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When you live in NW Florida, chances are you won’t have a white Christmas. But there is something white that we are famous for. (Our beautiful white sand beaches.) I am about 2 1/2 hours away from home at Gulf Shores–a gorgeous community where my husband brought me for Christmas. We are on the ocean, and when I look out the window and down the coast, it looks just like snow. (Bet you couldn’t tell the difference if I sent you a picture.)

The weather is cold, and I’m glad. I like it cold for Christmas. I decorated our tree tonight, and also had fun making some Christmas gift bags to go under our tree. Lots of sparkle…(well, of course.)

Today we stayed in, and had a breakfast for supper, and then played Christmas carols while I decorated the tree. This is going to be my favorite Christmas ever. For once, I didn’t have to host the family Christmas get-together, clean house, cook, wrap presents and shop endlessly, etc. I only had my husband to buy for this year, since I am estranged from my family. Chelsea is in England, visiting her birth mom.  So at our house no one is “home for Christmas.” LOL! Seriously, this is the most peaceful Christmas that I have ever had, and we may go away every year. We lit candles tonight, while I decorated. One of my favorites is Yankee Candle’s Mistletoe. It actually smells more like a Christmas tree than a Christmas tree! But I believe they retired it last year, so I probably will only find it on Ebay in years to come. I also had a terrific cinnamon candle, and a peppermint one. All the fragrances of Christmas filled our lovely beach house.

It is so nice to slow down. Since my dad died 3 1/2 years ago, and I became the primary caregiver for my mom, I have been on the go every minute. I never slowed down, or seemed to have a moment to call my own. I was on edge every minute, wondering when the next crisis call would come (and believe me, there have been many.) My nervous system was whacked. I knew that I was going to have to slow down, or die. I am very serious about that. My physical health was going downhill, as well as my mental health. I was trying too hard to please. Now, I am on the road to recovery, and I want to take better care of myself. I want to do some things that bring me  joy and happiness, and I want to spend some time with my husband. We both are worn out, stressed out, and just plain tired. But this is the beginning of real change in our lives, I pray. 

I am healing little by little from the hurt that my family has caused, and I know that in time I will be healed, and in a much better place in my life. I am learning to let go of the things that I can’t change, and to surround myself with people who will encourage me and build me up, instead of tearing me down.

I need to spend time alone, and time with God as well. I just need to slow down, and as they say “smell the roses.”

This has been the roughest time in my life–taking the very best care that I could of my mother, and then realizing that she is never going to approve of me or ever love me unconditionally. I finally had enough, and I only wish that I had seen the truth sooner. But I am sure that the timing was for a reason, and I will never regret taking care of her, and loving her to the best of my ability. But I can’t do anymore, and she and my brother have shown me the darkness that is in their souls, and I have had more than enough of it.

So here’s to the light, and all things joyful, peaceful, and lovely. Here’s to a beautiful holiday, and a truly “new” New Year. And yes, here’s to a “White Christmas…”



  1. Sparkle,
    How wonderful for you to have this time to enjoy and you certainly deserve every little moment. And it sounds very special of a place. And so I will join you and wish you that White Christmas and a very new Year. God Bless, enjoy, rest, giggle, jump,nap,do all the things you want.
    Hugs to you, Frank

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Sparkle. Reading your blog is a highlight in my day. Have a happy Christmas and a new year of more and more healing as the Lord continues to free you and bless you.


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