Wishing You Peace + Joy

December 23, 2015

Hello dear readers. It’s so lovely to sit here with some time, to be uninterrupted, to say hello and to write to you. How have you been? Are you and your families doing well this holiday season? I’m still based in Germany, yet I have finally felt a bit of “homesick” fever lately… I guess it’s just that despite living abroad for over 6 years, you still remember your roots, your childhood memories of what certain seasons felt like, and there are always bits of you that you feel like you’d left behind in your former life. I remember reading once that it’s one thing to move from one state to another in the same country – difficult and exciting of course, but the writer had said that moving from one country and one culture to another, an ocean apart (not even on the same continent) and you will have a whole new reality to face each day and it never will feel exactly like the life you once knew. And that you would never be “that” person again, if you did move back to your homeland. Wow. I discredited this when I first read it years ago, but today I feel like that writer knew something I had yet to learn.

Wishing You Peace + Joy

I wonder about the importance humans place on the physical location of where we live. Yet it isn’t really just physical, is it? Memories, language, religion, the people who influence us, the light, the natural surroundings, the energy in the air… It’s so much more than just a spot in which you sit – there is so much emotion in where we live or have lived that connects us.

I often feel like I have no real home. Yet I have the ability to quickly adjust and see the best in every place I’ve ever lived. I’ve moved a lot in the states (over 35 times, not always by choice), from the north to the midwest to the south to the north… And then over to Germany, and I sometimes feel like I have a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to where I really belong or where I feel the most comfortable. But it always comes down to this: I feel the most attached to where the ocean is.

The sea is the one spot on this planet that gives me all of the memories of my childhood instantly without having to be on the actual coast I grew up on. My good friend recently mentioned jumping in the car and just driving away as far as possible and I added, “to the sea… I would get out, sit on the sand and look into the water and feel at home again.” I really mean that.

I can be on any beach, in any part of the world, and feel a connection as strong as if I stood on the very beach I played on as a little girl. I remember once being in Santa Monica, looking out into the sea, and instantly feeling like my mother was about to tap my shoulder. Yet, she and I never lived in Santa Monica and she’s never been to the west coast. We never shared a moment on the Pacific ocean before. Yet, it felt like we had been to this beach a thousand times because back in South Carolina, we had stood on the coastline for years enjoying the comforts of beach days and sunsets, jumping the waves and collecting shells.

Wishing You Peace + Joy

Life is such a beautiful thing, which can also be painful at times. Painful especially at times when you are homesick, or missing someone, or simply wondering where life is taking you because you’re not sure you want to go in that direction any longer. For this holiday season, I cannot honestly admit that I am enjoying it as I have in the past. There is a bit of an empty space currently and I’m wondering how to fill it, what to do, how to figure out how to bridge the gap of being homesick, missing the sea, feeling a bit like my dreams of what family means isn’t really working out according to plan (they live everywhere, no one seems to have time for getting together, family politics, differing religions, ugh.).

Right now I feel a bit disconnected from all of the holiday cheer. I feel a bit like I am on the other side of the glass looking in.

So for this season, I will step outside of my own feelings and work to appreciate what I do have, give to others as much as I can, and put on the Holly smile (as my mother always called it) and try not to think so hard or be as intense as I can be at times. I also want to give as much as I can to my darling little son because he means the world to me, he is my greatest gift in life so far. I want to just relax, put on some lovely music, light candles, bake cookies and have people over to bring love in. To make it seem like home isn’t so far away. To feel a bit of the connection that I long for so much…

Wishing You Peace + Joy
Wishing You Peace + Joy

And by the way, if you feel any of these feelings… Please know that I hold your hand in mind right now and send you good, positive energy. All will be fine, we have the power to wish away the sad and bring in the beautiful light. You just have to open your eyes and see what is there instead of what is not there. And look, there is some mistletoe below… So find someone to kiss for me and share a special moment that will bring some red to your cheeks and warmth to your soul. Oftentimes the right person, a sensitive touch, a warm embrace… It can heal you and pain floats away.

Wishing You Peace + Joy

I wish you all a lovely, beautiful holiday. I wish you a happy new year and a beautiful 2016! I will be back to blogging shortly after the new year, I have so much to tell you from a career and blog perspective that you will love to hear. I have so much going on that is positive for both decor8 and me – and my 4th book releases next year too and I can’t wait to talk more about that because it’s such a beautiful book filled with so much positivity and joy.

Love to you all,
Holly x

(photography: holly becker)


  • Reply Patricia December 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    It’s hard to to find the place you call “home”. I’m still looking too.
    Happy holidays and lovely journeys!

  • Reply Kristin December 23, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I feel the same way about the sea.

    I’ve definitely felt that disconnect with the holidays over the years. Sometimes that might be more grief related than geography related, but it’s an odd feeling to not feel in sync with the rest of the world when they all seem more into the bustle of the season than we are.

    I hope the end of the year is gentle on you.

  • Reply All things nice... December 23, 2015 at 7:59 pm


    Sorry to hear you are somewhat homesick. I have never lived in a different country and only lived away for university because I was such a homebird. When I got married our new home is only 10km from my parents. Sometimes I feel like I have missed out because I never did the whole living in another country thing but then I think about all the good things. And as the saying goes “Home is where the heart is”….

    Things change though and places change too, connections to places fade as more of the people move on or pass away and once those people hold a special place in your heart, contentment will come. Christmas is a time when we all think of those we love and it can be a very emotional time for some. Think of the New Year and all the good things to come with Decor8 and your adorable Aidan. I wish you lots of peace, joy and happiness for Christmas and the New Year…

    All things nice…

  • Reply Sarah December 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you.

  • Reply Wendy December 23, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Holly your heart felt post meant so much to me.
    We are going through a very difficult time, so many hurts from different directions and we too feel so out of touch with the festivities this year.
    I do hope you you will have a beautiful holiday and find much joy through your son, these will be his childhood memories.
    Love, Wendy

  • Reply Claire December 24, 2015 at 12:04 am

    Merry Christmas Holly, have a lovely one and hope to see more beautiful photos in the new year.


  • Reply Aidel.K December 24, 2015 at 12:43 am

    So well spoken and beautiful, Holly. And touching. Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Somnia December 24, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Dear Holly,

    I come here very often since I met your blog some years ago when I lived in Sweden… Thank you for all this time, for making the world more beautiful and today for this genuine post. I would like to invite you to come here, in Brazil, and to celebrate with us, but maybe next year :), so I would like to say that I´m sorry that you are sad or not so happy like the other years, but one idea that I love and agree is that time, celebrations, people, life and everything, absolutely everything is something that we create meaning for. For example, is not sad or happy if I spend Hollidays with this or another person, this meaning I create because I´m attached to my past and my histor. Everybody do this. Is human. The bright side is that you are in the position that can create a new meaning, new sensation…One thing that I do is to write or call to everybody in my family oir friend or people that you don´t feel love enough or something is not working… This makes miracles! Conect me with all them that means to me. I hope you will enjoy your Holliday and feel complete instead you are missing some people. Kisses. Beijos.

  • Reply Sarah Satongar December 24, 2015 at 3:08 am

    What a beautiful post! I have moved to America from the UK quite recently and I feel very similar to how your feeling! I’m missing home so much and spending quality time with my close friends and family! The holidays are the hardest and I don’t feel the tiniest bit merry but after reading your post i’m determined to make the best of it and embrace a new experience, a different culture and new friends! Merry Christmas and I hope your son has a wonderful time!

  • Reply Deirdre Powell December 24, 2015 at 3:26 am

    Oh Holly I feel so connected to your post. Homesick, missing people this year that I’ll never see again.
    Like yourself I try and count my blessings. May this year be filled with love and light.

  • Reply Diana Henderson December 24, 2015 at 3:47 am

    It’s Christmas Eve here in Australia. It’s hot, so hot, and the shopping list of food for the holidays is filled with cold salads, blintz, and nibble plates. It’s too hot for cooking traditional roast and there is no cuddling up under blankets with cups of hot coco. I too am a transplanted American. I’ve been here for 15 years now, married an Aussie and have 5 beautiful children, and yet every Christmas there is always this small hole in my heart that doesn’t quite feel the Christmas cheer.

    Last year we spent Christmas Day at the beach and it was the very first time in all those years that it felt like Christmas. Like you, my soul has a connection to the ocean, which is quite odd since I grew up land locked in the desserts of Arizona. We live less then a half a kilometre away from the beach and I find that even in winter I will take the beach road home just to get a glimpse of it, and even a glimpse is enough to bring a sense of calm back to my soul. I’m learning that the ocean is the necessary element for me to build healthy new emotional connections to this rugged, beautiful land down under. I pray that you too will find that in your life.

    I have come to understand that to travel is to have your heart and mind expanded in more ways then you can ever imagine, but the price is that your heart will forevermore feel small places of emptiness and ache for the people you have gathered and left along your journey. A traveller is a person that learns many of the secrets of joy and happiness in life, but also must live daily with pockets of sadness for those they have left and the forever feeling of never again belonging to anywhere. It’s a high price to pay but the joy and wisdom far out ways the cost.

    Blessings to you and your family this Christmas!

  • Reply Laurel December 24, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Holly, you really nailed it on the head. I love living in Australia but feel the pull of home in Seattle deep within my bones. It’s quite s bittersweet mix. I have two young sons and want to lay the best groundwork for enjoying this time of year to the fullest, but there will always be a little sadness too. I miss my family. So thanks for posting this and I hope that there is some joy for you these days. Cookies help, I can attest to that.

  • Reply Linda December 24, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Dear Holly
    This was a really beautiful and touching post, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so openly. I can relate to what you are feeling and have experienced these feelings so often in the past but I must admit after living in Germany now for over 30 years things have shifted. It is really important though to take time the time to reflect on these thoughts and issues and I wish you all the best in your journey. Have a lovely holiday and all the best for you and your family in 2016!

  • Reply Alexandra Stuart-Reckling December 24, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Thank you Holly for your wonderful, heartfelt post. It touched my heart and resonated clearly with me. Have a blessed Christmas.

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art December 24, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Major life experiences–living abroad, parenthood, death–really are portals. Once you’ve gone through, you are indeed a different person than before.
    Now that you’re a mother, you and your husband have a wonderful opportunity to create your own family traditions. Take the best of your own memories and create some new ones just for your little boy. Maybe spend Christmas Day with family, then fly off to a warm beach for the week between Christmas and New Year’s?
    Wishing you and your family all the best as you establish holiday traditions that are special to the three of you!

  • Reply Vivechana December 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    hello holly … your posts are always so beautiful to read and so honest … they touch a chord deep within. You are a real inspiration … wishing you a magical christmas with love … peace … and joy …

  • Reply Laurence W December 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année 2016 aussi !

  • Reply Amy December 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you Holly for expressing exactly how I feel right now. I am homesick for a place I have never been. Waiting to settle into something new and wonderful. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and your son. Love from the States. Amy

  • Reply ombia December 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Hi Holly, I wrote this here many years ago. Maybe some other readers too, but I was then one of them. And in times when dear people are sick we just feel it even more.
    Have a merry christmas.

  • Reply Ashley December 26, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I stumbled along this post after looking at a pin of an inspiration wall you did in 2011 made from linening. Although I’ve lived in the near same land all my life I felt connected to this in the since of being a stay home for over 10 years. I miss the connection of the outside world, co workers and so forth. The disconnection is as you describe. In return though, the Lord has gifted me with these years to grow as an artist. For that I am thankful.

  • Reply MANNA Paris December 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I have lived away from home in Paris for four years now and can completely understand how you feel. The holidays bring similar feelings for me. While it is such a great experience living abroad, it can feel so lonely at this time of year. The past three years I have made a big fuss at Christmas to help build my own traditions and feelings of home, but with a busy business year, I kind of felt unmotivated and frankly just tired. But maybe sometimes taking a pause is good and living through emotions has to happen. Anyways just to say thanks for sharing and wishing you some relaxing days to check out and recharge.

  • Reply Silvia December 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Dear Holly. You wrote exactly how I have been feeling. The homesickness and feeling a little lost have very much been with me this year, and it really helped to read your words today. Thank you for your beautiful post and wishing you a truly magical New Year.

  • Reply konya dekorasyon December 28, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you Holly for your wonderful, heartfelt post.

  • Reply Laura T Richardson December 29, 2015 at 2:13 am

    As an Air Force brat I moved many times living in both the states and Europe (France and Germany). Home was wherever my immediate family lived. As I’ve gotten older and lost both parents I yearn for all those homes we lived in. It’s true, once you’ve lived overseas in a different culture, you’ll never be the person you were before living there. I live in SC in my mother’s hometown. I was born here and moved back here from Wiesbaden Germany after graduating from high school. But it’s only one of my homes. I will never be able to go back to the Air Force bases where I lived growing up. I hope to go back to France and Germany but when I do go it won’t be home. The best advice I have is to make your family your home and be happy for the moments you keep in your memories.

  • Reply Tina December 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    “Home is wherever I’m with you” – that’s what I told my husband on our wedding night and it’s still true today, after 9 years of marriages, a move from Germany to the US and I hope it’s still going to be true in 2016. When we move back to Germany, my home country that I don’t really know anymore. I love this post, Holly. So honest and touching. So similar to what I have been feeling recently…
    I’m wishing you “einen guten Rutsch” and all the best for 2016! So curious about your plans for the new year :-)

  • Reply Mnêmosunê December 30, 2015 at 9:10 am

    “I feel the most attached to where the ocean is” I relate to this SO MUCH
    I am homesick too, but I don’t really know where is my home.
    Wish you the best holiday Holly, take care xxx

  • Reply Debra Norton December 31, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Isn’t it amazing how nature has the ability to transcend borders to bring us peace? I’m also a water baby and feel the same connection to the sea even though I don’t live anywhere close to it. Every summer when I arrive at the seashore I breathe a little sigh of relief and feel a connection that I can’t quite describe. All the best to you this holiday season. I always enjoy reading your lovely blog.

  • Reply Karina Gasparin December 31, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Warm and nice words! Wishing you all your dreams come true in 2016!

  • Reply Nina January 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Hi, I so understand every single word of this. I have not lived abroad but having had that homesick feeling, strangely enough, by just being stuck in another town for years. The feelings are the same. Such a touching blog post and you write so wonderful texts. I am wishing you a marvellous 2016 with new turns that you wish for around the corner. Maybe a new chance to get back to your roots. I never regretted moving back.

    PS. I left a blog challenge for you over at my blog (if you want something to cheer you up and let your thoughts fly). Hope you like it. It is about summarizing the year with a few blog categories. :)

    All the best and A Happy New Year Holly!

  • Reply Hena Tayeb January 4, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    wow that is a lot of moving.. i don’t know if I could do it.. i don’t do very well with change.. though I often wish I could.. while sure there is the occasional homesickness but so many experiences to be experienced in all the new places, friends to be made, cultures to explore.. Wishing you a wonderful 2016

  • Reply Stephanie VW January 4, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Holly, Thank you for this post. My mom died when I was 23. I married and moved to another province (in Canada) when I was 24. Though it has been 19 years, “home” is a place that no longer exists in the same way as it did before. I realize now, that I am making “home” for my children, even while I long for a place that exists only in my heart. Thankfully, I moved from the southwestern shore of New Brunswick to the coastal city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, for I too feel at home by the water’s edge. My mom? She was a river girl. She grew up in Woodstock, NB which is on the Saint John River. It’s a beautiful place where deciduous trees turn gold, red, and orange in the fall, and the evergreens are covered in white “dresses” (as she called them) in the winter. Whenever we drove to her hometown, she would let out a sigh when we arrived at the point on the highway where it started following the river north to her home. That river always felt like home to her.

  • Reply Nicole Nicol January 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    I just read this and you sum it up so well.. My husband and I have always travelled and moved around a bit and were surprised to find ourselves living back in the town we both grew up in 7 years ago. After much upheaval and a lot of family politics we just decided thats it lets go and are moving. We need space and positive people around us. Its true you may return home but we are not the same people. And with moving we have just realised the implications for our sone who has only known this home… we have been saying wherever we are all together is where home is. Oh and it needs to be by the seas too..totally get that. anyway loved your post and it really made me feel quite emotional even though I’m looking forward to a new start. You manage to put into words the way I sometimes feel.. xx

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