This is the first time in Four years that I have decorated for Christmas since my mother died and I lost my daughter,without being told to do so. The first year I didn’t decorate at all. My apartment no longer felt like a home since my daughter was gone from my life and for the first time I was truly living alone. I saw that decorating was a waste of time and it would only make me feel worse. Then the following two years I would be asked if I was putting up my tree and I would answer no, their response would be it would be good for me. Of course my response would be there is no point. I am alone and I would be the only person to see the decorations. But my friends did not give up on encouraging me. So I would bring the tree out and that would be that. I am sharing this because even though I have been battling my depression more as the holidays have approached, this time I did not need encouragement. The tree came out, I hung the garland and the lights. I even brought out decorations that I have been keeping boxed up. The penguin was a gift from my mom from the year before she died, it plays Jingle Bells. Listening to it sing brings me joy because it was a gift from her, just as the stocking was a gift she gave my daughter. I can look at these now and not feel the pain of missing them but remember the good times. There is a hole in my heart that no one else will ever be able to fill but now instead of the dread of missing them that holidays brought, I can now focus on the good memories.