Christmas at my house

This year I have had great joy in decorating my house for Christmas. Although my mother died last year just prior to the weekend when we were planning on decorating my house, I have carried her spirit with me and I am ebullient over the Christmas holidays. Last year I still decorated my house to the fullest, although dealing with her sudden death meant I couldn’t get a start on decorating until the first weekend in December (which, to most people, might still be considered way too early). There was definitely no subdued, quiet or mournful Christmas at my house last year, although I chose not to post any photos. In fact, my 2014 LiveJournal ends, unbeknownst to me quite shockingly on the last day of her life, November 11.

My eulogy was given on November 17 and it was about Christmas. I cannot write about this time of year without thinking of the intimate bond I had with my mother over Christmas. For the last seven weeks of every year, we were thinking of nothing but Christmas. I only play Christmas music during this time. I was playing so much music, and watching Christmas specials on DVD and VHS as I decorated my house. Mark is borrowing my 7½-foot artificial tree again this year so I have set up my rainbow Christmas tree forest.

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The baby in the middle photo is my mother:

Last year my sister-in-law Evelyn gave me a decoration to honour the memory of a departed loved one. I used a photo of my mother on my Christmas staircase since I had wanted to feature a relatively recent picture of her at Christmastime:

The next two photos show some of my mother’s Christmas toys and decorations from her childhood:

Greeting you at the front door:

I decided to put up outdoor lights again. My mother would always assist me, handing me the strands of lights while I was on the ladder, to ensure that none crashed to the asphalt below. Without her assistance, I only lost one bulb this year to gravity:

On Wednesday, December 9 I was so happy to spend the day with Grant and Evelyn as we made Mom’s famous shortbread cookies all afternoon. It would be the third of four (so far) baking days. I also baked twelve dozen this past Saturday. For last Christmas I had a special Christmas card made up at a printing shop to honour and remember my mother. This year, instead of a card, I have chosen to remember her by sending out her famous shortbreads. Evelyn took some pictures of me punching them out of Mom’s cookie gun and then sprinkling the tops:

Sister-in-law Evelyn having a go with the cookie gun:

The fridge magnet behind her says “Gloria’s kitchen”. And indeed it was.

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