My friend Shelley loves Christmas. Every year her home is transformed into a Christmas wonderland. Shelley decorates the tabletops, the counters, shelves, every nook and cranny (even her bathroom!) with her large collection of vintage Christmas symbols of happiness. As you can see Shelley's hutch (that usually contains flow blue dishes,) becomes a new home for her large collection of vintage Santas.
Shelley's family are her hands, they put Christmas "up" listening closely to her keen eye details they follow her instructions like Santa's helpers. They set up the magical wonder that Shelley has imagined and made true for her family.
Receiving Shelley's Christmas photos by email makes me feel like I am by her side. Christmas at Shelley's house is a feast for the senses. I can almost hear the Christmas carols, the jiggle bells and smell the aroma of freshly baked Christmas cookies. Not one detail is left out. Shelley is a Christmas legend... often I think Santa and Shelley have something going on? I should ask her husband what he thinks about that? Wait maybe her husband Eric is Santa? Why didn't I think of that before!
When Shelley's ALS illness first started her hands began to fail her. A friend came over to help her wrap her children's Christmas gifts. Before Shelley's friend started to wrap the gifts, Shelley told her, "I traditionally wrap my son's gifts in red paper, my oldest daughter's gifts in green paper, and the youngest child's gifts with white paper with checkered ribbon." The friend was taken back, shaking her head she said, "At this point Shelley, you can no longer do the things the way you use to do them. You need to let go. Do you think it matters how the gifts are wrapped?"
Now here is the thing that I admire about Shelley: The little things DO matter to her. She told her friend, "As long as I am alive I will keep my traditions, if I cannot do them I will find someone who will do them for me. If you do not want to wrap the gifts the way that I want that is fine, just leave them unwrapped."
Ah to have the courage to follow your desire! To live your life the best way you can even in the midst of being so very ill. To be able to be honest with others, to the point of saying no to a friend, even when they are there to help you. To be true to what you need, and live gracefully, honestly and encourage others to do the same. I have learned from Shelley that the little things do matter, and that setting up traditions keep memories alive.
Tree toppers galore fill a basket. Are you the star that lights the way?
I could go on and on with Shelley stories. I could tell you how she decorates, and how her family is the rock of her foundation. How her home is inviting, and full of love. But I bet you can feel that from her photos?
You know come to think of it...Maybe her husband Eric is Santa (!?) and her children Britton, Brent, and Garret elves? I always thought of them as saints of goodness....
Please feel free to send Shelley your Christmas Cheer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to send Shelley your Christmas Cheer. email@example.comShe knows you through the comments you have left on my blog, and by your blogs too. She cannot write, but if she could your email boxes would be stuffed!
Photos: Thank you for sending me the photos of your Christmas wonderland Shelley!