May the holidays first bring comfort, connection, and kindness to you and then extend towards others.

What helps me is:

  • Doing what I love to do
  • Pacing my energy so I am not depleted
  • Lowering my expectations in order to be present in the moment.
  • In my November article on this web, I talked about how to care for yourself and your kids who are coming to visit for the holidays. I also talked about what to do if you are alone which really does hurt.

    December is a month of celebrations from all types of spiritual traditions. In the hurriedness of work, shopping, cooking, decorating, mailing, emotions rising and falling, we might forget to see the lights and hear the music all around us. Holidays bring memories and sign posts that time is Moving us forward from what was to what might be possible.

    What do I want for the holidays…TO FALL IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN with the people in my life and to imagine new friendships heading my way?

    I want a photo my daughter took at her college, a love note, my traditional anniversary in town sleep over at a hotel for one night with my hubby, to not burn the rolls, music, and coffee in bed with the newspaper, a surprise under my pillow other than the socks I stuff there every night (I want my husband, and yes I have hinted, to give me a coupon where he takes my car to the car wash three times and gets my wiper blades replaced.) I don\’t want another robe from my mother.

    Don\’t tell, but I am putting a surprise under the pillow for my family…..a poem, and pajamas!

    Here is the poem:

    Except for the point, the still point,

    There would be no dance,

    And there is only the dance. —T.S Eliot

    Two books I have read on Christmas Eve, which are kids books because I love the illustrations and the messages so simply told for both adults and kids are:

    GAUCHADA, by C. Drew Lamm ; This book talks about the joy of giving

    I PROMISE I\’LL FIND YOU, by Heather Patricia Ward; this book is about the fear of being lost

    We also celebrate Hanukah, lighting the menorah, playing dreidel using acorns, and stuffing our face with latkes topped with sour cream, applesauce, and pomegranates.

    The let down when the last gift is opened, the platter has crumbs, the wrapping paper is scattered on the floor, and you are exhausted from the days and nights, all feel worth it, when you sit cuddled in a white blanket, Earl Grey tea, feeling misty that life is really a gift and you are here, still able to appreciate, dream, and begin again. Hopefully a dream did come true that you didn\’t get another wrong sized robe from your Aunt Ida that you will have to wait in line to return!

    Happy Holidays.

    PS. If you have time, coming in December, my web will have Empty Nest GIFTS for year round. Check it out! Email me how your holiday went with the kids being back home:

    Branching out to you,


    Natalie Caine Founder of Empty Nest Support Services

    Natalie Caine is the founder of Empty Nest Support Services. When her daughter was a senior in high school, she realized that as a soon-to-be “empty nester,” she would be undergoing a major life shift. Not wanting to confront this transition alone nor have her many friends face this abyss without strong support, she created a support services group, which quickly grew into a new career and an exciting full-time business.