Feeling The Christmas Spirit


This year, more than any other, has been challenging for many people to feel the Christmas spirit.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I'm just not "feeling it" this year."

And I completely understand. 

Who would have ever thought we'd go through all that we've gone through over the past nine months?

In one way it feels like it was only yesterday that this started. And in another way it feels like we've endured two years of this.  

However, I'm trying to use this time to stand back, alter my perception, and reacquaint myself with the "heart" of Christmas, rather than listening to all the external noise and distraction that continues to besiege us. 

I know that we're all in one way or another, experiencing unsettling feelings and emotions. However, when I look at my life, and I mean really look at it despite of what's going on, I have no reason to complain and every reason to rejoice.   
 
Last week while sitting in a park enjoying nature, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths, and let go of all the tension I was feeling in my mind and body. And as I started to relax, I began to feel my heart soften with tremendous gratitude for all the blessings I have in my life. There are so many people in this county right now who are struggling financially and have family members they need to provide for. Not everyone has had the ability to work from home. I can't even imagine the stress and worry these people are experiencing, particularly at Christmas. I feel so unbelievably lucky because it's only myself I need to support and have the means to do it -- I have a job, a comfortable place to live, food, clothing, and my health. I know those things seem like just the basics, but right now there are people who are grappling just to stay afloat because they don't even have the basics. 

So, what I've been doing this past week is taking time every day to remind myself of how blessed I am. And I'm also taking time to think of others by sending lots of positive energy and love out into the world for anyone who is struggling, in the hope that it gives them a sense of peace and support. 

In a beautiful and unexpected way, this Christmas has allowed me to reconnect to the spirit of Christmas.

Which for me is about sharing grace, being grateful, and making it simple but significant.

And speaking of simple, as most of you know, I live in a small studio. So I don't have a lot of space to display holiday decor.

Today, I would like to share what I refer to as "My Little Christmas Corner."

Many of you have already seen my Christmas corner from previous holiday posts. However, this year I thought I'd give you a more detailed look at the tiny ornaments and decorations that give me so much joy. 

Here you go...

-----------------------------------------

I got this small teddy bear two years ago at Starbucks. 
I have him siting at the head of my bed, next to my pillows. 
Isn't he adorable?
Every morning I kiss his precious little face before I put him back on the bed...


And this is my new mini (12") Christmas tree. I had to toss my other one in the trash because it was literally falling apart. The needles were cascading off the branches like an avalanche. I also had to purchase new mini lights because after 10 years, the old ones finally burned out. Permanently.

I refer to this tree as my, "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree."


Santa...



Mr. Snowman...


I love angels...




A flying snowman...


One of Santa's reindeers...


Christmas wreath...


I forgot who gave me this ornament of a hamburger, but I think it's so cute...


This next Christmas decoration is an item I purchased from a store I used to work. It's a tiny French bulldog (Frenchie) in a snow globe. And believe it or not, inside Frenchie is a peppermint lip balm. All you have to do is twist his head off and the lip balm is inside. Isn't that disgusting? Which is why (after THREE years) I've never taken him out of the snow globe and used the lip balm.

I just keep him there as a decoration...


And of course, my favorite little creatures in the whole universe, squirrels...

  
This squirrel was gifted to me by one of my blogging friends (Gail) many years ago when I first started this blog. She no longer blogs and I miss her dearly...


And last but not least, my Elf on a Shelf, who I initially named, Sam, because I thought it was a boy until I removed him from the box and saw that he was wearing a skirt. So I renamed her, Samantha the dual-gender Elf on a Shelf...


I won't be posting again until after Christmas, so I wanted to take this time to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas filled with grace, blessings, and tons of love!


💗

32 comments

  1. I’m all about feeling grateful, Ron. I can imagine sitting in the park next to you and doing some meditative breathing. Before I go to sleep every night, I offer a prayer of thanks to God for my pillow, blankets, and bed, as well as prayers for people in need. Being grateful really helps me relax and de-stress.

    I love your ornaments. My fave is the Santa Star. My husband has a paper Santa Star from childhood that he hangs on the tree every year. It’s the only thing his mom kept of his, so I don’t mind it’s tackiness. LOL!!!

    Merry Christmas, Ron! Thanks for still blogging. Your posts mean a lot to me. XO

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  2. Okay, I soooooooooooooo loved what you shared here....

    "Before I go to sleep every night, I offer a prayer of thanks to God for my pillow, blankets, and bed, as well as prayers for people in need. Being grateful really helps me relax and de-stress."

    YES! That's AWESOME! Isn't it something how when you focus on the things you have to be grateful for (even the basics), you feel like the wealthiest and healthiest person in the world? I truly believe that gratitude is an energy that manifests more gratitude.

    "My husband has a paper Santa Star from childhood that he hangs on the tree every year. It’s the only thing his mom kept of his, so I don’t mind it’s tackiness. LOL!!!"

    OMG...that is so sweet! And I think it's incredible that he still has that ornament! You see, it's something like that makes you feel the "spirit" of Christmas!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And thanks so much for your kind words. Please know I feel the same about you!

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

    X

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  3. Ron, what a wonderful post to wake up to this morning and read while having my coffee. It made me feel so good! You're right about focusing on our blessings, even the basic things because so many people don't have that right now. I feel for the people who own restaurants because they are ones struggling the most. So many of the restaurants/pubs/eateries in my state have permanently closed.

    Your Christmas tree and decorations are so sweet! "Every morning I kiss his precious little face before I put him back on the bed..." LOL! I'd kiss his face too. He is adorable!

    And that last photo of the squirrel is so cute! Did you take that photo?

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Ron! So glad I met you on Instagram. xo

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  4. Ron, you and I must be on the same wavelength! I know this has been a ROTTEN year for so many, but I'm trying to look on the bright side, too. We have life, health, a roof over our heads, meaningful work, family, and so many other blessings -- when so many are struggling with the most meager conditions. There's always more we want, but having the basics is a major blessing!


    How I love your Teddy bear -- I'd kiss his sweet face every morning, too! Your tiny tree is very festive. When Domer was a wee lad, he had a tiny tree as well; now that he's all grown up, he's got an immense 7.5-foot specimen, complete with lights and ornaments. I've only seen pictures of it, but I suspect it could light the way for incoming airplanes, ha!


    Merry Christmas, my dear friend. I'll miss hearing from you over the holidays, but everybody needs to take a break now and then (and this is a great time to do so). Enjoy your break, and we'll catch up once you return. xx

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  5. Hey there Candice!

    Happy to hear this post made you feel good :)

    " I feel for the people who own restaurants because they are ones struggling the most. So many of the restaurants/pubs/eateries in my state have permanently closed."

    Same in Philly. The restaurants are trying to stay open, but with the weather change, outside dining is not possible and they are not permitted to serve inside at the moment. Philly is such a "foodie" city, so many of our restaurants are not making it.

    LOL! I love that little bear. Isn't he cute? He's so tiny, which makes me all the more adorable!

    Yes, I took that photo of the squirrel back in early Fall. I was so lucky to get that shot because squirrels move so quickly. I used a free online editing website to add his little hat!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. And glad we meet on Instragm as well! Have a faaaaaabulous Christmas!
    X

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  6. Hello there Debbie!

    "We have life, health, a roof over our heads, meaningful work, family, and so many other blessings -- when so many are struggling with the most meager conditions. There's always more we want, but having the basics is a major blessing!"

    You said it perfectly! Having just the basics at this time is like been wealthy because there are so many people who are struggling with the basics.

    I too always try to look on the bright side, but even I get frustrated at times. Philadelphia is going through a very rough time right now, I just don't talk about it on my blog. Lots of violence, crime, anger, and aggressiveness. People don't feel safe. The city is literally falling apart right now. I was talking with a friend yesterday and he so disgusted with this city that he and his wife want to move.

    "How I love your Teddy bear -- I'd kiss his sweet face every morning, too! "


    Isn't he a cutie? I can't help myself, every time look at him I wanna give him a smooch. LOL!

    Domer's Christmas tree sounds fabulous! And I laughed at your reference to it lighting the way for incoming planes!!!!

    Thanks oodles for stopping by, my dear friend. Always a joy to read your comments. I won't be taking a break from reading and commenting on other blogs, I'm just not going to post here until sometime next week. Can you believe that Christmas is only FIVE days away!?!

    X

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  7. You've done a great job of maximizing the space you have, Ron. In fact, with such a tiny studio apartment, I bet it feels even MORE Christmasy because you've surrounded yourself with such festive decor.

    By the way, I love the cheeseburger ornament! Kinda want one myself now.

    I hope you have a stress-free and very merry Christmas, my friend!

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  8. Ron, I can't thank you enough for this beautiful post.

    I was certainly wasn't "feeling it" this Christmas, but last night I helped my sister decorate her tree and now I'm listing to Christmas carols on Pandora as I read your blog.

    Your thoughts about gratitude really hit home. I have a wonderful family, a job, a home, and great friends like you--things that so many of us took for granted until Covid-19 showed up.

    Businesses are closed, people are out of work, the political scene is a nightmare, and a deadly disease is lurking all around us--the Christmas spirit can be pretty hard to find right now.

    But that just means we have to look harder, because, the like the song says, we need a little Christmas right this very minute.

    And thanks for the tour of your Little Christmas Corner. I love your decorations --especially the squirrels!

    Have a very Merry Christmas, buddy! And thanks!

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  9. Hiya Mark!

    Thank you :) I've always lived in small spaces, so I've grown accustom to living minimal/maximal. I actually love living small spaces. I'm like a cat. Ha!

    Isn't that hamburger ornament faaaaaaaabulous? For the life of me, I can't remember who gave me that because I know I didn't purchase it myself. Perhaps it was something I got from my Secret Santa in one of jobs!?!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you and Tara a VERY Merry Christmas!

    X to you both!

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  10. Helloooooooooo there Rob!

    "..... but last night I helped my sister decorate her tree and now I'm listing to Christmas carols on Pandora as I read your blog."

    Oh that's AWESOME! I did the same thing one night a few weeks when I decorated my mini Christmas tree. I played Christmas music as well, which made it feel all the more Christmassy!

    I know, for all the crap that COVID brought with it, it also forced all of us to see the "good things" in our lives. And I think it also made us more aware of how much we all have in common because we all had to go through this together.

    "But that just means we have to look harder, because, the like the song says, we need a little Christmas right this very minute."


    YES! And I love that because it's true! Which makes want to listen to that sound on soundtrack to "Mame!" I think I may have to head over to YouTube to see if I can find it!

    Thank you. Aren't the squirrels adorable? And it's funny because I just came in from spending the afternoon in the park FEEDING the squirrels. LOL!

    Wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas, buddy!

    X

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  11. Ron, this is so much what I needed to read at this moment because I've been stressing out about not only COVID, but other things as well. You're so right, it does feel like this has been going on for two years. Oh for the day when we can take the masks off, I'm sick of wearing them. I so love what you said about focusing on our blessings because you are right. I feel so fortunate that my job is one that I could work from home if I need to. I'm back in the office now, but who knows if that will change.

    Your tree and decorations are so precious. I remember when you got that cute little teddy bear a few years ago, but he looks even more adorable sitting there on your bed. By the way, I like your plaid pillow cases. And the colors. And of course, your squirrels. That final picture is so damn cute!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I like how you're always honest with the way you feel and then try to find the positive in challenging times. Like you said, it's all in our perception.

    Merry Christmas, Ron! Love and hugs to you! xo

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  12. Hola Denise!

    I think so many people are feeling that way at the moment because it's been almost a year. I too am sick of the masks. A LOT of people are. I don't wear one when I'm outside. However, I do carry one with me at all times in case I do into a store and for when I go to work because we are required to wear one at all times. But when I'm outside, it comes off.

    So happy to hear that you were able to work from home, that's awesome! Right now (here in Philly), some people are still working from home, but many are going into the office.

    Isn't that teddy adorable? Besides the squirrels, he's my favorite because he's the cutest little face and outfit. I love his red scarf! I got those pillow cases at Target if you can believe that. The second I saw them, I thought...."I want those!" I love the colors too. My apartment has a lot of gray, tan and white.

    I try to be honest with my feelings (especially to myself), but I also try to view challenges as a way to learn things. And sometimes that means changing how I see them.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    X

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  13. First, Ron, Merry Christmas to you!

    Thanks for sharing all your holiday decorations and for telling about each piece. I can see why they bring you joy. We have many that do the same in our home.

    And, a BIG thanks for being one of the few bloggers that really inspire me, and I mean that most sincerely. It really hit home when you wrote:

    I know that we're all in one way or another, experiencing unsettling feelings and emotions. However, when I look at my life, and I mean really look at it despite of what's going on, I have no reason to complain and every reason to rejoice.

    In most ways, I feel the same. Yes, life has been isolating in so many ways this year and these past 9 or so months have seemed like years. Being retired for a number of years, our days of job worries are over, but there are those in our family who are working from home amid the chaos of children also distance learning. It has not been an easy way of life for so many for so long.

    My husband and I decided to embrace the spirit of Christmas this year by putting up a tree with decoration received as gifts or reminders of special places. We look at the tree nightly and give thanks for what we have and not for what is missing now.

    The squirrel ornaments and your final photo were cute. If I ever come across an ornament with this animal, I'll be sure to send it to you, Ron.

    Best Wishes to you and all of us a better and Happ(ier) New Year. See you in 2021!

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  14. Thanks for letting me know, Ron. I should have known because I shop a lot at Target. I really like their home department. Lots of great stuff that's reasonable priced. I'm a bargain shopper. LOL!

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  15. OMG...meeee too! LOVE Target! In fact, when I moved into this apartment about 2 1/2 years ago, I got so many things from Target. That gray bedspread you see in the teddy bear picture in front of the pillows, I got at Target. And so many other things. Oh trust me, I'm a bargain shopper as well. I love to buy things that look nice, but are inexpensive. And if you're smart, you can do that.

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  16. I couldn't agree with you more on everything you said here, Ron. I am so grateful that I was able to work from home. Currently I am working partially from home and partially from the office.

    You holiday decorations are so cute. I love the penguin!

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and very Happy and Healthy New Year!

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  17. Hey there Daniel!

    Yes, I was talking to someone I haven't seen since the summer and he too said that he is partially working from home and his office. I think he said that he only goes into work 1-2 days a week. And they are usually short days.

    Thanks! I love penguins too. In fact, I have both the book and the DVD of the movie, "March of the Penguins." Such a great film!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and have a very Merry Christmas. And all the best to you in 2021!

    X

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  18. Hi D,

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  19. Beautiful post, Ron! And one that speaks to such an important topic at this time. Gratitude. My girlfriend and I were talking about this over the weekend. It's a tense time not only in our country, but all over the world. There is such sense of uncertainty. But like you said, we have to try and focus on the positives and the blessings. " despite of what's going on, I have no reason to complain and every reason to rejoice. " Me as well. So thanks for the reminder.

    I love your ornaments and decorations! That photo edit of the squirrel is the best!

    Have a Merry Christmas, dude! Thanks for being you.

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  20. Hiya Matt!

    Yes, you're right. The tension is not only in this country, but all over the world because this is something we're ALL dealing with. And to be honest with you, I don't even think the medical profession knows 100% what's going on because I talk to medical professionals here in this city and so many of them say that they are trained on taking all the precautions, yet they still don't know everything about it.

    One thing this has (and continues) to teach me is to count my blessings. So many people have been struggling to stay afloat with maintaining even the basics for so long.

    Thanks! I love that precious little squirrel picture. I took it back in the fall and had in stored in my Dropbox account.

    Wishing you and your girlfriend a VERY Merry Christmas. And thanks so much for stopping by!

    X

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  21. Ron, my favorite thing that you shared in this beautiful post was this one line..."despite of what's going on, I have no reason to complain and every reason to rejoice." That hit home for me so deeply because this virus, as horrendous as it's been, has giving me such clarity into the things I have always taken for granted. You're right, when I look at all the people who are struggling because of no work or their businesses have been shut down, I don't have any room to complain even one tiny bit. Being from New York, it pains me to see what is happening to that city.

    But on a brighter note, your holiday decorations are just the sweetest looking things. Your Christmas tree is so adorable! And I can see why it brings you joy to look at it.

    And of course, that squirrel photo at the end made me smile. I love his hat!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings because when I hear you speak, it's always seems to be things I need to hear myself.

    Merry Christmas to you, dear man. And here's to a Renewed New Year! xo

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  22. Hello there Elaine!

    Me too! When I see what's going on in New York City right now, it not only saddens me, but it makes be angry to see how the people of New York are being dictated by their leaders. It's horrendous. But I have news for you, New Yorker's are not going to stand for it any longer. Too many of them are broke because of their businesses being shut down unnecessarily, when they are willing to take all virus precautions and work.

    Anyway, as you said, on a brighter note....tis' the season to count our blessings and help those in need.

    Happy to hear you enjoyed my tree and decorations. I love my little Christmas corner. I light the tree every night.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you and your husband a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

    Cheers and X

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  23. "So I renamed her, Samantha the dual-gender Elf on a Shelf..." LOL! That was hilarious! A gender-bender Elf on a Shelf!

    I really like your outlook on such a trying time in this country for so many people. I feel very blessed that my husband and I have the kind of jobs that allow us to work from home, but so many can not. I don't know how other people with families are doing it.

    Your Charlie Brown Christmas tree is delightful. I'm a squirrel lover myself.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  24. Greetings Clair! Welcome!

    Aren't squirrels the cutest little things? There are many who don't care for them, but I adore them. In fact, I feed at a park near my apartment several times a week.

    Yes, how blessed you are that you and your husband can work from home. I know, I don't know how couples with a family have done it that don't have that ability. I was lucky to find another job when I lost mine in early spring, but many people are still out of work.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Nice to meet you. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    X

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  25. Me too, Ron! I want it to look expensive, but be inexpensive. LOL!

    Merry Christmas!

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  26. You got that right!!!!

    Merrrrrrry Christmas to you too!

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  27. What a wonderful post! It's true (and could be a whole 'nuther post) that if you place your happiness in external stuff, you won't be happy when it's taken from you by unforeseen circumstances. Even looking to family and friends for meaning can be a let down. I had a difficult time "feeling" the Christmas spirit until I reminded myself it's possible to carry the spirit of Christmas in your heart the entire year. And, it's not dependent on decorations, music, gatherings, presents or any of those trappings of the season. I love your select Christmas corners and think your tiny ornaments are adorable. Yes, even the squirrel. And, believe it or not, your Samantha elf is most likely sister to the one that comes to spend the season with Peanut and Twix. Her name is Wendy. Merry Christmas, my friend and I look forward to having you back online soon. 🐿 ☃️🎄🎁

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  28. Lisa, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the insight you brought to this post because it's sooooooooooo true!

    "if you place your happiness in external stuff, you won't be happy when it's taken from you by unforeseen circumstances. Even looking to family and friends for meaning can be a let down. I had a difficult time "feeling" the Christmas spirit until I reminded myself it's possible to carry the spirit of Christmas in your heart the entire year. "

    You said so much in what you just shared. And you summed it up perfecting in saying, "the spirit of Christmas is carried in your heart." Yes, and I was very much reminded of that this year.

    Thanks. I love my little Christmas tree and ornaments because they're very simple.

    "And, believe it or not, your Samantha elf is most likely sister to the one that comes to spend the season with Peanut and Twix. Her name is Wendy. "

    OMG...that is so CUTE! And yes, I bet they are most likely SISTERS!!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your wisdom, my friend. Much appreciated! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Cheers and X!

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  29. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comDecember 27, 2020

    You have some lovely ornaments. Thanks for capturing the Christmas spirit.

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  30. Thank you, Fiona! :)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! And here's to a faaaabulous 2021!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend!
    X

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  31. A belated Merry Christmas to you, my friend. I was one of those not feeling it. I did put up a tree, but otherwise just felt a little melancholy. Don't get me wrong, I still feel very grateful for many things in my life, but it was a tough holiday.

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  32. And a Happy Belated Christmas to you too, my friend!

    And yes, I completely understand the "not feeling it" because this whole year has been such trying time in so many ways, that it sapped the energy out of people. Even I had to do some deep soul searching to find the "joy" this year.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I've been thinking of you this past month; hoping all was well.

    Here's to a much better year in 2021!

    X

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