Gratitude, Reflection

Holiday Inspiration

Inspired by the beautifully painted rocks that regularly appear in the park near our home, I decided to make my own (slightly different) contribution.

Each day, beginning December 1, I added a Christmas bulb to one of the trees (don’t worry, I have no plans to litter and will take back any remaining bulbs after Christmas).

My reasoning was simple. I wanted to show my appreciation for this walking trail that I love. I also wanted to inspire others who walked by, just like the painted rocks had inspired me.

Some days I added the new bulb, other days Richard did the honours, and on other days a friendly elf helped with the task.

At the start of this project, I wasn’t sure what would happen. Would anyone notice? Would the bulbs be taken? Smashed? Would someone leave me a note that I should have used organic materials?

For the first 23 days, nothing much occurred. My bulbs remained safe and secure.

Then on Day 23, magic! Not far from my decorated tree, branches were adorned with fun, handpainted decorations — all very appropriate for 2020.

Even better, this new tree bore a message that encouraged passersby to take home a decoration of their choice.

Was the second tree inspired by the first? Or was it a complete coincidence?

I will likely never know.

I do know that the second tree completely uplifted my day. I hope that my ‘Project Christmas Baubles’ also uplifted others.

Have you given or received extra holiday inspiration this year? I’d love to hear from you.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful year ahead!
xx Donna

Feature photo: Unsplash

86 thoughts on “Holiday Inspiration”

    1. Hi, Jacquie – Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. It is wonderful to hear from you. Fingers crossed that we will see each other at the SPCA again soon. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday and a fantastic year ahead.

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  1. Oh Donna I LOVE this! Of course the second tree was inspired by the first! This year in our neighbourhood a few people have adopted trees in our park and put up solar fairy lights – such a wonderful idea (although I do hope they take them down in the new year!) Merry Christmas!! xx

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  2. What a wonderful project, Donna! How exciting to see the changes over time and so glad that people began to play along with you. Hoping you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

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  3. What a wonderful idea and beautifully executed, Donna! You are awesome and I’m sure you inspired creativity and created happy moments with your “tree tradition.” I haven’t noticed much of a festive atmosphere in southern Arizona, but – if I don’t forget – I will take my micro Christmas tree out of the “miscellaneous box” tomorrow!

    Happy holidays to you and Richard!

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  4. What a wonderful idea, and I love how it rippled forward! Happy holidays to you and yours. From now until the new year, I am taking a break from writing posts and reading blogs. See you in 2021!

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    1. Thanks, Bernie for your very uplifting comment. Either way, this has been a win-win endeavour. Each morning, I can’t wait to get on that trail to add a new bulb and check out any changes. Lucky for me, this forested path is mere minutes from my home. 😀

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  5. Hi Donna – brilliant idea … and would definitely cheer me up in these dark days … lovely – thanks so much … and for your excellent posts – I look forward to more in 2021 … all the very best – Hilary

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  6. You inspired a response from a kind human spirit and whoever they are even took it further by inviting viewers to take a decoration. That is huge! Merry Christmas Donna to you and your family.

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    1. Hi, Fran – It’s awesome to hear from you! The new tree added a fun layer of mystery. I wonder if I know the artist. I also wonder if any neighbours guessed who was hanging the bulbs on the first tree. I hadn’t told any of them, and I always ensured I was alone on the trail before placing a new bulb. But you never do know!
      Wishing you and Walter a happy, healthy and peaceful year ahead!

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    1. Speaking of joy and inspiration, thank you for all that you have shared through your beautiful books. I eagerly await the next one!
      I’m delighted that I was introduced to your blog years ago.
      Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Christmas and a peaceful year ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Cute idea Donna. I have no doubt the other tree was inspired by yours. Every Christmas, someone sets a real tree on our beach and decorates it with seashells. Others pass by and add more. By Christmas day it is dripping with shells. Joy is contagious. Merry Christmas

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  8. Love the idea. At the cemetery where my parents are buried, every year someone brings a read tree and decorates it on one of the graves. It’s such a festive touch. I always love seeing it.

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    1. Hi, Joanne – Thank you for this inspiring comment! Opening ourselves up to the simple joys around us — truly is an art. It’s one that I will be concentrating more on in the year ahead. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday. See you in 2021!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Erica. I agree that that elf is adorable! ( I hope that she is reading this right now)! 😀
      Wishing you, Chuck and your entire family a warm, happy and healthy Christmas and an awesome year ahead.
      Thank you for your support and your friendship. It means a great deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a festive and fun idea, Donna. Looks like you started a new tradition to spread the joy of the season. Wishing you and Richard a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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  10. Donna,
    Fabulous idea! I hope I can remember to add something fun to a tree or two on our hikes for next RV trip. About a week ago, as I was entering a local hardware store, I noticed an elderly gentleman place a painted stone beside the entrance, then walked away…smiling. I went in and shopped for about 30 minutes, and when I left the store I noticed the stone was still there. The stone had no reference to Christmas, referring instead to Easter. I suppose this man just wanted to brighten someone’s day. It brightened mine.

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    1. I LOVE this Joe. There are many ways to interpret the man’s possible intention — all of them thought-provoking. That you so much for sharing this.
      BTW – I never knew that we could attach photos in our comments. I will need to experiment with this!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Donna, kudos to you for spreading cheer. At the end of main street in my little home town there are 3 giant spruce trees. They are plastered with lights thanks to the town works. Local businesses created a “festival of trees” – a tree tire from the tire shop, a tree made of pizza boxes from the best pizza place, a tree made of giant duplo building blocks from the day care and more. It sparked joy. Merry Christmas.

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    1. Hi, Mona – I love the trees that you have described. I greatly admire the creativity and community spirit behind them. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing this.
      Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

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  12. Merry Christmas Donna and Richard! When I first heard about your “plan” to put bulbs on the tree I thought it was awesome (and still do!) And how amazing and wonderful that you inspired another to not only do it as well…but to do it with their own handmade gifts. Everything about it speaks to the feeling and joy of the holiday. May you and all of your family–no matter how you celebrate–have a wonderful Christmas. Love to you both….Kathy & Thom

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    1. HI, Kathy – This project has been such a wonderful endeavour. The final bulb goes up tomorrow. I’ll let you know if there are any further ‘tree developments’ between now and when the decorations come down.
      Wishing you, Thom and Khloe the best of the season…and a wonderful year ahead!
      Thank you for your friendship – it means a great deal!

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  13. After hearing about “your” tree, I’m so happy to see it here on your blog! I have no doubt that you inspired the second tree… and I wouldn’t be surprised if your seasonal gift didn’t inspire others in ways you’ll never know. That’s how these things work. I also love that Richard and your cute little elf friend have gotten in on the magic. Best wishes to you and your family for a warm, wonderful Christmas, my friend.

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    1. Thanks, Janis – I wasn’t originally sure if I would share this endeavour on my blog. As soon as I saw the second tree, I knew that I wanted to post — beginning with the painted rocks.
      I love your comment about how inspiration works. I completely agree. We often never know what impact our actions have on others. If we were all more mindful regarding our impact what a positive difference that could make. Speak about the ripple effect!
      Big hugs to you and Paul — wishing you both a wonderful year ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Okay, the third one worked…let’s try the fourth one!!
    Love the tree and the way you inspired a similar tree next to it. I am sure both warmed the hearts of everyone who passed by. I worried about not having used natural materials on my wishtree. And have wondered if I should now remove the yarn wishes or leave them forever?? Want to add some birdseed pine cones to the tree now for winter.

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    1. Hi, Leslie – Thank you for your repeated efforts to leave a comment. I appreciate your sticktoitiveness! I love the sounds of your Wishtree. I think that birdseed pine cones would be lovely. If your Wishtree yarn is made out of natural fibres (wool, cotton or mohair) it should be biodegradable. Acrylic yarns tend to contain man-made plastics. My vote would be for acrylic yearns not to be left in nature permanently.
      I hope that your holiday is going well.
      Thanks again for stopping by!

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  15. What a lovely idea Donna and I’m not surprised that the second tree popped up – I believe yours was responsible for it – and how wonderful to see such generosity and love!

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  16. I love this idea Donna. I may have to replicate it on my favorite walking trail next year. When we first moved into our Southern Utah home, we were greeted by a painted rock welcoming us. I have since found one more in our yard. Both made me so happy. I want to share the love! Wishing you and yours a happy 2021!

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  17. What a fun way to bring a little joy into people’s days! I did something similar. At the yoga studio where I practice, our teacher found a live “Charlie Brown” tree, which she brought in and decorated with lights. Everytime I came to class, I brought an ornament that I did not buy (either an extra from our tree, something home made, etc.). Everybody loved this so much, that we decided to keep the tree there all year! Now it is going to be a Valentine’s tree!

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  18. Donna I think this is a fabulous ide and I have no doubt your ornaments brought smiles to many faces. I also think it inspired the creativity of the second tree. We see similar trees here in Calgary. In Saskatoon you may have read about the spindly little tree that started with ornaments and the people began leaving gifts, donations and the like. I think in these challenging times, bringing a lifting of spirits in any way is a true kindness. What a wonderful idea.

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  19. This was a beautiful idea and well done for inspiring someone else who had a nice pay it forward gesture. I love it and might do that in my neighbourhood next year. I am curious as to how many decorations found new homes?

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      1. How lovely that everyone was able to appreciate it for the gesture it was. What about the decorations that other tree that offered free hand made decorations? Did anyone take up that offer I wonder?
        I would like to do something like this next year.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, the decorations on the ‘free tree’ lasted less than 24 hours. I actually took the last one. I left a nice Christmas bow and a thank you card. Both bow and card were gone the next morning….hopefully by the creator of the handmade decorations! 😀

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  20. Decorating a tree is such a thoughtful act. There is an elf who decorates a tree along one of my favourite walking trails every Christmas, and it is always such a joy to come across it.

    Jude

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