Keeping Hearts Aglow All Year Long

Holiday festivities are in full swing. My house is ready for the season. The candles are glowing, the tree lights are glittering, the punch is fizzing. 

This year I found the prettiest white tree branches twinkling with tiny white lights while I was in St. Augustine for Thanksgiving. 

The sparkly branches inspired me and I was excited to dress up my mantel around them with a new silver wreath. 

My tree is full of ribbons and garlands and mostly skating ornaments, given to me by family and friends over the years. The vintage figure skaters that twirled around the town under our tree every Christmas when I was a kid now strut their stuff and glide on a mirror at my house. 

When my sister and I were little, we were bothered that there were only three skaters instead of four so the skaters could happily pair off. 

Now I happen to think that the skater in the red dress is a lucky girl indeed to have two boys to spin around the ice with. Tiny skates, real-life skates and postcards of skaters are everywhere around my house at Christmas. 

Even a wreath with a pair of baby skates hangs on my door.

When all the holiday decorations are out and my house is trimmed in swags, skates and silver, I want to invite a few friends over. 

But I tend to let details consume me. I want to make all my favorite desserts. I want to experiment with a new appetizer recipe. I feel compelled to clean spaces I ignore the rest of the year. 

By the time my guests arrive, I'd rather collapse in a chair with a cup of coffee and not talk to anyone. 

Acting the part of a chatty hostess is the last thing I feel like doing. 

I'm dizzy trying to see whose glass needs filled, if the dip could be refreshed or if the appetizers should be reheated for latecomers.

But then I stop. And remember. What the season is for. 

The gatherings, the gift exchanges, the holiday cards that arrive in the mail. It’s all just an opportunity to connect with those who happen to be in my life. By choice or by chance. Family and friends I’m blessed to know. 

So I take a step back. To lean into the sparkling conversation. Wrap myself in the dazzling cheer. Drink in the glittering ornamentation. 

It's only for a season, after all.

In the twinkling of an eye, the celebration is over. The gifts are unwrapped. The lights are unplugged. The baubles are packed away. 

My house will look sparse after the tree is hauled out. 

The spaces will seem empty after everything is stored until next year. 

But not just yet. For now, the spirit glimmers and glows. May it last all year long.

Today I'm linked to Emily's Tuesdays Unwrapped.


  1. I definitely needed a reminder of what Christmas spirit is all about today. That's exactly what this beautiful post delivered. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Christy! I'm always looking for reminders of that spirit of joy and peace.

  2. Wow, I love looking at your Chirstmas pictures, they are so beautiful! I especially love all the great illustrations in your writing. What a great post, now I can't wait until Christmas morning!


    1. Thank you Brittany! I love having the feeling of anticipation for a beautiful morning guide us through the holiday season! :)

  3. Stopping by for the link up! Great post, love your Christmas pictures. :)

    That's what I'm hoping for...Though Christmas will be over, may all the things I've learned this season, stay with me. May we continue to love and care for those around us the way we do during this beautiful time of year.

    1. Victoria,
      Thanks for stopping by! I love your sentiment to try to have what we've learned this season carry us through the upcoming year!


  4. So true, so sad when it is over, lovely expressions of the season.

  5. Great article - and wonderful pictures. May you have a wonderful Christmas with your family - I'm looking forward to hearing about it in upcoming articles! May the blessings of the new year uplift you - as your articles do us as readers! You have such insight - I can't wait to read the next article!

    1. Thank you Sharon for always being here and being such a blessing to me through your encouragement and support!

  6. I love all your wonderful skating-themed decorations! :)


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