Beginnings and Endings, and a Simple Christmas


We’ve had a lot of beginnings recently.

Last week the new school term began and Andy, my school teacher husband, went back to work. 

On that same day my daughter Charlotte celebrated her birthday. She began the 18th year of her life.


And the girls have begun a new project which they’re hoping will earn them a little pocket money.


Some beginnings are closely followed by an ending. On 9th November 1999 our son Thomas’ life (after birth) began. A day later his life ended. I have begun thinking about how we will celebrate and commemorate those two days next month.


I have also begun thinking about Christmas. Is it possible to have a simple Christmas? And is it okay to end old traditions and begin new ones?
And what is the best way to begin and end an episode of a podcast?
I talked about all these beginnings and endings in this week’s podcast:
Beginnings and Endings, and a Simple Christmas

Program Notes

Paper Dolls
Paper Dolls by the Serendipity Sisters
Imogen’s and Charlotte’s paperdoll blog

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do
A blog post about how our children are always watching us, learning from our example. I mention the girls’ paper dolls.

My Books
My children’s novel, The Angels of Abbey Creek
My grief book, Grief, Love and Hope

My Grief Stories

Out of My Catholic Mind grief page
Lists all my grief posts

Stories of Grief, Love and Hope blog
All my grief stories collected on one blog

Leo, Augustine and Theodore
The story of how Thomas’ teddy collection began.

Crochet: Bears!
A Pinterest board with lots of cute crocheted bear ideas and patterns

Getting Rid of Our STUFF!

Becoming Minimalist
Interesting blog written by Joshua Becker



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  1. Reply

    Lots to think about here, Sue.

    I hope the girls' paper dolls idea goes well. I now have visions of finding Angels paper dolls in our Happy Meals!

    A simple Christmas sounds wonderful. Perhaps, Christmas could be based on a Little Women Christmas or some other Christmas in literature. A day full of Christmassy smells and homemade presents sounds much nicer than mounds of wrapping and boxes – and a drawer full of dockets for the trip to exchange things on Boxing Day!

    I wonder what you'll decide to do about Thomas' traditions? I hope you let us see what you choose to collect next for him.

    Another great podcast, Sue – I enjoyed listening to it 🙂

    1. Reply


      Angels paper dolls in Happy Meals? Ha ha! That's just as funny and unlikely as my Disney statement!

      I do like the sound of a home-made Christmas very much. The only problem I see is not finishing my gifts on time. I can remember, during past Advents, getting stressed out because I had so much making still to do. In some ways parting with money and buying presents is easier. Of course it isn't so much fun or so special. I guess the trick is to plan the gifts carefully and start work early… like soon!

      No doubt I shall tell everyone about Thomas' birthday. You are so kind wanting to know.

      Thank you for listening to my podcast. I hope you had some interesting work to do while you listened to make the most of your time!

  2. Reply

    Thank you for sharing Sue, I really enjoyed listening 🙂

    1. Reply


      Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate it very much!

    • San
    • November 19, 2014

    Catching up and completely blown away, Sara our third shares the same birthday as Thomas and of course she has married a Thomas! ( Tom). Sara was 25 this year.

    You are right about Etsy computer files and the paper dolls look good. I am currently typing from San's Sweat Shop up in the loft making bags, headbands and toys in a never ending supply! And I have still yet to hit live for the website or Etsy shop :-).

    Hugs San xx

    1. Reply


      I know a few people who share Thomas' birthday. All these friends have become very special to us over the years. It's as if we are connected together for some particular reason. So now you are one of our special people too! You will be remembering Sara on the same day as we remember Thomas.. and we will think of each other. I like that idea very much.

      Perhaps you can get your shop and website live in time for Christmas. I love all your sewing, especially your bags. They should be a great success.

      Hugs for you too!

      • San
      • November 20, 2014

      Thank you for your encouraging words and friendship across the miles. I am off to listen to this week's podcast 🙂 xx

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