I have my Christmas decor up, such that it is. Because I scaled back on what I wanted to do since I’m moving in January.

I truly love the lights on the Christmas tree. But I decided not to add ornaments.

For my Christmas decor 2021, I have a tabletop tree with just the lights and a boho table with Santa and small trees.

I put the tabletop tree in the same place I had it last year. This has it right in my view when I’m sitting in my chair.

Christmas Tree In A Beverage Tub:

I brought the beverage tub inside to put it in. And I like to add white netting that I’ve had for years. It has the look of snow under the tree.

A boho table with various holiday trees and a santa arranged on it.

I put a group of small Christmas trees with a white Santa Claus on my boho table next to the tree.

A Christmas tree can still look wonderful with just the lights. It has a more natural look without adding ornaments.

And Gracie hasn’t gotten into any of the Christmas stuff. I think because the tree is in the beverage tub and the rest is on a surface she can’t seem to reach.

She did, however, run across the bottom shelf of the galvanized beverage tub. And the sound of her feet on it scared her half to death. She hasn’t gone near it again.

Well, just as I wrote about Gracie not bothering the Christmas stuff, she just got up there and knocked down one of the trees. It was that little flocked one and I don’t know what the flocking would do if she ingested it. So I put it away.

My Christmas Decor 2021 finds me just having the tree up with no ornaments.

I had a big cry fest yesterday afternoon. You might think it’s silly. But I’m moving away from where I lived with Abi and Charlie, and this kind of makes me sad.

And The Tears Fell:

Of course, I’m not really leaving them because I have their boxes of ashes on display on the living room shelf. And wherever I go, they go.

Still, the tears fell and fell.

What I’m leaving is the place where we created memories together.

One of the only good things about this place is that I lived with my dog babies here. And now they’re gone.

They’re just gone.

I have Ivy and Gracie and I love them dearly. But you can’t replace beloved pets.

Everyone knows that. You can add to your family and love them all, but not one of them is replaceable.

My Christmas Decor 2021 is scaled down to a beverage tub with a tabletop tree inside with just the lights for decoration. As well as my boho table with trees and a santa.

I’ve been going through the files on this laptop and saving photos of the pets to Pinterest. Every time I see a photo of Charlie or Abi I want to sob. And oftentimes I do.

I do fine for a while, and then it hits me like a ton of bricks. He’s gone. They’re gone. Irretrievably and for all of time gone.

They were my babies and I loved them so very much that it just won’t stop hurting. My Charlie Boy and my Sweet Abi.

A Strange Time To Be Tearful:

Seems kind of weird showing Christmas decor while I’m writing about sadness. But it’s all part of life.

We have those in our life that we love beyond measure. And as with all things, we will at some point lose them.

You can’t stop it from happening; you can’t slow down the passage of time.

Ivy on the back of the couch

Love and loss, while seeming to be on opposite ends of the spectrum, are really one and the same in terms of category. If there is love, there will be a future loss.

But if you don’t dare to love, to put yourself out there, you miss so much. Even with the pain that comes after they’re gone.

To give a home to an animal and love it unconditionally; yes, yes it’s worth it.

I’m excited about moving to a new place. I’ve been here nearly 8 years and there were good times.

I have memories of the dogs running around on the patio. Being indoors doing silly things that made me laugh.

So many memories tucked away for safekeeping.

Gracie resting on the couch.

Moving On:

Yes, it’s time to move on. Someplace else will be home and I’ll decorate it and make it mine. Mine and Ivy’s and Gracie’s. We will move on.

But still, a bit of sadness will linger because Charlie and Abi can’t come with us.

So I’m sitting here writing to you, trying to pull myself together. I hope I’m not upsetting Ivy and Gracie. I know the dogs would have been beside themselves seeing and hearing me cry.

I’m about to feed the kitties. And that is the highlight of their day.


For some strange reason yesterday, I woke up with “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James + The Shondells in my head.

I sang or hummed it all day until finally, I looked it up on YouTube. I hadn’t heard it in years, so I don’t know why it was stuck in my head. But I wanted to hear it again.

It was released way back in 1968! I was 11. Tommy James also composed “Crimson & Clover.”

Click here to watch and listen to them live singing “Crystal Blue Persuasion.”

Click here to listen to “Crimson & Clover.”

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22 Comments

  1. You can NEVER replace a beloved pet. Heaven knows, I’ve cried over several dogs, cats and a horse in my life, but I have found that even though I can’t replace them and I always will miss them, getting a new pet has helped me. Our last dog we lost was so precious, but we didn’t wait long before we got not one, but two Labrador puppies and they have brought so much joy and fun into our lives. My wish for you is that when you are ready, you can get another puppy and love it as much as you have loved your other dogs. There is one out there waiting for your love.

  2. I love your tree undecorated..so pretty and calming.. holidays seem to bring out a lot of nostalgia..both good and bad.. I also agree with you that when we move..we leave memories of the time spent..but just hold into them in your mind..I hope you will make more sweet memories at your new place. Maybe when settled in..you may consider another doggie family member. Take good care. Stay well.

  3. It’s not silly to still cry over losing Abi and Charlie. It makes a lot of sense, thinking about leaving your current place where you spent your time with your pups. And I think the holidays add a tinge of melancholy for a lot of us, too.

    Your Christmas decor is beautiful. I love the look of a tree with just lights. My tabletop tree has just colored lights on it right now…I haven’t brought out the ornaments yet. But it still looks so pretty.

  4. Charlie and Abi will always be with you. It’s ok to cry and feel sad. When you’re through try to think about how fortunate you are. You have your girls and grandkids. You’re moving into a beautiful space with neighbors that seem nice. You have your kitties and oh! So many friends. I wish you the happiest of Holidays ever. Next year will b such a good change for you. You must know how much you mean to so many people. Love, hugs, and kisses. I want to wipe your tears away.

  5. You’re right, you can never replace a pet. I’ve lost a dog and two cats, and understand the pain. I think leaving a home stirs up all kinds of emotions, and maybe even more around the holidays. You leave the physical house, but take the memories with you.
    I think your tree looks lovely with just the lights.

  6. Your Christmas tree and decor are beautiful, Brenda.
    BUT… not as beautiful as you are!
    Hugs to you, Ivy & Gracie.
    Wishing you & yours a holiday season & New Year filled with good health, contentment, laughter, love, and peace!

  7. Ivy looks so beautiful and regal in the first photo of her in this post. She’s a gorgeous girl.

    I think big transitions are always filled with a mixture of anticipation and happiness and sadness and loss. Terrible pain and bright hope. At some point I may have to leave my little ranch house where I’ve lived with my ex-husband and raised my two girls. Also where I cared for and loved the three dogs that lived with me. Memories, memories.

    I love the look of your little tree with just the lights and the other white ornaments. I really like decorating with white. The cleanness and simplicity of it always pleases my eye. I hope you enjoy the holiday season even though it may be bittersweet because it is your last in that place that holds so many memories.

  8. I understand the sadness. I lost my pup less than 3 months after I lost my husband. He gave dear Mollie to me. I am anticipating moving and the sadness is all the memories I see every day will be lost once I move. May you find peace and joy wherever you are.

    1. Oh, Mary, I am in the same position as you, thinking of moving from my home, where I shared so much with my late husband. And also the pets we have loved and lost over the years. But don’t think your memories will be lost. We keep those memories safe in our hearts always.

  9. I am sure you are thinking of Charlie and Abi a lot. This is where you had them and carved out a life with them. So many good memories are here in this place. Each time I have moved in the last few years I feel so sad. We make our homes our sanctuary and put a lot of ourselves into our homes so it will be sad to say goodbye to a place we call home. The good news is the next place will bring more memories and good things.

  10. Oh my goodness; 1968 and I remember this song, fondly! I loved Tommy James music. And I was 11 years old myself and just starting to really listen to ‘pop/rock’ on the radio. Your little tree is lovely. One of the last years my Mom put up her big tree, to save time (and she was 80 yrs old that Xmas, last tree she put up herself as in January that year she moved in, with my Dad, to my sister’s home and then I have since lost both of them), she had all white lights only on the tree with no ornaments except scattered in the tree she had only crystal icicles hanging down – (because she had about 22 of them and because of the shape they hang down and take up space and because they reflect light so beautifully). It was so lovely at night…

  11. Hi Brenda,
    I understand the tears too. It happens to me out of nowhere too. This has always been a tough time of year for me like a lot of people. Both my a husband and dad died in the month of December, and my Mom who died last May was a Christmas baby. She was so proud of that. I lost Lily a few weeks ago too, so I feel the loss of everyone greatly. I remember crying all the time when I left the condo I shared with my husband. That’s when I started listening to audio books in the car so I wouldn’t cry every time I had to go home from work – in the wrong direction. But as you say, life goes on and you carry the memories with you. For me I must continue to move forward to get to the end where the promise is that we’ll all be together again one day. One day at a time Brenda. For me time doesn’t really heal, you just learn to cope better, and if you feel overwhelmed and need a good cry, then always give yourself the grace to do so: you have a lot of people out here who love and care about you. So grateful you have Ivy and Gracie for companionship, love and affection. Margie

  12. I wanted to thank you for the info on ‘Prime Reading’ – I don’t have Amazon Prime but my husband does. I had no idea that family could also take advantage of Prime benefits. I’m particularly excited to get free books, including audio. I worked in an office for 42 years before retirement, and have missed the sharing that goes on between women– everything from health issues to recipes. The Blogging world has filled that void for me, and I just want to thank you for the well-researched and informative posts you share with your readers. Even tho I don’t post often, I am so grateful.

  13. I understand the tears too…. December seems like an especially tough month to grieve our lost ones, either human or furbabies. I too wake up sometimes with a song in my head, or one pops into my head just before bed, and as I try to go to sleep, it plays over and over and over… and of course, can’t get to sleep. Then I usually wake up with it too.. and it may be in my head for days and days. I really hate that as is very annoying.

    As far as your tree, it is very pretty with just the lights. I did that about 3 years ago.. my husband was away house sitting for my sister 75 miles away, so I finally did put up the tree myself on about Dec. 22nd… didn’t want to get out the big tub of ornaments, etc. so made a few paper ornaments, like angels and origami ones, and a few fabric ones I found on YouTube. It was fun to make all the ornaments that went on, and it looked just beautiful. I had also gone to a Christmas bazaar and found a few ‘natural’ things from nature, which I also hung up. I really liked the look. I may do that again this year… I have a small box of very special ornaments and I may only get that out to put those on the tree. Marilyn

  14. Brenda, I don’t think of the holidays as a time to be free of tears. The season brings back memories of dear ones, those we’ve lost, sentimental feelings both positive and negative. In many ways we are exposed and raw emotionally. And I know how you feel about moving, 4 years ago we downsized and moved to be close to a daughter and her family. Every single thing was for the right reason and has remained so good, but it was the first home my mother, sister, grandmother and dad had not seen. I shed many tears about how much I missed them and wished they could see where I am. I suppose they do, as I believe they watch over us. Your move too is for the best and all will be well. Sherry B

  15. I think your feelings over leaving the place where you lived so long with Abi and Charlie makes perfect sense. For me, December has held too many sad memories to list…so that now, I just want to get past this month so quickly as I can. It was the month we lost our most beloved dog, now 11 yrs ago…does not seem possible. I feel entirely confident that we shall be with her again in the next life. I wish you felt that too…it is a comfort!! The place we lived for most the years when our kids were home, was hard to leave too…even though I never wanted to leave a location as far as the town went, to such a degree before nor since. But the dwelling was our place to be shut out from the nastiness of that area, at least. And where some of our best memories were. But once we left, it was ok. I trust it will be for you too. Sounds like you are moving to a very good place!!
    Sending hugs, Elizabeth

  16. I love the three representations of trees in your decorating. Intended, or not, it’s very appealing.
    Tears are healing, and you have a lot to process. They are proof positive of the love you have shared.
    The lyrics of CBP are very timely, and it’s interesting that you woke up with that song in your mind. I love it when we get help in our sleep – wherever it comes from😴

  17. Oh Brenda, I so know how you feel. Really do. We’ve lost so many of our pets from old age.
    Most (except 2) were also cremated. Their ashes are on shelves or floor in a second PC room. Soon you will move. Make new memories with Ivy & Gracie. Things will be ❤ much better for you Brenda.
    I know what you mean re waking up with a certain song 🎵 🎶 in your head! Happens to me all the time. Usually Barbra Streisand or Lesley Gore. Karen Carpenter for sure!! It’s always someone!!! I just enjoy 😉 it. Whatever my old brain digs up in my “files”!!!
    Your holiday decor looks real nice Brenda. Lots of ppl never put ornaments on their holiday 🎄 tree. I hope you’ll enjoy the season. More wonderful memories await you ❤ soon!!

  18. I also understand about having a good cry! There is something about Christmas that brings back so many memories of our departed love ones, they all mean so much to us and we will always miss them! This year we didn’t put any decorations on our tree either just lights. We have a grand baby who is 17 months old and is into everything!

  19. Brenda,
    I understand about crying out of nowhere. It comes and goes but when it comes, just let it. My father died on Christmas day and it’s a very sad time for me and his memory lives on, but the tears still come and take me down. Cherish your life, your lost 4 legged babies, and your new ones…I’m thrilled you are moving to a new place where you can start new memories. Hope you have a great holiday season.

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