A Blue Christmas










Yesterday was raw and windy and the cold seemed to penetrate my bones and heart. All day long, relentless wind, which always leaves me feeling edgy and restless. I watched old episodes of The Big Valley and The Rifleman, which I found strangely comforting.

I’m feeling blue. As the day draws nearer, the realization that Don and I are going to be apart on Christmas has finally hit me. Our Christmases are never elaborate, always simple. We are used to being away from our families on the holidays. My family is spread out all over the country. Don’s is out in California. And, though I missed them all terribly, I knew that I had our Christmas to look forward to. Our little nuclear family.

This year, everything is different. There is a place right in front of me where Riley should be resting. He isn’t here this Christmas. He should be. I miss him so very, very much.

We made this choice, Don and I, because the job opportunity was such a good and rewarding one. And I’ve stayed positive the whole time, becoming the cheerleader I never was in real life, saying ‘yes! you have to do this,’ downplaying the Christmas part of the whole thing. But it’s caught up with me. And I’m blue.

That’s where I am on a Sunday morning.



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  1. says

    Remember Christmas is a day, just like any other day. You are loved and what you and Don have together is so special that being apart can not change that. Sending you a sister hug,

  2. Rita says

    I think for the two of you to be without each other at Christmas is very hard. You’ll adjust to this Christmas but I’m sure it won’t happen again. Some things just aren’t worth the $. Like you I am a cheerleader for something and then I realize oh no what have I done.? Then I have to walk through it. Sad……. For me I guess, I’d make an extra batch of cookies and freeze some of them, or maybe a favorite candy. Find a Christmas magazine about my favorite subject. They cost about $10. which is to much but it will help to keep your creative juices flowing. Prepare for the day by making sure you have a movie handy that you like. Take a nap. Take pictures of your pup. You might cry some but it’s better to let it out than hold it in. Play beautiful music. This is what my days are like when I’m alone and don’t want to be. Many hugs and blessings to you. ~ Rita

    • Claudia says

      Oh, I’ll cry, for sure. I’m already crying, but you’re right, it’s good to let it out! Hugs and blessings to you, too, Rita.

  3. says

    I’m so sorry you are sad..
    I wish I could come over in my pj’s, eat .. take photos with you to cheer you up ;)
    Well, Have a wonderful Holiday the best way you can. Before long, Don will be home
    to celebrate with you. Keep your tree up till he comes home friend.
    I’m home from school all week… just a thought if you want to meet :)
    xoxo Liz

    • Claudia says

      Thanks, Liz. I have to go to Hartford a few days after Christmas for a job. But that’s good. It will keep me busy.

  4. Carol Killian says

    Dear sweet friend,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your day is filled with sunshine!

  5. says

    Oh Claudia honey my heart goes out to you. When Dean was gone eight months one year I thought it would break me. You are a good wife. I have had him get called out on Christmas before but we always saw him at some point. I know it is doubly hard with Riley not there too. Just think of the reunion you will have. Just try and hang onto that.

  6. Cori says

    Maybe go see a movie. Is that Lincoln movie still out? Walk around your town with your new Camera and play. Take your puppy for a nice walk. Thank you for your lovely blog. I came for all the pretty pictures and I stayed for that and everything else! Take Care.

  7. says

    Dear Sweet Claudia – I wish you were closer and we would spend Christmas Day together. I know it wouldn’t be Don, but at least you wouldn’t be alone. But you do have precious Scout and I’m sure she is missing Don also. Dogs have such a sense of things like that.

    Hope you have a good day.


    • Claudia says

      Oh, she’s definitely missing Don. She heard his voice on Skype last night and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.

  8. GinaE says

    Christmas is different to me this year too, with two of my babies gone. Your sister is right, what you and Don have
    is a real gift and when he is able to come home, it will really be Christmas for you both. The suggestion to go see the Lincoln movie is a good one. It’s the first movie I’ve been tempted to go see in a theater in a long time. What ever you decide to do, after talking to Don, treat yourself special, because you are. Hugs to you and Scout.

  9. says

    Sending you warm thoughts and some of our beautiful but very cold still weather from the sparkling, frozen Finnish countryside! I hope the new year will bring you much happiness and cheer!

    Love x Aniko

  10. says

    I wish you could be here to hang out with me. I would hug you and make you laugh. But, you are right about the job opportunity. You just have to think of it as a big Christmas present.

  11. says

    Please know that all of us ladies out here in the Blog World are hoping and praying that you find some joy on Christmas Day. Tuesday will come and we will all be back to normal.

    Sending you a warm hug.


    • Claudia says

      Thank you, Jane. It means so much to have the support of my friends in this wonderful blogging world.

  12. Donnamae says

    Wish you were closer to give you a hug. Seems like so much has already been said by so many others. It is just a day, a hard day to get thru, but just another day. Keep a smiling, you’ve still got Scout there with you. And, you’ve got the technological wonder known as Skype, for Don. Wishing you many blessings for the New Year! Merry Christmas, Claudia! ;)

  13. says

    I think I would look at it as.. a day just like any other. And when he returns, you will have that special candlelight dinner and maybe make that coffee cake again :-) Can you visit with a relative?

  14. Kim says

    Sending you a hug Claudia. I wish we could all get together and have a cozy little party, all of your faithful readers. Of course, flannel pajamas would be mandatory! I watched “Christmas in Connecticut” last night and thought of you. I can see the inspiration in your dollhouse. Take good care of yourself Claudia!

  15. Donna Krobock says

    I know what you are feeling Claudia. It is never easy being apart and the holidays make it that much more difficult. Find comfort in that you’ll be first in his thoughts as he is in yours. Hugs to you!

  16. Brenda Johnson says

    Why Claudia……it’s sounds like a case of the molly grumbles has visited you! This too shall pass…….the new camera should help with the process! You make a lot of us happier with each of your blog entries. :-) Merry Christmas sweet lady!!

    • Claudia says

      Yes, indeed. I’m blue. It will pass, but not until the day after Christmas, I fear. Merry Christmas to you, Brenda!

  17. Tana says

    Very, very hard to be missing people at Christmas time. Your Don is across the country and your Riley is gone to heaven. I don’t have many comforting words which would help you, but I will be thinking about you and hope you find smiles, joy, laughter and love on this Christmas. Then we will start dealing with New Years. Or should I have brought that up? Maybe you can skip over Christmas and start worrying about New Year’s Eve right now, and when you get to New Year’s Eve, skip over that.

    • Claudia says

      Funnily enough, New Year’s Eve is no big deal to me. I don’t mind being apart for that. It’s Christmas that I find so hard to deal with.

  18. Annette Tracy says

    I love the idea of you and Don Skyping on Christmas Day. Isn’t technology wonderful that we have that ability now, especially for the men/women in the service all over the world to be able to contact their families.
    Can’t wait to hear what your gifts are after your Skyping session. I love the idea of keeping the tree up til Don comes home. The lamp is beauitful, great shots. Hug that pretty little dog for me. She is a beauty.

    • Claudia says

      I will probably only have one gift, Annette, as I laid down the law about that. Since I got the camera, which is far more extravagant than any other Christmas present I’ve ever received, I think one little something to open is sufficient. I sent Don some packages to open. (He got his very own iPhone at deep discount this year, and he’s already opened that.)

  19. says

    Your pics are beautiful, Claudia. I’m sorry you have to be alone on Christmas, stay busy and the day will go by quickly. Eat lots of chocolate. Watch old Christmas movies. Hop down to Richmond to visit me (more chocolate). Big Hugs ~ Mary

    • Claudia says

      I wish I could, Mary! I’ve never been to Richmond. It would be great fun to visit and eat chocolate together! xo

  20. Jeannette says

    Sending you hugs on this “different” Christmas. Happy you have another baby to snuggle with. Doesn’t make it ok, but maybe helps with the pain of your loss. Be well

  21. just cats says

    If you were only closer we would make room for you and Scout to join our clan at Christmas. Sending you a big hug and so happy that your wonderful dog is there with you. Don will be home soon. Hugs, Deb

  22. says

    I know how you feel. Or rather my mother does since my Dad has had to work out of state a couple times in the past few years. The last time it was Iowa/Illinois for at least a year. She kind of resented it, even though she told him he had to take the job, (which was really lousy to be honest), b/c they really had no choice. You’ll get through it, so long as you have some distractions.

    And I understand about missing Riley. We lost our 20 year old cat this past June, and it doesn’t seem right that she won’t be hiding underneath all the Christmas wrapping paper this year while we open gifts. She used to love that, although she didn’t even bother last Christmas. She preferred sleeping. :p


  23. says

    Sending you lots and lots of hugs Claudia. I’m so very sorry you’re feeling sad and blue. It makes perfect sense to me, your hubby is away for Christmas and it’s your first Christmas without your Riley too. That’s too much. Inserting more hugs here. Be gentle with yourself. Cuddle up with Scout, eat comfort food and do whatever brings you joy.

    Love all the shots of your decor, so charming. I adore your collection of toys – are they called puppets are something else?

    Thinking of you and wishing you whatever would make the time pass swifter and easier!
    Sally xo

  24. says

    I don’t blame you Claudia. You are missing both your guys terribly. It’s a hard time of the year to be alone, but know that you have a lot of people thinking of you all over the country – probably the world. We can’t replace Don and Riley, of course, but we are here to keep you company too. I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful pictures with that new camera. Perfection. Ann

  25. says

    I’m so sorry that you are feeling blue. I hope that you and Don reunite soon but take joy in knowing you are always in each other hearts. Mr. Sissie and I will be apart this Christmas too for the first time in 38 years of marriage.

    It’s something we had to do this year but we will have our Christmas later on.

    hugs and Merry Christmas to you and Don.


    • Claudia says

      Oh no! I’m so sorry you and Mr. Sissie will be apart, my friend. Thinking of you and sending you love and hugs and a wish for a Merry Christmas.


  26. Kelly says

    Hi Claudia, sometimes a special day needs special solitude. I was never good at “home alone” until after my son’s death 10 years ago when he was just 30 years old. Now I find myself seeking and really savoring the “peace and quiet”. And I do know the loneliness of missing your sweet husband on the most special holyday of the year. Sorryfully, I have experienced that one too. Wish there was something pleasant I could say that would make your Christmas joyful, for me, it has to be to start the day reading about the birth of Jesus in the Book of Matthew. Scripture is packed with powerful comfort.
    Hugs to you this Christmas season.

  27. says

    Dearest Claudia,
    It’s always good to be an optimist but at times like this…It’s a real stretch! Being apart is a huge sacrifice when two people love each other…anytime of year. Knowing you…I’m sure you will look back on this and say that it was worth it. How blessed you are to have such a good man in your life.
    Something my young son shared with me when he was serving in Iraq that has warmed my heart many times was “Momma…Just remember that you and I look up and see the same moon ever night…”
    Tonight when you get ready to go to bed…Look Up, my sweet friend.
    Carolynn xxx

  28. says

    I always found the anticipation of my family going away worse than the reality. These days it is much easier to keep in touch than it was long ago.
    There used to be a private high school down the street from us. Many of he foreign students were alone over the long holidays. Their families in Hong Kong and elsewhere insisted they remain to study rather than visit classmates in their homes. I felt so badly for them!
    Keep busy! Make a photo book for your husband while he is away. It is so much fun to do! I use PhotoInPress, but there are many outfits to choose from!

  29. says

    I am sorry that you can’t be together. Like you said the things you have to do sometimes aren’t the always the happy things. But you aren’t alone…..look how many people love you. Hang in there friend. Hug your doggie and stay in your jammies. (((((HUGS)))))

  30. Lori says

    Sending you a warm Christmas hug….thinking of you on this winter’s eve and hoping you are warm in your cottage on the hill. How fortunate you are to have the love of a good man and many friends to share your (blog) life with. Don will be home soon and life will return to “normal”… Merry Christmas Claudia from your friend across the miles,


  31. says

    Claudia, I am so sorry. I know what it is to miss the people you love. Mr. Magpie has been gone for over a week, and he just got back. I am ever so thankful. He went up state on business and then out of state to check on his mother and take her some gifts. They opened them the other night, and she RAVED about the scarf you made. Just loved it and said the colors were so pretty they reminded her of a colorful bird, maybe a peacock, and she was ever so impressed. So thank you for selling that to me. It will be dearly loved. You’ve made someone very happy!

    I’m so glad he got the chance to see his mother. I have been pretty busy getting some things done, but at night, in the quiet, I reallly missed him. For me, it’s always worse at night. I’m glad you are watching things from our childhood. Those old shows are comforting.

    I also know about relentless wind. We had a windstorm in St. Augustine about a year ago, and I thought I would climb the walls. So again, I hear you, my friend.

    And my heart misses our two little girl pups that loved Christmas (stealing treats from the coffee table) and dressed for the occasion every year in a jaunty scarf and collar. I know how you must miss your sweet boy, and I’m so thankful that Scout is there to be with you.

    Please know that I’m sending you tender thoughts and warm hugs across the miles. You being there alone has made me even more aware of neighbors who are. One in particular. I’m going to try and play Santa to him. He’s been alone a long time, so I want to be sure he knows someone cares. And I hope you know a lot of us care about you. Very, very much.



    • Claudia says

      Thank you, dear Sheila. I’m so happy your mother-in-law liked her scarf! And that Mr. Magpie is home. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  32. says

    Hi Claudia.. goodness, to be alone at Christmas is a hard one. Come on over and visit my blog, that may cheer you up. Hubby finally hooked up the electricity to the lights in my dollhouse so I got some photos of it. I mention your name in my blog post, too — telling about the cute little sheep you sent to Meredith. I took a photo of my small handmade Angora goat to show Meredith, you might like to see it too. So, make a yummy drink, curl up with Scout and think positive thoughts. You have lots of friends out here to spend the day with.
    ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
    *M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
    ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  33. Verna Stapleton says

    Claudia dear, I too lost a sweet pet before the holidays and have a husband whose job takes him away on holidays. I have no wise words. Remember though, Don isn’t really so far away because he is in your heart and your thoughts, and you are in his as well. And thank goodness for phones and computers. Keep those gifts wrapped and when he gets home, make THAT day the most special it can be, and Christmas was just a little late this year. Chin up. Make a mug of hot chocolate, and give that lovely pup an extra love or two, and keep each other warm. One day at a time. Merry Christmas and may your new year be filled with joy and happiness and new adventures.

    • Claudia says

      Thank you for your kind thoughts, Verna. I know you understand. May I wish you a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

  34. says

    As Queen of the World, I hereby decree that Christmas shall not occur at Mockingbird Hill Cottage until Don and Claudia are both home! December 25 is just a day on the calendar.

    Therefore, Claudia will laze around in flannel jammies, drink cocoa, watch movies, do some crafting, napping, reading and web surfing, cuddle Scout and take a nice hot bath!

    Love to you, Claudia!

  35. says

    I am sorry, Claudia. I an remember a couple of Christmases I have spent all by myself and there is no more lonely day than Christmas by oneself. One year was right after my German Shepherd , Lindy, was shot and killed in my yard. I so understand- xo Dana

  36. says

    Hi Claudia,
    Your photographs are stunning! I had a feeling that the blues might hit as Christmas day is approaching. Even though it’s another day, something about it evokes the feeling of sadness if family isn’t physically close. You have sweet Scout to sit by your side and keep you company. I’m sure you and Don will speak on the phone but I know what you mean. It’s sad when we miss our loved ones and this is your first Christmas without Riley boy and probably your first without Don. Sending you loving thoughts and a “big” cyber hug! I don’t know about you but the movie “A Christmas Story” always puts a smile on my face and I never tire of it.

  37. says

    Merry Christmas, Claudia! Sending you much holiday love and hoping that on Christmas morning when you and Scout wake up, it will be a beautiful day to spend doing whatever you like, chatting on the phone with Don and reflecting with joy on the things you loved about your sweet Scout. xo -amy

    • Claudia says

      Merry Christmas to you, Amy. I know you a missing a beloved pet this Christmas. I’m thinking of you and yours. xo

  38. says

    Dear one – I know it’s hard for you, hopefully next year will see you two together for the holidays – this one is different but at least you know Don is thinking of you as you are him.

    Here in my hometown the storms are quite bad, and this morning is a really strong one. Waves are crashing over the sea wall below the apartment, palm trees are swaying, and rain is lashing the windows. The bay does not look inviting but it is HOME and I’m thankful to be spendiing Christmas here.

    Chin up, hang in there dear Claudia – will think of you tomorrow.
    Hugs and a woof for Scout – Mary

  39. says

    I am so sorry that you have to be alone and feeling blue on Christmas. I know this has been a hard year for you and I am wishing you sweet and wonderful blessings for the new year. I will be thinking of you on Christmas day, sweet friend.


  40. Tina says

    Your home looks so peaceful and “homey” – we should all share a cup of coffee together. Oh, wait, we do! Thank yo for hosting!

    I LOVE your bird lamp in the first photo. LOVE!

    May you find some peace this Christmas season.

  41. says

    Claudia, so sorry you are feeling blue but it was probably inevitable. It’s hard to be separated from Don, and missing Riley hurts. I know. I am also missing loved ones today and it’s hard to set aside grief and loneliness and put on a brave face all the time. Just know that your blogger friends are thinking of you and sending love, prayers and good wishes your way. If we were closer I would have packed you up and brought you and Scout to our house for Christmas! Since we are half a country apart, I guess I’ll have to make do with long distance hugs…xxxooo, Martha

    • Claudia says

      Hugs to you, Martha. I know this is a bittersweet Christmas for you and your family. I hope you can find time to rejoice in the season with your family.

  42. says

    I’m sorry you were feeling so blue, Claudia. It’s been a difficult year for you both, I know, and being on your own at Christmas wasn’t a a very happy way for each of you to end the year. I hope you’ve been able to keep in touch with one another and were feeling less blue as the days wore on. Your home is so warm and lovely, I hope that was a comfort to you.

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