Can Holiday Decorations Soothe the Soul?


Decor for Evergreens_0007I was on a bit of an unexpected natural high yesterday.  I visited my parents for a couple hours where I could pause and spend some time with them in my day.  My Mom and I took a walk and we talked about holiday activities coming up and discussed other general family stuff.

Both of my parents are extremely supportive of any efforts their children take on, and they know I get excited this time of year because of my Evergreen Creations Class. So we were chatting about that too.

As the sun shined on us, and my Mom and I giggled about some of her jokes, I thought, “This is a moment.” We were in a great mood, it was unexpected to have such a nice day to walk outside this time of year, and I guess, just the general feeling of an overall good spirit was with us.

In fact, when I had arrived to the house, my Mom was listening to a tape of French music sent to her by my Aunt Lucie.  And when I heard my Aunt’s recorded voice over the tape speaking well wishes to my Mom, I almost cried.  It was just so sweet how my Aunt did that for her.  I guess the tape was done awhile ago but I had never heard it before.  Aunt Lucie use to live with us when we were very young.  We thought she was our older sister at first, we were so little.

But shortly after we started walking down the path to the land outback my parents’ home, my Dad arrived on his tractor.  He jumped off and joined us for a stroll. I asked him if he had a recommendation on hearing aids for a friend.  His reply was that there are some on the market that are expensive and don’t work well which is great because he can’t hear Mom.  Ironically, my Mom laughed hysterically at this.  This was a good thing.  All three of us were in sync.

So after visiting them, I went home with a big smile and was on a natural high as I was working on activities for my class on Saturday, but when I went inside the house to my laptop, I received sad news of friends having to attend funerals this weekend. And not just one friend, but four had recent losses in their families.

We also had a tragedy in our town where a car accident occurred on Rt 5 this week. The accident held up traffic for over four hours.  We all read in the newspapers that a life was lost in the accident.  These sad moments make us pause and remind us others go through difficult times during the holidays – and to also remember to cherish every good moment we experience in our own lives, for life can be short.

So one moment, I was happy and the next moment reflecting on sadness of others.  It was almost identical to last year.  I was getting ready to head over to the winter farmers market in Ellington to sell holiday decor.  But suddenly, I heard the news over the television of the Sandy Hook Tragedy.  I couldn’t believe my ears that day last year, and immediately, my happy bubble burst at that very moment.  Feeling sad, I proceeded to the market, but I wondered if I should cancel. It seemed odd to be selling holiday goodies when people were suffering as they heard the sad news of losses, great losses.

At the market, there were many children attending with their parents because it was held in a fitness center building with recreation for kids.  This was an unexpected surprise to me.  I didn’t think there would be so many kids there that evening.  Many kids skipped and jumped over to my table, looking over the holiday items, and there were lots of giggles and smiles.  So at that point, I felt a little relief.  The decor was giving them some happy holiday spirit.  Of course, they were unaware of the tragedy which just occurred that day, but I am sure the parents there were well aware, we all were.

While this post was also unexpected, it just got me thinking, can holiday decorations soothe the soul?  I think yes, it brings cheer, but also remembrance of past and present.  It perhaps brightens your surroundings even if you happen to be sad due to reflecting on someone or something you may be missing at this time of year.

In fact, yesterday, my Dad said, “Mom must be in a good mood, she is decorating a tree this year.” In some recent years, she didn’t feel like dragging out the tree and decorations, but this year is different.

This is good, I thought.  Very good.

Then I told Dad, “I’ll come by with some decorations later.”

Decor for Evergreens_0003Written by Cathy Testa

4 thoughts on “Can Holiday Decorations Soothe the Soul?

  1. Can holiday decorations soothe the soul?? I say yes! One of my favorite Christmas rituals is unpacking the ornaments and reminiscing about where they came from. (i.e. made in elementary school, had in first apartment, got on honeymoon… <3)

    • Jessie – totally agree. I was watching a friend decorate her tree last year, and just the delicate way she handled the special ones attached to memories and showed them to me – it is so true, the decorations soothe the soul! Cath

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