Honor Your Memories in Your Decorating

Posted by: Gail VanKleeck  |  Date: 02/15/2014

Honor Your Memories in Your Decorating

Homes that reflect and support our uniquely personal transitions feel completely different than homes that are merely filled with the appropriate furniture, accessories and lamps.  They support us in living a more possibility-filled and authentic life.

When it comes to your home, try using the word “transition” rather than “change”.  Somehow it feels gentler and less abrupt.  Using the word “transition” can help you accommodate yourself and your home to the gradual and natural passage of time.  It will empower you to create surroundings that honor the most precious parts of your past, embrace and support your present life and then thoughtfully accommodate themselves to your future needs. 

The celebrations associated with birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and the special ceremonies associated with our diverse religious celebrations are unique to each of us.  While the memories those times hold may be different, they are also a part of that vast universal thread that weaves our hearts and spirits together into something that honors our humanity and makes us feel more understanding and compassionate.
Yet once those celebratory times have passed, life goes on.  We flip the “off” switch on the feelings those moments evoke and plunge once again into what we think of as the reality of life.  Choosing to seek transitions in both your home and your life will empower you to hold the spirit of what you hold dear just a little closer to your heart.
While the following story is about me, I hope it will help you imagine the small and yet meaningful transitions you can make in your own home.

I love decorating for Christmas, pulling the familiar ornaments out of their tissue-filled box and placing them throughout our home.  The memories flood back to me… the wooden Santa, ceramic tree and cross-stitch holiday pillow my sister once made, the clothespin ornaments we used when the children were little and the more ornate and fragile egg-shell decorations I made when they were older.  The fragrance of pine intermingled with the aroma of baking cookies, the sound of Christmas carols … I love it.  I absolutely love it all.  Yet the minute Christmas is over and the New Year has been ushered in, I begin looking forward to packing up the ornaments and putting our home back in order. 
Years ago, when I was still finding pine needles from our Christmas tree in the middle of the summer, I could never have imagined this time in my life and how completely contented I would feel with the kind of artificial tree I had once despairingly described as a “green toilet brush”.  Yet honoring the transition between being a parent and becoming a grandparent has empowered me to surround myself with my dearest memories, the gift of greater simplicity and the magic of future possibilities.
Last year as I was packing up the rest of the holiday decorations, I set this old couple aside.  I’ve been slipping them back into our “Christmas box” for years.  But last year I just couldn’t do that.  They make me happy. I love how kind and protective the kindly gentleman seems and the wonderful spirit of his barefoot wife who is holding a magic wand.  Their presence in my daily life still makes me smile….so I‘ve decided to keep them right where they are for at least another year.

This old couple are a daily reminder ot the spirit of Christmas

This old couple are a daily reminder ot the spirit of Christmas

Imagine what you might add to or keep in your rooms to remind you of the precious moments in your life.  What you choose doesn’t need to be as large as my old couple.  It could be as small as a framed message from a card you once received, a pebble from a special day at the beach, a book mark with a message that touches your heart, or something that simply makes you smile.
What matters is that you look for the ways your home can empower you to transition from someone who lives a seemingly everyday life into someone who looks for the everyday moments in life to celebrate and who feels increasingly grateful and blessed.

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