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Archive for December, 2022

Creative Adjusting

I’m facing another different Christmas. So many here in my apartment building for 55 and over have limited access to family and this is the time of year where it’s most noticeable. I’ve witnessed so many pull from the depth of themselves to be creative in their ways of celebrating this holiday. Many can speak of enduring traditions that have survived generations, when all of a sudden there are divorces, deaths, illnesses and other adjustments to life and the holidays in particular.

My birdhouse dangling is our snowy courtyard

Adjustment is also a form of creativity. How well we adjust to the size and style of our homes, family, country or condition says a lot about how creative we are. The kind of gifts we give or want is also a completely creative thought. “I need nothing this year” I said to my son. That I have Christmas this year is the gift itself.

I’ve put up a tiny 4’ tree on my cutting table with tiny ornaments gifted to me by a neighbor since I had already given all of mine away. It’s like a giant shuffle of stuff. My kids put up a few lights around my courtyard porch with paperclips to be gentle with the siding.

I helped decorate one of the entry lobby trees putting one of my many Angels on top. I’m so glad someone invented LED lights so I can leave mine on all the time. On occasion, the elf in me slips out the door when no one is about and makes changes to the trees. Wrapped empty packages appear along with new decorations.

I love seeing how others decorate and adjust to their space and lifestyle. Many are in poor health so they can do almost nothing to decorate their own space, so the manager decorates the halls with what has been collected over the years. Some, like me, decorate our entry areas. I photographed as many as I found done in the halls.

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Christmas means different things to different people. Some choose not to celebrate in any way. I think of it as a time to celebrate life. When I bake or make gifts, I’m celebrating all of life’s joys. I want to gift a little joy and lightness of being in the ever-changing world that requires adaptability at every turn.

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I’m going to be unlocking the outside perimeter doors to our buildings and plugging in the two lobby trees as I go each morning at 6:00 a.m. I volunteered since I’m always up anyway and the person that had been doing it quit. I’m going to sneak a bag of candy into Everett’s candy bucket on my way. He had mentioned at the Saturday morning coffee last week that he didn’t have so much as a Charlie Brown tree in his house. Becky, our “manager” said she could fix that, taking off for a few minutes. When she returned and presented him with this fun decoration, we all had a good laugh.

Everett’s Charlie Brown tree

Another wife is way down on his bucket list

Another neighbor, Vicki leaves her tree up all year. There is nowhere here to store anything. It’s a full-sized tree taking up a great deal of space in her tiny living room but the lights make her happy all year. She has found so many ways to be creative and we convinced her to put much outside her door for us to enjoy during the holidays. I would leave mine up but I need the cutting table for quilting.

Vicki loves cross stitching santas

Liz made this from her jewelry collection

Vicki’s cross stitch on paper

Have you had to adjust your creative habits and holiday traditions?

 “Creativity requires courage to let go of certainty.” ~ Erich Fromm

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself