. Oftentimes I’m filling up on cheese. It gets tough to know when to stop.

We turned a meat and cheese charcuterie into a meal the other day. It was a lovely foray into the various cheeses that we know and love. Goat cheese (of all varieties) has become the most popular for this spread.

Sometimes we do a baked Brie that doesn’t last long either. But with all the other cheeses we bought, we didn’t pick one up this season. But tonight we will be having a cheese fondue. Normally that meal is saved for New Year’s Eve. But we moved it up a couple of days and plan on doing a “Deep Fry Fest” on December 31st. End the year with a greasy bang!

Do you get filled up on cheese during this week? Any favorite flavors that are a must have for the winter season?

Let me know in the comments.

Christmas Playtime

To me, Christmas is about having fun. Since I was a child, I always remember getting toys, puzzles and video games as gifts. On Christmas Day, and the days following, would be spent having fun. Living the dream of playtime!

Back in the early 80’s with my father.

My fondest memories of my father was at Christmas. That was when he would crouch down to my level and play with my toys and me on the floor. This was always the most father/son interactions we would have all year long. Those fleeting experiences meant the world to me.

When I became a father, I spent as much time with my kids as I could- not just on Christmas. We continue to have Family Movie Nights and video game time. Christmas is a little more special and we put in a few more hours of goofing off. This year, we played some UNO, finished a puzzle and got back to basics with some smack talk during Mario Party!

We accomplished these fun times because the teenagers are very helpful as they have grown older. Having teenagers help out with the chores and Preparing Meals means that we can all spend more time as a family relaxing and playing. Even though I miss when they were little, I can still look back on those memories with joy and happiness.

Christmas is the one time of the year that we would take a lot of pictures. This year we lacked any real family photos. Perhaps it was a bit the fact that our teens don’t like their pictures taken, and maybe also- we were trying to live in the moment a bit more. This winter break didn’t feel like Christmas at first and held a bit of depression in all of our hearts. But the tender and fun moments we had as a family helped bring the joy back and made for a good Christmas Day.

How did your Christmas feel this year?

A Beautiful White Christmas

Ten days ago I was hoping for A White Christmas. My wish came true. Waking up to seeing snow covering the ground, and still falling, brought joy to my heart.

Our oldest arrived early in the morning to join us. I was still in bed when they arrived. It was nice to see them talking with my wife by the window as the snow fell. First thing in the morning, we opened gifts as a family. That felt good as well, just being together again.

After gifts and breakfast were done, we all headed outside to see the snow. I brushed off our palm trees and the kids shoveled the driveway. It didn’t take long, so the two youngest grabbed the toboggan to enjoy the hill up our street. For a sled from the mid-60’s it has held up quite well.

Having a white Christmas in our new home helped to make it a special day. For the first time in almost 50 years, the house my wife’s father built is not in the family. Emotionally, this holiday season was going to be a tough one for all of us. But we had a lot of smiles and good laughs celebrating in our new home.

I hope everyone else had a good Christmas with family and friends. Be safe out there if you have to travel.

Getting Baked Before Christmas

Saturday my wife and I went all out and baked a bunch of cookies and treats. Normally we start baking at the start of December, but that also means the cookies are gone before Christmas Eve. This year, we have a bigger kitchen and better oven, so we worked cohesively in the kitchen.

We utilized the island to prepare the baked wares. Then used the stove top to allow the cookie sheets to cool, and the counter by the sink had the cooling racks to finish the job. Our sink was constantly filled and we washed up as we went.

We started at noon and finished baking by five. Although my wife pre-made and refrigerated a couple types of cookies ahead of time, we were still hopping in a busy kitchen. In the morning, my wife bought the elusive “Mint Chocolate Chips” that we had been looking for since November.

So in the end of one day we made the following cookies:

Peanut Butter with peanut butter chip.

Double mint chocolate chip.

Butterscotch oatmeal.

Whipped shortbread.

Yuletide.

Gingersnaps.

And Rice Krispies Treats.

Before Christmas my wife has a few more cookies she wants to bake. Unfortunately I have to go to work, but coming home to fresh baked goodies is also a pleasure!

Are you done baking yet? How many different cookies do you make?

Starting Winter Break…With a Lockdown?

Today is the end of school for winter break. In previous years we have gone as a family to the latest Harry Potter, Star Wars or Marvel film on the Thursday prior. And as soon as we get home we would watch the Christmas classic- “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” We also had a Party for Solstice.

Today however, BC announced new restrictions for gatherings. FUCKSAKES. Even though many of us are vaccinated, wear masks, follow the rules- it seems our gatherings are to be limited. So instead of a big party with all our friends and their kids/ teens- we are inviting only five couples over to join us for light snacks. We are maximizing our friend time before that gets taken away.

Oh Instagram- you so funny!

It feels as if the joke is on us. About to start our third year of lockdowns and limitations is going to drive people crazy. I am going to try to just enjoy the holiday season and ignore the world. Closest friends- unite! But at a distance…

Frugal Christmases of Yore

When I first met my wife, I didn’t have much of anything to my name. A bed, an old stereo, a tv and a DVD player was pretty much it. We slowly began to acquire items from family friends. A couple couches, a deep freeze (which we still have to this day!) and some old dishes were sent our way. And we appreciated everything about it. That year, I chose to donate almost all of my Star Wars action figures to the needy. I kept a couple basic characters in hopes that one day we’d have a kid to pass them on to.

A couple years after marriage and our first kid was born in 2002. They were spoiled that year by everyone in the family because it was the first grandkid on either of our sides. Two years later and kid (grandkid) number 2 arrived and was equally spoiled. Same with our third who showed up two years after that. By this point I was still making a fairly low income and my wife was a stay at home mom doing her best to add extra income in any way possible. But my job at the time had one great perk.

I was a manager at a Chuck E. Cheese’s. I was in charge of ordering all those prizes on the back wall. My boss at the time told me I could always add an extra few toys for my family whenever I wanted. So I did. I accumulated these bigger ticket items throughout the year to stockpile for Christmas. My kids also got treated at least twice a week to dinners and unlimited games and small prizes. In their eyes- this dad had the greatest job ever!

Not everyone has loads of money to make the holidays “special”. Sometimes we rely on the kindness of those around us to make it feel better. I was not ashamed to thank family, friends and coworkers for their generosity. The joy I felt from their kindness far surpassed my need to go it alone.

If you see someone needing a hand, emotionally, financially, even spiritually- try and help out. I’ve been doing my part to “Pay it Forward” over the years.

Helping people financially isn’t always giving money. Sometimes it’s offering a home cooked meal, or helping them get better jobs, supporting their art, or buying their handmade wares. Getting that internal smile always made me feel good that someone out there cared. And in turn, I know they felt good as well.

Wanting A White Christmas With Family

Living in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia means we generally have rain for Christmas. It’s been a few years since snow has fallen on Christmas Day. But nature has been teasing this region a bit more this year than ever before.

A gentle dusting of snow occurred this past weekend. It was here and gone so quickly it felt like a bit of a let down.

I missed the snowfall at the start of December, but our son sent us this picture. Weather reports are teasing that snow on Christmas Day may happen. If it happens, I cannot wait to see the winter wonderland out our back windows. The best part about a White Christmas is staying inside bundled up and warm spending time with those whom you love.

I’m hoping all of our kids will be here for our first Christmas in this new house. But I’m not holding my breath for it. Our oldest has gone off on their own with little communication back to us. With a vagueness that only a 19 year old can possess- my wish for a White Christmas with family may only be half fulfilled. If it came down to it and I had a choice- I’d choose family over snow.

But I don’t get the choice, I just get to accept that what happens, happens…

Tree Time 2021

Having gone on vacation at the start of the month, it meant decorating the Christmas tree was a couple days later than normal. Yesterday was the only chance we had to get on it. So right after an early dinner, we decorated.

As is tradition in our home, we put on “The Wiggles: Yule Be Wiggling” and “Wiggly Wiggly Christmas” whilst we decorate the trees. This year old oldest didn’t join us, but Grandma sat in to watch the fun.

As is also tradition, my wife and I enjoyed some Fireball and Eggnog: aka FIRENOG. We discovered this drink from my wife’s brother a few years ago and it has loosened us up for the holiday season ever since then. As is another tradition- and ornament gets accidentally broken and put on display. This year, no one broke an ornament, instead one came out of the box broken. It always seems to be the red ones…

Our new nine foot tree looks great in our new home. I’d say it’s almost done. As I mentioned, our oldest was unable to join us, so my wife and I put up a few of their ornaments, but saved the rest in case they wanted to add them to the tree at a later date. If not, that’ll be okay as well since this tree carries all of the special ornaments given to the family members. My wife and I knew that one day those ornaments would find a new home wherever our kids move to.

We also finished off our kids tree. This holds all those handmade ones gathered up over the years. From preschool onward, as well as the fandom made ones (Star Wars, etc..) This tree will be one my wife and I will always put up. And finally is a tree in our master bedroom. That one will be decorated in a few days since my mother is using the room during her stay.

Did you decorate a tree or trees this year? Any movies, music, food or drink that you enjoy while doing so? Let me know in the comments.

Bear Creek Park Lights

Since moving from Langley and into Surrey, my wife and I have been doing our best to explore what this new city has to offer. One of the best things about Surrey is the parks. They are bountiful and beautifully maintained. There is a lot of green space to explore. Last night we wandered around Bear Creek Park and enjoyed the ambiance.

The City of Surrey had set up a walking path of Lights and Nature. Tickets are free and available at Bear Creek Park Lights. Currently they are set for 200 attendees every half hour. The event is currently scheduled to run from November 5th to the 19th.

The walk itself is about a half kilometer. Which took us about twenty minutes as we stopped for plenty of photos. It wasn’t busy mind you on a Tuesday night. Normally there are food trucks, but this year they said you could bring a snack, just take the trash with you as it is a park. I microwaved a couple bags of popcorn and we snacked as we wandered the park.

Overall, the experience was enjoyable and we had a good time. I’d recommend it to anyone for an evening out with family or friends.

Creepy Santa: Resurrection

We have a Christmas tradition where we hide a Santa statue in different locations. We do this to scare (and annoy) one another. Sometimes it’s a Revenge tactic and is very thought out. Most times, it’s not so clever.

Creepy was also the first Christmas decoration to escape the attic this year. He is on the loose and ready to shock us with his presence, not presents.

This year, Creepy Santa is starting to check out our new home; finding different spots to hide and provoke each of us. So far he has found a closet, the hallway, two bathrooms, and the living room. Nothing too out of the ordinary. I’m sure the fun will come as the season progresses and our family starts to get irate with Creepy S watching over us.

Interior Christmas Decorations 2021

Today we worked on decorating the inside of our home for Christmas. I know it’s early in the season, but we have a busy schedule until Christmas that we are utilizing the days off we have ahead of time. With a new home, it meant trying to find the feel for where everything will fit.

Previously in our other home I had made some Hand Made Decorations, specifically garland. The last house was a brick home and Eastern European in style. So I incorporated a red, green and gold theme in all of our decorations. I also had multicolored Christmas lights woven throughout. Today, I took it all apart to start over.

The family decided that our new colour scheme for the main floor was going to be silver, gold and blue. I saved all of the gold from the previous garland. I bought a bunch of shatterproof silver ornaments (read as plastic) to add to the garland strands. Much like before with the perfect amount of outdoor Christmas lights- I had the perfect amount of garland as well.

Hanging the garland above the windows and doors was time consuming but well worth it in the end. That aspect of our home looks elegant. We have been slowly putting out some of the other decorations, doing our best to make it feel natural. Having our teenagers help was great as well. They brought their own touches and opinions to the design.

We have an abundance of red and green ornaments. Next week we will be putting them on the outside of our home. Mostly on the wreaths and a tree. We will also add those multicolored lights to match the outside lights.

I love decorating for Christmas.

Jump Start The Christmas Decorating

Yesterday I was in the attic above the garage putting away the Halloween decorations. I figured that while I was up there I might as well bring down the Christmas decorations.

My wife happily dove into the boxes in order to see what we owned. We both sort of remember everything, but that was also laid out in our previous house. It was time to see how to create a new layout for our current home.

Today, I took advantage again of the break in the rain. Turns out the amount of exterior Christmas lights we had on our old place will fit nicely on our new home. Since we will be here for years to come, I thought it was best to add hooks and clips.

Before the night rolled in, I was able to get the majority of the lights up. There is one peak remaining to do. That is the highest and most terrifying one. I may have to “Phone a Friend” in order to get these last 25 lights put up. So far, my wife and I are enjoying the way it looks. Very festive and gingerbread-esque.

Are you ready to put up your outdoor lights for Christmas? Or do you just leave them up all year long?

No Harm In Asking

This evening my wife and I went out to buy an artificial 9 foot Christmas tree for our home. Michael’s Craft Store had one on sale for half price. Instead of $500 it was $250. We hit the store, browsed a bit, then grabbed the tag that told us to take it to the cashier in order to get the tree. When we got to the cashier, she scanned the tag, but when she called to get the tree was told that they were out of stock.

Our cashier offered to check other stores for us. So she called the next nearest one, but they were also out. She also looked online for us, but again, no luck. Defeated, my wife and I left the store. We took it upon ourselves to try calling around at some stores that maybe I could get to and run a few other errands tomorrow. Again, no luck. Everywhere was out of stock. But one store made me think about a solution because they had mentioned what happened there.

Why not buy the floor model? So I called the store we had just left and asked. Within minutes, I was told “Yes”. They were even going to pack it back in the box for me. FANTASTIC! I was back to the store shortly thereafter. I going to get the tree my wife and I wanted! No more hunting around.

As I was driving back, my wife suggested I ask for a discount since it was the floor model. Hey, no harm in asking? It got us the tree already. When I got to the store, the cashier who was helping me earlier and her manager were packing up the tree for me already. I thanked them and “Dad Joked” that they could set it up for me at home after. They agreed to do it if we fed them. Banter went well, so I threw in the question, “Since it’s the floor model, how about adding a discount?”

“No problem. How about 10%? I’ll take it off at the till.”

Boom! Discount applied! But it gets better…

The 20 year old manager was unable to figure out in his head what 10% off $249 was. So he said, “How about I do $200 for the tree instead? Will that work?”

Um, yeah. Thank you. Ill gladly take 20% instead. Today’s lesson: no harm in asking. And math isn’t everyone’s strong suit.

Christmas Tree Shenanigans

Today I went to Walmart. Woohoo! Seriously though, not a fan of Walmart… But I decided to get an extra box of Halloween Candy for Sunday night. Just in case. As I walked around, I noticed they have their Christmas stuff out already. I’m not offended by this. On November 1st, I’d be ready to decorate our home for the season if my wife would allow it!

I’m bothered more by the false advertising that comes from the picture on a box vs the actual item.

Look at these beautiful pre-lit Christmas trees for $99! They look full and ready to be decorated. What a deal! Walmart even put one out on display to showcase the changing led lights.

Sure looks like the picture. *Shrugs* More like a scrawny Charlie Brown tree. No amount of fluffing or bending of the branches could make it look full like it is on the box. This genuinely aggravated me and I’m not sure why. If you want the tree and saw that this is what it looks like, by all means have at it. But disappointment is the first word that comes to mind when I see it.

As with all things Walmart, you get what you pay for. And I saved $99 not buying this.

Ferrero Rocher

I’m not a huge chocolate eater. However, I have a guilty pleasure that only gets satisfied at Christmas.

Ferrero Rocher

And my wife spoils me with them each and every year. My stocking gets a few individual ones tossed in and I get a case of 48 all to myself as well.

I enjoy them so much that I made little wings for the ones to give our kids. It makes them look like “The Golden Snitch” from Harry Potter. I also received a Squishmallow toy last year and named it Ferrero.

There’s something delicious about those little Golden experiences that I just love. Do you enjoy Ferrero Rocher? Or do you have a different favorite chocolate that you indulge in at Christmas?

Christmas Day 2020

Our kids are much older now. In fact, we have late stage Teeanageritis. With a two year gap between all of them- 14,16,18. Someday soon they shall be adults. Spending Christmas with them is still important to my wife and I.

As with some traditions we have- first is always a picture in front of the living room door prior to entering and seeing what Santa left behind.

The first thing they get to open is their stockings. The stockings are mostly filled with toiletries and chocolates. A few little gifts hang out inside them next to a piece or two of fruit.

Second picture is in front of the tree. The anticipation of what comes next brings a certain childlike joy.

After a flurry of gift unwrapping and blurry photos, we are left with a large pile of paper trash.

For me, exhaustion kicks in by the end of the day. And a nap by the tree brings me joy. Even with a picture taken by my daughter with a staged toy on me.

All is well and done for the year.

Quiet Country Christmas Eve

After everything that happens at the start of the week, yesterday and today is relaxing.

We had a full afternoon yesterday of preparation of upcoming meals. This was followed by our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. The meal was had by candlelight and consisted of liver ball soup (yes, it is actually very tasty!) followed by schnitzel and potato salad.

After dinner was my yearly viewing of “A Christmas Story”. This has been my Christmas Eve movie of choice for decades now. Probably my favorite way to end Christmas Eve with the family before laying out the gifts for Christmas Morning.

Once the kids were off to bed, it was time to spread out the Christmas loot. After weeks (more like months) of Amazon orders, supporting small businesses, and creating handmade gifts- under our tree looked full once more. My wife and I worked hard at wrapping for weeks leading up to tonight. It was more challenging than usual because of the days of “off-site learning” the kids had.

But after all that has happened, here we are, about to begin Christmas Day. Merry Christmas one and all. May you celebrate quietly and happily as we do.

R2-Tree2

As I mentioned previously in Shattered Memories, we have numerous trees. One of which has the ornaments the kids have made over the years. We never really had a topper for it. Putting a Santa hat or a top hat on it to try and finish it.

This year, I 3D printed a new topper. It was a fun one based on my favorite fandom- Star Wars. I decided to paint it in traditional Christmas colours- red and green with a hint of dark gold.

Our middle daughter had been waiting for over a week to put the tree topper up. Each one of our kids gets to put the topper on a tree. We rotate which tree every year. The kids’ tree was hers this year.

Now it is completed. And looking good thanks to the 3D files from Mr Baddeley’s Printed Droid.

Happy Life Day everyone!

Christmas at Williams Park

Every year, Williams Park in Langley puts on a Christmas light display. This is the 30th year. Driving through the park is our yearly tradition. We try and view it the weekend before Christmas.

For an event that is done by volunteers, it is laid out almost the same every year. Which is great because I like that I can count on it being the same. It brings a familiarity to the holidays.

Because Covid restrictions have cancelled large gatherings- the park had more vehicles arrive last week than it could handle. So for us to see it this week, we signed up online for a time slot. I’m glad we did because the spaces are all taken for this final weekend of lights.

This isn’t one of those shows where you pay an exorbitant amount of money for an Instagramable experience; this is all done by volunteers and donated lights. At the end of the drive through the park, we donated some money- as we do every year.

Afterwards, we drive around the town and look for beautiful displays that people put up. It’s always a great family bonding time as we listen to Christmas songs and share stories of the past.

Twelve Days Until Christmas

The home stretch is within sight everyone! Only a dozen days remaining until Christmas. Normally I’m out spending money frivolously about this time. Snatching up items that I think would help to fill out the gift piles of my wife and family. Most of those gifts just end up tossed in a drawer or the back of a closet before becoming landfill waste. Not this year however.

This year I am doing my part and staying home as much as possible. I feel as though I’ve already done my part in supporting local businesses and picked up some items a few weeks back. So staying home (when not at work) is also doing my part to keep myself and others healthy. No need to aimlessly wander the mall or stores trying to spend money that I don’t overly have to spend.

I don’t mind being at home during these final days of the year either. I get to enjoy some quality time with the family playing games and watching movies. Or just contemplating life as I stare at the decorations on our trees: Remembering when or where we picked up an ornament or two. And sometimes letting the lights catch my gaze until my vision becomes fuzzy and I feel warm inside.

It’s nice to just calm down and chill out. I forgot how wonderful it can be.