Monday, December 5, 2011

A Caregiving Holiday Blog Party!

For whatever reason this year, many of our Christmas decorations decided this was the year to stop working.  Several strands of lights went through the “testing” phase of putting up decorations, only to stay dark (and, yes, we checked them on a different outlet in case our outlet was the problem).  Our lighted candy canes that usually brightly line our walkway still line the walkway but you’ll need to use the light from the lights in the nearby tree and the snowflakes hanging from the gutters to illuminate your way to our door.  We also had to say goodbye to the usual lighted holly we hang above our garage. 

Goodness, it was as if they all looked at each other and said, “We’ve worked long enough.  Let the elves make a few more candy canes and string lights and holly, we’ve paid our dues.”

So, off they went to Occupy the Garbage Bin.  

Inside, the situation was similar.  Lights didn’t work and a couple of ornaments broke (both of them Nebraska Cornhusker ornaments, no doubt shattering themselves to oblivion due to a disappointing football season).  At least we had about a thousand other ornaments and a beautiful, albeit, slightly banged up tree.
Looking good after a rocky start!
We don’t usually intentionally get a banged up tree but this year was special.  This was the first year our tree flew off the roof of our car during the trip home.

Yep.  A 10’ foot tree, freshly cut from a nearby Christmas Tree Farm flew off of our SUV on a two lane road and landed in the next lane over but miraculously avoided hitting any other cars.    

Bonus: it didn’t even get run over.

My husband would have loved to keep that part of our Christmas tree experience just between us and our son who was riding in the backseat (and who looked about as shocked as an 18 year old boy trying to maintain some semblance of “cool” can look), but with technology today, I had already texted our daughters and was in the middle of posting the event on Facebook when his request for privacy came through. 

Gotta make that request that a little quicker, honey.  My typing fingers are pretty darn speedy.  (Plus, who really could keep that experience to themselves?)

Now that the decorations are finished and the tree is in our home instead of the highway, it’s party time.  Since this is a blog, this is a blog party. 

This week, I’m participating in the HolidayProgressive Blog Party  It’s a great opportunity to read the blogs of other caregivers as well as those blogs of a few people running businesses which are designed to help caregivers. 

I never tire of mentioning what a fantastic resource is for caregivers.  It offers a community – no, a family – of support, resources, inspiration and caregiving tips.  If you are a caregiver with a blog or have a business geared toward caregiving, you can join the party too!  Visit for the details to join and how to win great prizes.

Speaking of prizes, at the end of this week I will give away one autographed copy of my book, Forever a Caregiver, to a random visitor/commenter.  This book is for anyone who is a caregiver or who has a family.  J
Now, imagine sitting around our tree (which doesn’t look too bad after having spent some time on the highway), grab some hot chocolate (with a candy cane in it, of course), a couple of cookies and enjoy the party. 


Anonymous said...


Your tree is gorgeous! Most Christmas Trees are shipped in to ND and arrive dry and shedding needles. Guess that's why we are called one of the Plains states...:-):-)...not a lot of native trees in ND...I miss the smell of a real tree! No big tree for us this year, just my Gingerbread Kitchen and some greenery and lighted garland sprinkled here and there. Oh, you might want to be on the look out for anymore Rebel Elves in your yard and report them to Santa. I'm sure he can't possibly be pleased with their behavior concerning your lighted decorations.

ENJOY some Sunshine for's a balmy (minus) -1 this morning with frosty white trees, roofs, etc outside.


Judy, The Reflective Writer said...

Your tree looks so beautiful, Trish! I think the story of its falling makes it even better. They say our "dings" make us more interesting! I can picture all of you sitting around drinking hot chocolate (that's the second mention of hot chocolate I've seen in Christmas blog posts, so I guess it's a common comfort).

You do such a wonderful job making us aware of the legions of caregivers out there who do so much for others all the time. This time of year may be bittersweet for many. Here's hoping the sweetness is very high for you this year!

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

June Sockol said...

Trish I think your tree looks great for being dropped on the freeway. We have a fake tree that we put together each year and it doesn't even come close to yours!

I have never heard of . It sounds like a wonderful community. I can't wait to go check it out.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

June, I'm so happy you're going to check out Denise Brown, the creater of the site, is a wonderful, caring person and does so much (for so little) for caregivers. Let me know what you think. I always love hearing from you!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Judy, You are right that this can be a bittersweet time for people. I do believe I'm very fortunate and am grateful. You remind me of when I was a single mom and struggling financially. My daughter and I wanted to give gifts to our family (she was very young) but didn't have much to spend. We found a delightful store (sort of like a dollar tree) and enjoyed picking out inexpensive, yet meaningful gifts. It's one of the Christmases I remember best because of that experience.

Please tell me you've had hot chocolate this time of year! If not, I'm tempted to make a trip to Washington just to share it with you. :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Oh, Linda, you're making me chilly! It's getting down to freezing here tonight although I'm pretty sure we'll stay well above zero. :-) Growing up, we always had artificial trees too. I don't remember Christmas tree lots in NE like we have here in CA. At least we had white Christmases!

Linda, check out the site when you have a chance. There's a great support group there and I know you've been developing a community of online friends. It has great resources too! Talk to you soon -- stay warm.

Denise said...

I love your tree! And, story of the tree's survival makes it even more precious. Thanks so much, Trish, for participating in our blog party. You're my hot chocolate for my soul. :)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Aw shucks,Denise. ;-)Happy to be a part of the blog party, thanks for hosting it! I've been introduced to some great new blogs. Fun!

Paula Schuck said...

I wish I had known about this blog party before. Am I too late to join?

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Not too late at all, Paula! Visit for the details (or click on the link on this post). Welcome to the party! :-)

Angela V. McKnight said...


The tree is beautiful!!!!! I can picture you sitting under the tree enjoying the screen with a hot cup of hot chocolate or egg nog! I love sitting in the room with the lights off and the tree lit!


Kathy Lowrey said...

HA HA Trish!!

Your dented tree is smashing!
I so love that you shared the story. And even happier that your husband was too slow on the "Do not share" Sorry Trish's Hubby ;-)

I shall have to get some hot chocolate and read it again, no scratch that because I laughed out loud and wouldn't want to spit chocolate on my monitor.

Thanks for the smile.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Kathy, I knew you'd enjoy that story! Hubby still grumbles every time I tell him someone made a comment about it. Poor guy. :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Angela, There is something magical about sitting in a dark room with just the tree on. Thank you for letting me remember that! Happy you stopped by.

Cindy said...

What a great story, and you are a great storyteller! Your husband really didn't expect you to deprive us by not allowing you to share did he?! hmmppffff.

The tree is so colorful! Really beautiful...adversity can lead to greater beauty and glow--apparently falling off the car worked for your tree! I love how wide/fat it is too!


Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Hubby knows me by now so he knew it was wishful thinking on his part. :-) I love how wide the tree is too! It's probably the widest we've had but I love it. Makes me want to give it a big bear hug. LOL.

Bette said...

Hi Trish!

Just stopping by from's Holiday Progressive Blog Party. I enjoyed reading your blog and looking at the articles on your site - thank you. I hope you are enjoying your week-end and that you have a nice day tomorrow.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Bette, Thanks for dropping by! Denise puts on a pretty good blog party, doesn't she? :-) Enjoy your weekend, too.

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