12/19/17, Busy Days

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is well and in good spirits, and not too rushed, swamped, and stressed by the season. This last week before Christmas is a challenge!! Finish Christmas shopping, finish wrapping, send presents to people far away, get the Christmas cards out, visit family, and/or fly to far away locations, and just getting through it all, whatever it takes. It seems to be a tradition now at our house that some major function in our (very old, 111 year old) house breaks right before Christmas, usually too late to fix it in time for the holiday. A few years ago, the entire heating system broke down, and no one could do a major repair until after New Year, so we literally ate Christmas dinner in warm winter jackets. One year, one of the water heaters broke. This year, the hot water is suspiciously cool, and a dining room window broke and won’t close. And when you jam every room full of people, and 20+ people take showers at the same time, the house no longer seems to be used to full occupancy, and some vital system collapses. I see chilly baths in my future for the next week!!! (The same thing used to happen at our beach house over my birthday, when alarms would go off, the hot water would run out, and someone would have forgotten to get a fresh tank of butane or propane or whatever so we could cook. Oops!!) But whatever the kinks in the house, I am happiest when our house is full to the gills, and my whole family is home. That’s the best part of Christmas or any holiday for me.

We all know what the stresses of Christmas are. The important thing is not to let them eclipse the joys of the season. Family battles, minor or major feuds, the usual problems that plague us all and lurk even at Christmas, job worries, financial responsibilities, health issues, and all the dreams we want to come true, and maybe haven’t yet (the right partner, a better job, a nicer home, a kinder boss, an estranged family member to return, a healing for our marriage, a better relationship with those we love). The worries will still be there by next week, so it’s nice if we can put them aside long enough to enjoy the holiday!!!

One of my children volunteered at a homeless shelter for the past two weekends, and I am very proud of her. It is so important to remember those who are less fortunate than we are. No matter what we have or who we are, as humans, there will always be people who have more, and others who have less and need our help. Our foundation in my late son Nick’s honor gives gifts and gift certificates to as many as we can manage at facilities for homeless, troubled, and mentally ill children and young people. And the gift of one’s time is often the greatest gift, and the hardest to give at this time of year.

The year has been crammed full, of good things and scary things (the Napa fires), and sad things, losses and gains, disappointments, victories and lessons learned. Each year is a slice of life with the full mix of blessings and sorrows. And at this time of year, the memories of sweet times and losses flood us, and ultimately carry us through.

So as you rush around this week, trying to remember everything you’ve forgotten to do, and finish all the last details before the holiday, I hope we take a minute to remember our blessings, even if they are small ones, and cherish the good times and the good years, and our hopes for the future. The world around us can be dicey, but even with its ups and downs, we’re lucky in so many ways, no matter how small the blessings.

I send you all my loving thoughts for comfort, strength, and joy, good people in your lives, happy moments that carry you through to better times, and will make these holidays special in some way. May the love and joy and spirit of the holidays be with you, and keep you warm. A very, very happy holiday to all, whatever holiday you celebrate, and wherever you are.

With much love, Danielle

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6 Comments so far
  1. TERESA CUNHA December 19, 2017 11:12 am

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for you, too! I think that some of the blessings of those who come to your blog are your posts and your books, both great ointments for the soul. God bless you and all the fellow readers.
    Happy holidays,


  2. David December 19, 2017 2:28 pm

    Merry Christmas, Danielle!

  3. Lorraine December 19, 2017 3:28 pm

    Merry Christmas Danielle! May 2018 be among your very best years!


  4. Elaine December 23, 2017 4:52 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    I hope you and your family have a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2018!

    Warm regards,


  5. ellbie kaye December 23, 2017 10:45 pm

    Joyous Christmas to you and your family! Thank you for your inspiration, Danielle. Peace always

  6. Suzanne Silk December 31, 2017 5:11 pm

    Your work has touched my heart, opened it and surely makes it feel alive and well. I have never written to an author…this is a first. We are of the same vintage. I grew up in Long Island and New York City. I graduated from NYU in 1967 and went on to Parsons School of Design when it was on E. 53rd St., and connected to NYU. I majored in Graphic Design and had a long career in the adv. arts, and corporate design field. We have a common love of everything French. I traveled to Paris in the summer of 1967 to participate in the Sarah Lawrence Summer semester in Paris. We’d have classes in the morning and then were free to get lost in the city all day and eve. I still can remember the smell of the Metro…oh, so many years ago, (garlic and stale cheap perfume.We have something else in common…a love of clothing and fashion design… I do remember all of the couture designers growing up, their names and their respective design talents. I must admit your love of dogs is infectious, as I grew up with Fr. Poodles all of my life. At the moment I am owned by a white miniature Poodle named “Lady”. I’ve read all of your dog books. Thank You.
    As an inveterate New Yorker, it was hard to leave NYC, but I did just that in 1976, for an adventure of a lifetime. Our family moved to San Francisco (the city of my birth, 1945) I am divorced after husband no. 2 and have a son aged 42, and I am a grandma as well. There are sooo many single women our age who followed their independent spirit during the Feminist revolution, left their safe marriages for a life of freedom…burn those bras! So, we have something else in common; a dear love and appreciation of northern CA. I lived on the Peninsula, in San Francisco, Mill Valley,and near Napa County…in Lake County, wine country.
    So, you can understand why your writing has touched me so deeply, for so long and over all of these years, and locales. We grew up together, my dear sister.
    I have JUST finished “The Right Time” which has finally moved me enough to send you this love note.As a fellow committed artist, I loved reading about the unfolding successful career of Alexandra Winslow, her life and her motherhood and the deep sorrow that is her maturing process. Your work touches my heart, cracks the veneer of time and space; as I read your words I am transported back to a younger me. Your ability to tap into the feminine experience is so special. Your characters share with me the young and sexy times in my life, and the joyous aliveness it brought into every pore of me. Thank You.
    I wish you many more creative years ahead. Happy and Healthy New Year 2018. I look forward to many more good reads of yours. Thank you for your perseverance and your humanity, and more so, your motherhood. I remain one of your committed fans…Suzanne Silk, Las Vegas, NV.