Special Feature: The Sustaining Joys of Holiday Decorating by Barbara Hinske


The Sustaining Joys of Holiday Decorating by Barbara Hinske

I’ve always dedicated the weekend after Thanksgiving to two of my main passions: eating pie and decorating my house for Christmas. Calories don’t count during that weekend, do they? Pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Sure! I logged almost 10,000 steps, whipping around the kitchen, making the big dinner. I’m entitled to a little indulgence. Leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing, smothered in gravy? Why not?

Decorating the house racks up even more steps than cooking the Thanksgiving meal. I’ve got far too many decorations and new ones find their way home with me every year. I don’t follow the sensible rule that, when you acquire something new, something old must be culled from the herd.

I also don’t put out all of my decorations every year. Inherited décor, things made for me by my children (macaroni Christmas trees, anyone?), or items given to me by friends are all touched and savored, even if they are re-wrapped and returned to storage. The memories they evoke are precious and assure their permanent place in my stash.

My favorite decorations are the little doors, windows, and fireplaces that I inherited from my mother. They take pride of place on the tree in our library. Here’s a close up of the fireplace I love best.

Like most people, I have decorations that are placed in the same spot every year—almost like they have an easement for that location. My big tree by the staircase is a prime example—this is the only spot where the ceiling is high enough to accommodate this tree.

Generally, however, I move things around from year to year—change things up. It’s fun to be creative. This ‘Santa Alley’ in my upstairs hallway is new this year. It makes me happy to see these Santas—most of which are handmade by a dear neighbor—every time I walk by.

A bit of Christmas cheer in my bedroom, where I do my morning prayers and affirmations, is always welcome.

I spend hours in the kitchen during the holidays, so Christmas décor is a must. I’ve never met a decorative dish towel I didn’t like.

I always enjoy a bit of whimsy. I say this is for my granddaughter, but it’s also for my husband and me.

Finally, my office has to be decorated.

This will be a very different year for many of us. Having my house all dressed up has lifted my spirits and makes me happy.

And Barbara has just releases an audio copy of her release GUIDING EMILY. A portions of the proceeds from the sale of this book go to Foundation for Blind Children






Barbara Hinske is an attorney who recently left the practice of law to pursue her career as a full-time novelist. Her latest novel, Guiding Emily, was conceived during a tour of The Foundation for Blind Children. She was inspired and moved by their mission and is donating half of her proceeds from the book to the Foundation. Barb is also the author of the bestselling Rosemont series and the murder mysteries in her ‘Who’s There?!’ collection. Her novella The Christmas Club was made into a 2019 Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.

She inherited the fiction gene from her father who wrote mysteries when he retired and told her a story every night of her childhood. She and her husband share their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs. A true homebody, she is besotted with decorating, entertaining, cooking, and gardening.

Next articleTop 5 Gothic Historical to Read for Free
Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.