Light Up the Dark

The colorful ghosts of Christmas past emerged this weekend, sparking wishes for future memories.

After I did my Friday night groceries, I returned home to Christmas cheer thanks to T and the hubby.

It’s only mid November, but it’s family tradition to put up the tree, decorations and lights after Remembrance Day.

Christmas is without a doubt T’s favourite time of the year and he was counting down the days this past week till the tree went up.

T was reunited with giant inflatable Santa, which we quickly moved from the living room to outside because it was distracting T from his homework and well, everything else.

The hubby wrapped lights around the two trees in our yard. The bright white light – pictured below from last winter – feels so healing.

T did a great job helping the hubby decorate the tree. No ornaments were broken this year!

The tree reminds us of happy memories.

The ornaments document our family’s travels, including moments from the hubby and my 19 years together.

I’d like to share a few highlights:

This panda was from a street vendor when we visited Beijing, a few months after China hosted the Olympics in 2008.

This tiny Eiffel Tower keychain was from a street vendor in Paris. The hubby strung a ribbon through and turned it into an ornament.

This elephant was from our once-in-a-lifetime cross country trip to India nearly a decade ago.

The hubby is obsessed with the Royal Family and these ornaments are from The Stodgy… I mean, The Royal Collection store near Buckingham Palace.

This llama was from Peru, our last solo trip before T came into our lives unexpectedly a few months later.

And of course, we must represent Canada – and what better way to do so than a box of Tim Hortons timbit.

My favourite ornaments are the homemade ones that T’s teachers created with him over the years using supplies like a plastic cup, construction paper and a photo of T’s sweet face.

These are flimsy and amateur ornaments but they hold the warmest memories and most value. We pack them away into storage with great care.

It’s startling to me that it’s nearing Christmas. I genuinely feel like we just celebrated it.

Time flies and during these darker still-pandemic days, any way to light up the dark – literally and figuratively – is very welcomed.

Looking at our tree and the years of memories it represents, it makes me feel hopeful for new memories that lie ahead.

I look forward to discovering more of the world in the years ahead with T by our side.

The ghosts of Christmas past light the way for the future.

24 thoughts on “Light Up the Dark

      1. Yup! 😆 We like to check out local McDonalds when we travel to see the interesting stuff they have locally. That’s another post on its own. 😊


    1. Thanks Diane! The hubby does all the decorations so kudos to him. Just a warning our house is still in need of renovations. Haha. Don’t let the tree and lights fool you. Holes in the wall, missing cupboard doors. But something we’ll do in the years to come. No rush. 😊

      And yes, we feel very blessed to have travelled lots. Something we intentionally save and make space for. It’s harder to do now with raising a child, but something we hope to nurture a love of with T as well.


  1. I find November is such a hard month in general as the days are darker and it starts to get colder outside. It’s nice to put up your Christmas decorations earlier to, as you say, light up the dark and build up the anticipation. Your tree looks fantastic and I love that your ornaments have so much meaning and memories. Good call on putting out your outdoor lights and decorations too before it gets any colder. The forecast is calling for scattered flurries overnight!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. I did see the snow forecast for tonight and am in slight denial about it! 😆 I know you and K, if I recall correctly, had visited Japan a few years back. We were supposed to do this awesome 3-week Japan trip in 2016 and cancelled it when T came into our lives unexpectedly. So one day, our Japan ornament will reflect memories made with T too. 😊

      Did you get your Kawartha ice cream?


      1. We visited Japan back in 2018 and LOVED it there. I would go back in a heartbeat. That sounds like an amazing memory to make and share with T.

        We actually got a substantial amount of snow yesterday. It looks so pretty, but will likely melt soon. No complaints as I won’t bother with shovelling my driveway then.

        I didn’t even look in the freezer section. My cart was already so full with Christmas decorations and presents (and other sweets and treats).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Snow seems nice from the inside. 🙂 Looks like it’ll melt away with todays sunny day. A nice teaser of winter to come in the weeks ahead!

        Enjoy prepping your Christmas decor and presents! It’ll be here before we know it 😊


      3. For sure. I’m hoping we’ll get some more snow before Christmas as it just makes all the lights seem that much brighter and makes it look so magical outside. We’re hoping to get our tree in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to decorate. I should get a move on with my Christmas shopping though.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I Love the Christmas Tree Ab and the ornaments it represents. I too believe the Christmas Tree represents the best and happiest of hope and memories. Thanks for sharing the beautiful memories of the places you and your family had been. My fav too are the handmade school Art my Son used to make when he was younger. One Christmas in Texas, our Tree was all Pokemon Drawings he made. Our tree is up to since last week. Just want to enjoy the joy and magic of the season for as long as I can. Happy Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was inspired by your Christmas post and your summer post about autumn magic. And I agree that it is the memories that the tree symbolizes that make this time of the year especially magical.

      I love the homemade artifacts for sure, because they come from the heart and are truly one of a kind in the world. Do you still have the Pokémon drawings? We try to pack away T’s homemade ornaments carefully cuz they are so flimsy. So far so good. 🙏

      Happy Sunday and enjoy the rest of your weekend! 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love, love, love that you walked us down memory lane. What incredible memories – and 19 years, wow! Love it – and those beautiful trees. I’m feeling inspired by you to get our tree out. Christmas is indeed a magical time! Wishing the best to you all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wynne! Do you remember Christmas growing up in the Philippines? Now there is a country that goes all out with the lights and holiday spirit!


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