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Monday, November 29, 2010

Finding Christmas

I didn’t put up one scarecrow at Halloween. My pair of well worn pilgrims weren’t placed anywhere in our home at Thanksgiving. This is unusual for me. Friends and family members alike commented on the lack of my, generally abundant, holiday décor… and now, December beckons. As a rule, my gifts are bought and our Christmas cards are sent before the first week has passed. But this year felt different.  My heart seemed as if it just wanted want to hit the bypass button and move  forward to January where melancholy is expected. 

It took me while to figure out why my skin seemed to be edging toward a ghastly shade of green.

This will be my first Christmas without my mother. So many of my Christmas memories and traditions are linked to her. My mother loved Christmas. She also celebrated her birthday in December.

Once I grasped that this was the reason for my lack of enthusiasm I comforted myself with “Oh, this is a normal response to grief.” But that was rapidly replaced with her voice whispering to me, “You’d better get it together missy. Your family is counting on you.”

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I have also been thinking about my good friend Heidi. We met a few years ago as vendors at spring Blissfest. She liked my booth and I really loved hers. We were kindred spirits with a soft spot for vintage. Heidi loved to decorate to excess for any and every holiday. Her store, Hollywood Regency, always had the best collection of vintage Christmas.  I was over the moon when she asked if I wanted to sell my vintage inspired Christmas corsages in her store.

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My fashionable friends, Heidi and Jen.

Heidi lost her second battle with breast cancer a few months ago. I lost a good friend.  As morbid as it may sound when Jen called to tell me about Heidi’s estate sale I told her that I would be there. Even though I already possessed several things that Heidi had gifted and blessed me with, I knew I would find something that spoke to me.

I gently sifted through the remains of my friends life alongside an unconcerned crowd. After a time I found what Heidi wanted me to have. Vintage reflectors, unraveled tinsel, dusty and broken bits and bobs that nobody else wanted. I smiled at my new found treasures.  Last year I had told Heidi that I wasn’t going to make the corsages anymore because they took forever to make and I could no longer find the vintage notions that they needed. She had smiled and said, “Oh you will.”

I am so blessed to have had both of these women in my life. As I sat down to my sewing machine I turned on the holiday station. This was playing:

Love is alive and surely we see it most clearly at Christmas. So, Mom I am getting it together and dear Heidi I am making your beloved corsages.

For any pink corsages that are sold, a portion of the profits will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

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For my mother, any red corsages sold will receive a donation to the American Heart Association.

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Of course there are other colors too… they’ll help fund my daughters ASU education.

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The corsages look great pinned on pillows, packages and coats.

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The elves might be a bit rag tag, but still look pretty cute on this festive tote. (I will be selling this basket and others at The Willows Phoenix Christmas market this Friday.)

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I now need to upload over 50 corsage into my Etsy shop. Where’s the easy button for that? (smile)

Have you found Christmas?

Laura

Linking to:

The DIY Showoff

Cottage Instincts

The Girl Creative

 

27 comments :

the thrifty ba said...

im so sorry for you loss.
i have been there and all i can say is that if you remember your dear friend, and you mom they will never be far from your heart.
and if this christmas you cry, it is so ok. but know that you will see them again and it will be christmas every day.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

*sigh* you are an AMAZING woman!!! I loveeeeeeeeeeee the stories you tell and loveeeeeeeeee the corsages!! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Deanna said...

So very sorry for the loss of your Mom and friend.

Whimsey Creations said...

I'm sorry Laura, I know it will be a difficult Christmas for you this year. And it's perfectly OK not to go all gung-ho this Christmas. Your corsages are just the cutest - love the blue one with the bells! I hope you'll find many blessings during the season. Hugs!

April said...

Sweet friend, I had you on my heart this weekend. I'm glad you "found" Christmas, even while my eyes are a bit misty this morning after your post--your corsages are lovely, as is your heart.
May you truly know and bask in the love and peace of our Lord Jesus this season!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Laura,
I am so sorry for the loss of these dear and important people in your life. But I am so happy that they were a part of your life and probably still influence it in a beautiful way.
God bless you for these lovely creations and donating part of your profit to the memory of your Mother and friend!What a sweet tribute to them.

Christmas decorations are just that... decorations. The real Christmas is in our hearts and spirits. Sounds trite but it is so true.

May the true Author of Christmas bring your peace and comfort this year... now those are real gifts, aren't they?
Sending love and prayers your way.
Yvonne

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Laura, What a wonderful and touching post. It brought me to tears thinking of the first Christmas without my mom. I hope you and your family have a blessed holiday.
xo,
Sherry

Vicki said...

How beautiful! They bring back memories of Christmas when I was little. My mom pinned a Christmas corsage to my coat every year, right where it scratched against my chin in the cold. I'm gonna check out your Etsy shop because I saw one that had my name on it. Thanks for the Christmas inspiration on this Monday morning.

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

Laura, Thanks for sharing about these precious ladies. I'm so sorry for your loss this year. Your corsages are gorgeous! You are one talented lady! Have a great week!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Watery eyes over here, not just because of the lingering feelings of loss and how hard this Christmas will be for you but because you figured out what your hesitation was all about and you turned it around into something quite lovely. Bravo!!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

They are so cute Laura...I hope you can get some of the Christmas spirit this year....all your loved ones would want you to enjoy it to the fullest!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Laura, the best tribute you could pay to your Mom and your friend, is to decorate as you have in years past. Your corsages are lovely; I don't know if you recall, but I won one last year when you had a giveaway.

fairfieldhousenj.com said...

Sending you love. That's all there is.

Your Friend,
Deborah

The Pennington Point said...

I love the corsages! Everything you do is wonderful. I love the tribute to your mom. Lisa~

My Cottage Charm said...

Hello sweet Laura....sending you a piece of my heart that breaks for your loss. My mom's bday is in December too, in fact on Christmas day and I can't imagine how empty that day will be when she's no longer here...but I hope I handle it as well as you're handling it now.
Your corsages are lovely and your momma and your friend would be so proud of you for going on with your life and for spreading the joy you bring to everyone along the way.
Love YOU!
Missy

the cape on the corner said...

oh sure, make me get all teary eyed, why don't ya?! how wonderful that you are using her vintage ornaments for your corsages. that's really wonderful.

Linda said...

Laura,
This is so touching, I honestly couldn't play the whole song as I'm sitting here in my office and it was already leading me to tears.

I can't imagine going on with Christmas - I already have these same feelings and my parents are still here, but I know the days are dwindling and so each December brings more sadness to my heart, instead of gladness. Each year, someone dear to us has gone on, and it just is never the same.

I told Jim the other day as I prayed hard for energy (been so sick for 2 1/2 weeks) so that I could get through Thanksgiving and decorating (sigh) that I truly wish we could just go away some December 1st and come back after it's all over with.

Now, I know I'm sounding like the Grinch. But it's the way I feel each holiday season.

Still... somehow Christmas comes and my heart is made light somewhere in the month of December.

Praying for you through this time.
Love, Linda

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Such a lovely way to honor two such beautiful women in the life! I hope you sell all your corsages!

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, I relate to this post very much. Christmas has been a struggle for me each year since my parents have been gone. My Christmas memories are so tied into my mother that sometimes I want to do exactly what you said, fast forward to January. Each year I do it for my family and I hope my parents are proud. I know your mom and Heidi are smiling down on you. I am going to check back here this week and decide which lovely corsage I will choose and who will be the lucky recipient! Ann

Redhead Sadie's said...

Hey there, sweetie....I can tell you that Heidi thought the corsages were so wonderful, and she was really happy that you brought them in. She just thought the world of you and your amazing creativity! I am so happy that you have incorporated some of her favorite things into such loveliness to be shared with others.
I am also in an anti-holiday funk...I miss her so much. I loved the shop and her house this time of the year because she just went so bananas decorating it. I wish you could have seen her house in full glory...talk about inspiration!

You made me cry, but it's ok. I think she would be very happy to see what you are doing. She just loved you to bits!

I need to call you! I will soon.
Much love, Miss Jenny

Jeannine said...

Thank you so much for sharing. The corsages would be cute as tree ornaments, Kind of like tassels turned on edge.

My Cottage Charm said...

Thanks for your sweet comment on my mantel decor..it was so much fun to put together! :) Glad you're going to get to participate in the other parties....since you don't have a mantel! I never really had a mantel either until I built a faux one in our other house, but when we moved here, we had a full blown REAL fireplace..ok, it's gas, but it still gets hot! lol Love my mantel now. :)
Hope you have a wonderful and blessed week my dear!
Hugs to you
Missy

TRay said...

O.K....you got me misty with this one! "Hallmark moment!" What a beautiful post and a beautiful tribute, Laura! With this post, you've touched us all with some Christmas spirit. Love you! --Tara

Marydon said...

G'eve Laura ~ May Mother & Heidi sit at the feet of Jesus ... RIP. I lost Mother on Christmas Eve while in Mass ... this brings back quickly the emotions for me.

How precious to have her ornies, they were meant to be yours. She is smiling down, Laura.

And, these corsages are darling ... will pop over & take a peek at them all.

Have a beautiful eve ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

Nezzy said...

Bless your heart. The holidays are difficult. This is the first without my dad too.

God bless ya and have a beautiful day sweetie!!!

Karena said...

Laura a wonderful tribute, it brought tears to my eyes....

xoxo

Karena
Art by Karena

Colleen said...

I came across your blog through Stone Gable this evening. I wanted to share something with you. First of all, I know how it feels to face all those first holidays without someone. Twenty-three years ago, my mother took her life on Dec. 20th. It devastated our family. Four years ago I lost my father. I did not put one light on my house or want to even think about the holidays. But the ultimate loss in my life was that of my newborn baby girl, Melissa. She would be 20 years old now. A couple of years ago another bereaved mother asked me how I get through the holidays and why do I go all out decorating like I do after such a loss. I told her that I think about if Melissa could look down from Heaven and see me, I would NEVER want her to think that because of her, my life was miserable or that I was not happy. I hurt everyday and miss her so deeply but I know she would not want me to stop living or enjoying the holidays. I know your mother would want you to decorate, bake cookies and enjoy Christmas. It will never be the same but try to do what you can. Merry Christmas.