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Well, I decided to get into it–the Christmas season, that is. Decorating has always been Charles’ domain and this year I dreaded even opening the boxes of lights and ornaments in the garage. But then I realized I didn’t want to surrender the holiday to feeling sorry for myself so I took a big breath and pulled out a small pre-lit tree for my kitchen window (that looks out on the street) and set out our little 35-year-old angel (do angels age?), a small tree and candles for the dining room table, and Charles’ Santa hat, which he wore during his years at Nordstrom as the greeter at the customer holiday breakfast.

Within minutes, my mood lifted and I was happy to be doing this bit of decorating in his memory and for my own pleasure whether anyone else sees it or not.

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Amazing how simply taking a step in the right direction can propel us to take the next and the next. And if we lag a bit along the way, all we need to do is call on the Lord for a hand up and there he is.

“My purpose is to give you life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10)

I’m feeling full again–and look forward to what God has for me in the coming months. There is a time for weeping and a time for laughing, as the Bible reminds us. I’m ready for some laughter as we celebrate the birth of Christ in a couple of weeks. I hope you will join me!

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‘Tis the Season — 24 Comments

  1. John 10:10 is one of my favorite verses. Fullness is what he desires for us and why he came to us as a babe in a manger and as God Immanuel. I’m smiling as I see the evidences of you stepping into that fullness and enjoying the remembrances and traditions you and Charles shared. Hugs to you, Karen!

    • Thank you, Jan. I’ve thought of you often. How is your health? I see you’re on staff for the ‘new’ MH Writers Conference. Wonderful! Have a blessed Christmas with your family and those dear ‘grands.’

  2. Charles would be so proud of you!! I know you will be blessed with friends and family this Christmas.
    May you be greatly blessed and comforted by the Lord also. I hope to see you soon after the first of the year.

  3. I am proud of you also!!! It does take a while to get used to doing these things ourselves! My Herb always went all out for Christmas decorations, putting lights around the six Royal Palm trees beside our driveway ( three on each side) and he had lights around the house, even had a speaker attached above the garage door to play Christmas carols when appropriate! He loved Christmas and so did I.Of course I still do but I am not able to do what he did!! I just have a lot of great memories ! I am blessed and Grateful for these!!
    Thank you, Dear, for sharing your thoughts and feelings and the ability to ‘go on’.
    Love, Margaret

    • Thank you, Margaret. It sounds like Charles and Herb would have had fun comparing their Christmas decorating skills!

    • Good for you, Janet. I admire you for decorating the outdoors. Maybe I’ll give that a try next year.

    • Thank you, Rebecca. And may you and your sweet family have a very happy and relaxing Christmas season.

  4. Gulp! Seeing his hat brought tears to my eyes. ๐Ÿ™ I love that you are lighting up the house in his memory and with hope for your future. Just what he would want and hoped you would do. I’m glad it brought you a lift too. You are a marvel.

    Love,
    Julie

    • Thank you, dear daughter. I’m gathering strength day by day with the grace of God, for sure.

  5. I understand. I too dreaded getting out the Christmas Decorations, as this is 1st year on my own in 10 years. I forced myself and within an hour or so was so happy to see the joy and brightness of Christmas as I celebrate the birth of our Lord. Also to remember that heaven promises to be better than any decorations we can ever imagine. Happy Christmas, may it be one of the best with happy memories of those that have gone before us.

    • Thank you, Lynn. I’ll be thinking of you, as well, this year and trust the Lord to bless you with sweet memories of Neil and your many Christmases together in the past.

  6. I’m glad you’re doing special things to honor Charles and that remind you of precious times together. You’re making good choices along this grief journey, Karen, and I applaud you. May you experience the fullness of joy during this Christmas season. You and Charles are both still celebrating the coming of the Christ-child.

  7. Thank you Karen!!

    Thank you for carrying on your Christmas decorating tradition, and not just for you but for the joy it brings to others–family, friends, and guests.

    One of the saddest things I see about getting older is when people get to a certain age and quit celebrating.(Not saying you’re at “that” age. Smile.) There are many valid reasons for not wanting to trim the tree or hang the mistletoe or set a festive table–things like the death of a loved one, illness, limited income, etc. But, celebrating holidays and special occasions(even in less lavish ways) helps keep the spirit alive–healthy, happy and hopeful.

    I think our loved ones would want us to keep celebrating and sharing in the joy of the season even when our health, hearts, and heads aren’t in it and we can’t do all that we use to do.

    Thanks for keeping the spirit alive…’Tis the Season!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!
    Smiles, BRC

  8. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Charles would be so proud of you for decorating your home for Christmas! It’s beautiful. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. What a great blog Karen. That idea of one step at a time is great. It’s what I’ve been trying to do. I understand how you feel about the one step propelling you to the next step. I guess it’s why we were born with two feet, one step at a time. My previous wife (ex, don’t like that word), and I gave up trying to reconcile. I pray that its ok to say this but it’s like a death. Like you, if I falter in my feelings or emotions and in my resolve, the Lord is there to pick me up. Then – I just take another step.

    Thanks for another relatable blog. It hit home and encouraged me. Merry Christmas Karen, and Happy New Year.

    • Thank you, dear friend. Jim, I do get how divorce is a kind of death. I’ve had both experiences now–divorce in my first marriage and now death in my second. But one thing I’ve learned–God truly is enough. I’m leaning on him more and more and I find he is there for me in the big decisions and in the small ones. I’m happy to know my blog encouraged you as yours always encourages me. Merry Christmas to you and a blessed new year.

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