Making the Holidays Special

For the first time in many, many years, all 3 of my siblings were with me for Christmas, along with two in-laws, a nephew, and my Mom.  You see, it was a special Christmas.  I’d moved away 18 months ago, my brothers both live in the Western US and Mom is turning 90 next month.  Yes, 90!  She’s still amazing.  Her head is as clear as ever, she gets around ‘ok’ for her age with the assistance of a rollator on occasion, and is as feisty as ever. Ok, yes, she IS one of those cool ladies of a certain age who speak their mind. Sometimes a bit too much, but then again, she’s earned her opinions.

In any case, we decided to forego gifts this year and just focus on being together. One day, we all took my Mom to a nice restaurant nearby with amazing views of Seattle to celebrate her birthday in style.  She loved it!

Everyone managed to do their thing – getting out and about to see the Seattle sites; from the quintessential Pike Place Market to the Chihuly Museum to bucolic Whidbey Island. Yes, it was a special time and one, I fear, we will hold precious in our hearts.

It was stressful at times, hectic and loud, but now that everyone has gone and I can reflect on this time, I’m grateful. Grateful that I have a family that wants to get together, grateful we were all healthy enough this year to travel, and grateful for a Mom who has made it all possible through her love. We skipped the mad rush of gift shopping, skipped the malls, even skipped – and didn’t miss seeing a single gift wrapped package under the tree. So much so, that I think gift-free Christmases will be the standard going forward!

Happy Holidays everyone


About Andrea Cole

Four years ago, I followed my dreams and my heart by quitting my job, selling my home, and moving myself back to Seattle from Washington, DC. I didn't know how things would turn out, but I knew whatever life held in store for me, it was going to be in Seattle. And what a ride it has been! I now help others live their lives through rewarding career and meaningful retirement coaching. My website is
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