A Special Christmas-y Afternoon

I have some amazing people in my life, and I know I am truly lucky for that.

Christmas is a huge deal to my family, and when we found out my mom was sick, I knew I had to do my best to help her make the Christmas season as normal as possible. With her whole world feeling like it’s upside down right now, I knew some Christmas cheer would help her. I didn’t want her to come home from the hospital, during her favorite time of year, to an undecorated house.

best way to spread christmas cheer

I’d been telling my good friend Meg about this a few weeks ago, and she said “I would totally help!”

And so I asked a few of my closest friends to come out to NJ with me for a day of decorating Christmas trees, drinking wine and eating spaghetti. My friends said they’d be there in a heartbeat, and so out we went this afternoon.

When I say my mom goes all out…we had not one, but six trees to decorate today. But with four Junior League girls and one event planner on the job, we made quick work of it. 

We laughed, we cried, we ate meatballs and we decorated SIX Christmas trees.


Between the friend who worked at Sloan Kettering for 10 years in pediatric oncology and was able to answer many of my mom’s questions and the friend who had us all laughing so hard our abs hurt all day, it was a truly special day that I’ll remember for a long time. I have some AMAZING friends in my life and if any of them ever try to leave NYC, well, I just won’t let them.

What’s your favorite Christmas/holiday tradition?

19 comments on “A Special Christmas-y Afternoon

  1. Catherine

    Hi there!
    I’m thinking about your mom and I hope her treatments go as well as possible. My mom was diagnosed with soft pallet cancer last year, and I know how difficult it can be when your mom is so sick. If there’s anything at all I can do to help, please reach out, I know we don’t know each other, but it’s rough so don’t be shy if you even just need someone to send an email to 🙂

  2. Ash Diamond

    I hate that I couldn’t make it yesterday but I am SO thankful that you all were able to make the trip out there and deck the halls for your mom. I’m sure she was thrilled. Hugs!

  3. Katie

    I somehow had missed the post where you shared that your mom was sick. I’ll be thinking of you guys this holiday season. My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer when I was a senior in college, so I understand some of the things that are going through your head. take care, and let us know how we can support you and your family.

  4. Melissa

    This post makes my heart so happy. What an amazing and thoughtful thing you did for your mom – and how lucky you are to have such great friends to support you and your family!

  5. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    What a really amazing gift for your mom and you do have incredible friends. This makes my heart happy. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis but glad that she (and you) have so many resources in the city and an amazing support network. Sending you lots of love. xo

  6. Lauri

    Friends seriously are the family we chose for ourselves!

    My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 days before Christmas in 1995. I think we spent the holidays in shock, and as a college student I definitely didn’t grasp the full impact of what was happening. She has now been basically cancer free since 1996 (bump in the road back in 2011). I’m hoping for a good prognosis for your mom, and that you can all enjoy the holidays together.

  7. Lisa

    While we have never met, I have been following along on your journey for quite a while now. I just wanted to say that I hope your mom kicks cancer in the butt and that her treatment is painless and whatnot. I have been thinking about your family lately, especially your mom. You guys seem so similar to me and my mom, and I just have been sending you both love and light.

  8. Dad

    Thanks to Shannon, Lacey, Emily, Meghan and Theodora for the great job they did decorating the numerous trees and the rest of the house! Carol will be happy to come home to a well decorated house. Also, thanks to Theodora for being a good daughter with such nice friends.

    Please Pray that Carol has a quick and complete recovery.

  9. Lara

    Love all of the trees. So beautiful. Been thinking about you and your family this morning and hoping for only the best of updates forthcoming!

    And because I feel like something positive is good to throw in the mix, our holiday tradition is homemade chili and cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve (cinnamon rolls being the “dessert”) and leftover cinnamon rolls then on Christmas Day. We’ve done it for as long as I remember. Definitely a favorite of our traditions: http://gritsinthecity.net/family-traditions-homemade-cinnamon-rolls/

      1. Lara

        OMG yes. It was my least favorite yoga class. Entirely too little candlelight and it was a surprise advanced class meets hot yoga. I thought I was going to pass out. The teacher came over and corrected me once so emphatically that I fell over, and then kept trying to correct me again. I have never felt so un-zen. Dislike!

  10. Kelly

    This is really beautiful. I, too, am going through a health crisis with my mother and having the support of those close to me (and to her) has been unspeakably sustaining and uplifting. I will say a prayer for your mother tonight.


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