For over a decade I worked in the luxury design field and every year around Christmas time there were holiday show houses and charity events where the designers would hold nothing back to create the most beautiful displays for the Christmas season—Trees with baubles and sparkles, swags of fresh greenery festooned with handmade bows, every room dressed to the nines, dining and breakfast tables set for imaginary entertaining, and hundreds of perfectly wrapped packages that would make Santa’s elves go green with envy.
The sights, sounds and smells were magical! And though I enjoyed the ‘eye-candy’ and appreciated all of the creativity—I often left these events on a ‘sugar-high’ of the season’s pufferies and feeling disconnected to the real significance of Christmas.
As we begin to count down the days towards December 25th, I will do my share of simplified decorating as a way to mark the merriness of the season and I will be celebrating with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for my most precious gifts:
I was blessed with parents who loved and respected me. I was always important, seen and heard. They gave me the confidence and strength to go out into the world because I knew they were standing right behind me in case I stumbled. They modeled generosity, loyalty and commitment.
Tenacious, strong-willed and determined balanced by a friendly, supportive, “I’m there for you,” spirit—that’s my amazing younger sister. She’ll step out on the front line to stand up and defend you or throw on some work clothes and volunteer to help with whatever dirty work needs to be done. No questions asked…you need her, she’s there.
My husband is so comfortable in his own skin. He doesn’t compare himself to others or secretly long for what they have. He doesn’t get embroiled in other’s gossip or petty arguments. His loving influence has made me happier and more at peace. Every day I wake up to the joyful realization that I am his friend, wife and life partner.
My firstborn. My son with Aspergers Syndrome. Raising him is the most extraordinary journey. He has made me more accepting, patient, and understanding. He has helped me find my passion to support and advocate for him and those just like him. He doesn’t filter or concern himself with being anything but who he is. I admire his strength to put himself out into a world he doesn’t fully understand.
She was born with grace and an ‘old’ soul. From a very young age, she had an understanding and compassion for others well beyond her years. And when she was excluded for not following the crowd, she never compromised her values in order to fit in. She personifies all that is good and right in our world.
So I’m taking a pause from the hustle and bustle of the ‘designer’s’ holiday season. This Christmas, and every Christmas henceforth, you’ll find me singing “Gloria!” for the walking, breathing beautiful gifts of my family.