A Quiet Christmas

December 27, 2012

By Gabrielle.

Did you have a wonderful Christmas? I hope you did. Ours was lovely, raucous, and still at all the right moments. I loved it all, but the lulls were my favorite; they gave me the chance to reflect a little beyond the presents and meal prep and pies and “Wow. Didn’t realize that toy was so loud.”

Every holiday, I say a little prayer for those who are celebrating alone. May they feel anything but loneliness, please.

I had the pleasure of reading Anne Sage’s beautiful capture of her solo-by-choice Christmas, and I can honestly say it touched me so much. She chose to celebrate the day differently than Christmases past because she “wanted a day of still seas.” And while she missed her family and traditions, she spent the day productively. Sans laptop. Reading Martha Stewart Living cover to cover. Making homemade vegetable stock. Taking a shower until her skin turned pruney.

And she thought. About this, specifically: “I thought about wanting. About gifting ourselves more with what we want, as I did yesterday. Not selfishly, but intentionally. So that when we do go out to weather the winds of the world, we have built within ourselves a strong and solid hull of incontrovertible truths. In my case, I know I am: a girl who still needs to tinker with her veggie stock recipe. A girl who takes fifteen minutes to wrinkle up in hot water, give or take an hour. A girl who can face the fear of a Christmas alone and come out the other side, happy.”

For those of you who are spending the holidays alone, may you come out the other side happy.

Photo titled YAUITSS, acronym unknown.

P.S. — More thoughts on being alone.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Léa Jones December 27, 2012 at 6:55 am

what a beautiful photo! did you take it Gabrielle?
I love your blog! I love following your adventures in France.



2 Léa Jones December 27, 2012 at 6:56 am

ah sorry, just saw the link to the photo, still, well chosen beautiful photo!


3 Lisa | Happy By December 27, 2012 at 7:44 am

You never disappoint me when picking special topics to present to this blog. I really love this and the story you shared. It takes so much courage and love for yourself to make this choice. May everyone find a reason to smile these holidays, whatever their life is like at the moment. And for those that are alone, may they feel blessed and loved. This is the wish I shared on my blog too.
Happy Holidays to all your family and I am glad you had a blast.
Lusting for pictures :)


4 Jessica December 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

Gabrielle, what a thoughtful and inspiring post! So needed by so many, I’m sure. Thank you for thinking so far beyond yourself, at Christmas and always.


5 Karen from Chookooloonks December 28, 2012 at 5:05 am

When I was single, I used to make a point of spending every Thanksgiving alone (although I lived in the US as did my parents, since we’re not American, Thanksgiving isn’t a huge holiday for us, so it was no big deal if I chose to stay home for the holiday). It was lovely: I’d make myself a vegetarian Thanksgiving meal (everything but the turkey), and if it was cold, I’d light a fire and eat it in my living room while I read a good book.

Now that I’m married and my daughter is American, we always make sure to celebrate Thanksgiving for her — but to be honest, I miss my solo holidays. I strongly recommend the practice of taking one holiday for your own, if you have the luxury of doing so. It can be positively divine.


6 Tasha December 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I was intrigued and found this regarding the acronym:


YAUITSS (VIEW INFO) — December 23, 2008

Nikon D200: 50mm, 1/350, f/2.8

This picture is appropriately titled ‘YAUITSS’. The first commenter to correctly identify the acronym (in the comments) will receive a print of their choosing. Happy holidays everyone…


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