Life in the Empty Nest at Christmas…is Awesome!

 Christmas in the Empty Nest

Life in the Empty Nest at Christmas is definitely different from when the kids lived here.  Not bad different, just different. Actually… exciting different.

We don’t have any Toys R Us shopping to do any longer or a list for Santa. Most of our shopping was done online, how about you? What we do have is lots of quality time with our grown children and our extended family. I think that is what Christmas is really about. We spend more time planning the menus and the handcrafted cocktails, making playlists and taking selfies and Boomerangs. What’s a Boomerang? It is an app where it takes a four second video and repeats it over and over. It’s creative and clever and everyone seems to be doing it. You can see more over on my Instagram=> Here!

A recent (and silly Boomerang)

Christmas Decorations

Admittedly, for the past 33 years of marriage I have collected enough decorations to decorate three houses. By downsizing, we have eliminated several rooms and fireplaces that I used to fill with sparkle and bows. When your house is large you don’t need to consider storage, so you buy what you want and don’t worry about where to keep it. However, our sweet little Spanish fixer upper is about half the size of our prior home with a lot less space for storing everything. Less room for storage and less stuff is a very good thing.

Although there are a fraction of decorations at the Stavert residence, less is more as they say. I like this change in this part of the Christmas program in the Empty Nest.

We hadn’t baked our traditional gingerbread people in years, but decided this was the year.


Changes in the Empty Nest at Christmas ~

Everyone will graciously squeeze into our smaller space, just enjoy the holiday and our all being together. We cannot spread out like we used to around our roomier former home, but no more traffic or long drive is necessary. Life has its tradeoffs.

Both of our children live a plane ride away, so everyone has learned to be flexible. Right? Now that our daughter Alex is engaged to Brent, they will be married next year. He is from Wisconsin. You know what that means. I have to share the holidays. Ugh…But it is worth it! I know too that when there are grandchildren there will be more changes, more sharing of time.

Although no one lives nearby, I still managed to come up with a clever photo Christmas Card, introducing the engagement and including Nick and his girlfriend Kylie on the front as well.

The Empty Nest really does not feel empty. Craig and I have a lot going on, we travel constantly and surely don’t miss the Nest being full of activity. I bet most long term Empty Nesters feel the same way. It is so much harder in the beginning with all of the adjustments and heartache from missing the children who have left the Nest.

For those of you who are newbie Empty Nesters, I promise you it gets easier and better. It all begins to make sense and the sadness disappears. It is replaced with satisfaction and new adventures.

How do you feel about the Empty Nest at Christmas?

This will be my last post of the year with so many family activities I need to make this time count! Craig and Nick’s girlfriend Kylie celebrate birthdays this week and we live in a very exciting place on New Years Day. We live so close to the Tournament of Roses Parade that we can walk over to the staging area prior to the Parade to see the floats up close. If you have never visited the Rose Parade, it is a MUST DO!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Friends,


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10 thoughts on “Life in the Empty Nest at Christmas…is Awesome!”

  1. Suzanne- I so enjoy your blog (and I’m not a person who follows blogs!). We have been married the same amount of time, live about 15 min from one another, have 2 kids the same age (ours are boys), go to the same restaurants around town/LA, have traveled to the same area’s and like doing the same things! I’m sure one day our paths will cross. Until then I just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog! Happy New Year!


    • What a lovely surprise! Thank you Tammy! How fun that we have so much in common! I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know about you. I think we definitely need to meet! Happy New Year and I am so glad to be introduced. 🙂

      • I am ALWAYS up for meeting great new people! Perhaps checking out a fun new restaurant somewhere is the ticket! Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

  2. My son and his wife had a baby girl at Thanksgiving, and her parents are with them at the moment. Our family is headed to Austin to celebrate Christmas on New Years! We still had our annual Christmas Eve gathering, but it has been downsized after my husband’s double lung transplant. Before more grandchildren come along, we are in a stage of waiting for the patter of little feet again!

    • Congratulations! I know you have experienced a lot of change, but what a blessing to have a new grandchild! I am also thrilled that your husband is doing so well from his transplant. Enjoy this time and Happy New Year Tam.

  3. Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours, Suzanne! This was our first year with our daughter away with her boyfriend’s family. It was bittersweet but okay. She is with the one who makes her happy and that makes all the difference. Love seeing your wonderful group and what cool cookies.
    Looking forward to an ‘adventurous’ new year!!

    • Thank you Laura! I am sure it was bittersweet to not have her there with you. I know I will be dealing with that as well in the future. I look forward to seeing and reading about your adventures in 2018!

  4. Happy Holidays Suzanne. We began our “different is good” tradition too. This year we didn’t have Kate and Brendan, so we spent Christmas Even and morning with my folks (and Alex) here in Davis, then the three of us hopped on a plane to spend Christmas dinner and three days with Steve’s folks and his sister’s family (a cousinpalooza) in San Diego. In January Kate, Brendan and Alex will fly down and we will do Christmas number 2. I am not sure the tree will last though! In hindsight, the trip to SD was good (sunshine!), but I think I would have a more relaxed Christmas Day and fly on the 26th!

    • Kim it certainly sounds like a departure from what you are used to. How nice that everyone is so flexible! We finally broke down and bought a fake noble fir. It has made a world of difference, we don’t have to worry about watering it or potential fires or if we should take it down before or after New Years! Happy New Year Kim!


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