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As I stuffed my things into a locker at the gym this morning, I couldn’t help but notice a petite, gray-haired lady nearby. She was dressed in white blouse, embroidered with little holly leaves, which she paired with forest green trousers. Watching her smooth on a slash of red lipstick, I felt a wave of admiration.

“You look so pretty,” I said. She giggled. “Well, there’s not a lot you can do when you are 92 years old,” she answered. Say what? Ninety-two? Yes, indeed—92 and there on Christmas Eve with bells on, doing her daily laps around the track. (Later, I passed her on the track and noticed the bells braided into her shoelaces.)

I am working at home today and, as tempting as it was to pull on a pair of yoga pants and call it good, she inspired me to put my best foot forward. I came home from the gym and dressed in a red tunic, black palazzo pants, silver shoes and pearls.

The significance of holly

Her holly-covered blouse reminded me of the holly-clutching Santas my oldest brother and I received from our grandparents when we were just tots. Ever wonder about the significance of holly at Christmas? I found two beautiful explanations and wanted to share them with you. Here and here.

If you’re reading this, there’s an awfully good chance that I owe you a huge thanks for the gift of your friendship and encouragement in 2012. You may think it’s nothing when you share one of my posts with your friends, add a comment, or elaborate on something I’ve posted. But whether you’re a new friend or someone who has long been part of my life—know this: it’s a big deal to me. You have helped me gain a following for the blog, but there’s more to it than that.

From Day One, this has been a labor of love. I expect that it will remain so as long as I can squeeze it into my life. Having you stop by to chime in or share whenever you can is all I could ever wish for.

Think of this little holly-waving Santa as a kindly, hospitable gesture from me, inviting you to visit as often as you can in the coming year. I consider you kin through our mutual admiration for clothes and ideas so good they should never go out of style.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.