Christmas Gratitude

Years ago, I decided that unless I wanted to be spending every Christmas holiday alone, I’d better make some new Xmas traditions for myself or I was going be awfully lonely on one of my all-time favorite holidays of the year.

I was in my fifth year to sunny Northern Ca. from the cold, wintry, snow-entombed Adirondack mountains of upstate NY, and what little family I did have in Northern Ca., left for the sunnier, warmer climates of Southern Ca. and left me wondering “what the hell I was doing alone in this land of Birkenstocks, tie-dye t-shirts, tofu and crazy freeways?”

I didn’t have the money, or vacation time, to truck all the way down to southern Ca the first year my brother and his family left; so I stayed in my tiny studio, bought my own tree, strung popcorn and cranberries and with little money (but a load of creativity!), decorated my abode as best I could and did a pretty decent job that first year, if I do say so myself.

Being the “people person” that I am, though, I decided that I needed more of a “human connection” for my second year in my studio and so began my journey to acquire a local family and start some memory-making new holiday traditions.

After pricking and totally numbing my fingers that first year stringing my popcorn and cranberries, I decided that maybe my “new friends” would have fun in “assisting me” with said new tradition, and thus started my road to new and solicitous holiday traditions.

What I never truly understood then, but totally get now, though, was that these personal, Christmas traditions that I started years ago to serve my altruistic needs for family and love in my life, ended up benevolently serving a whole group of others, in their needs for intimacy and community, as well.

The food, the decorating, the laughter, the games….all activities and undertakings that satiated this hunger that I had for human connection and validation…all activities and traditions that satiated their hunger for connection and validation, too…

Everywhere I turned, I was being emotionally bombarded – from the Christmas songs relentlessly playing, to the Hallmark card advertisements – all reasons why I should be having a “holly, jolly Christmas,” and yet deep inside of me there was this “Christmas hole”, of sorts; and somehow I, Lucie Benedetti, was on the outside of what everyone else was enjoying; and somehow I needed to become an insider and be part of what Hallmark and all these Christmas songs were promoting.

I needed my “Christmas Story”.

I needed my set of traditions.

I needed “the holly and the jolly” that supposedly everyone else out there was having.

And I needed it, that year.

And I found it – with a group of individuals that (unbeknownst to me, at the time) were looking for their “Hallmark Christmas”, too.

Over the years, a lot of friends have come and gone, a lot of popcorn and cranberries strung, a lot of Christmas tables meticulously designed and set, a lot decorations bought and put up; a lot of Italian dishes lovingly prepared and eaten and a lot of love and good memories creatively fostered.

And some of us have gotten grayer, fatter, and somewhat wiser, and to those of us who have taken this path together – to those friends who have left me willingly (or unwillingly), and to those who remain in my life and in my heart (both near and far), I say, “Thank you. Thank you for gifting me with your friendship of unconditional love and loyalty and kindness”.

“But most of all – thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making my Christmases the ‘holliest, jolliest, merriest’ of Christmases ever.”

May all of my friends, both new and old, be blessed with a year of good health, much love and a whole lot of unbridled, child-like laughter.

And I’ll catch ya next go-round, looking at life from my shoes.



Published by


I'm a retired special ed teacher, born in upstate NY, who spent most of my adult life in the SF/Bay Area and moved to the Olympic Peninsula of WA in June of 2017. At the encouragement of family and friends, who followed my silliness on my FB page, I started this blog a few years ago. I try to keep my topics as humorous as possible (because I believe "LIFE" is pretty serious these days), but will, on occasion write about more solemn subjects. I sincerely appreciate all who take the time and effort to read and make comments and am truly humbled when people actually "like" what I write. I do not participate in the "Wordpress awards" because I feel "awarded" when individuals actually read me and comment, but sincerely appreciate all of you who have considered me "award worthy" and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hugs, Lucie

17 thoughts on “Christmas Gratitude”

  1. I loved this, Lucie, absolutely loved it. The strength you found to create your own Christmas story, make your own Christmas traditions, and invite your own Christmas family sums up the spirit of Christmas for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks. I try hard to create a cozy, Christmas environment for everyone….takes me about a week to totally complete the inside and outside of my house….. 🙂 Happy New Year!! 🙂


      1. A week well spent, I’m sure. Taking it all down again–not so much fun. We haven’t taken down our Christmas stuff yet. But we will Saturday. It’s always a bit sad.


  2. I like how you rescued yourself, rather than waiting for someone else to do it. You knew what you needed, acted on that and in the process connected with others who needed it too. We can create our own surrogate families wherever we are. Great lesson for all of us who sometimes feel stuck. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s