Dear Readers,

Without further a due meet Brandy the Puppy!  She is barking and yipping with cheer as she loves meeting new people.  With a friendly disposition Brandy enjoys playdates with Bedtime Eddie, Lily Duckling, and so many others and is very good at sharing her beloved toys.  Additionally, she has a close relationship to her grandparents and embarks on trips with them where she has explored many areas of the United States!  Although she has a sense of adventure, Brandy is a homebody and cherishes her neighborhood.  One of her most special qualities is that she loves to build a sense of community with those around her!  Holidays like Halloween provide the perfect inspiration to create relationship building activities with her loved ones. Knowing of much she loves Halloween I  asked her what some of her ideas are for this upcoming holiday and she graciously shared them with me!

Decorating Pumpkins– Each year Brandy goes with her parents and grandparents to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins to carve and decorate.  They then choose a night to gather and commence in the decorating!  Here is the catchthey always decorate a few extra and gift them to friends in the neighborhood.  This simple gift makes her friends smile and she barks in delight!

Organizing a Theme for Window/ Yard Decorating with the Community–  Brandy’s family loves to decorate the yard for every holiday with Halloween kicking off the their decorating season!  As with pumpkin picking, decorating is a family affair and they want to share the joy with others.  A month in advance of the holiday Brandy starts a correspondence with her neighbors where they share ideas and ultimately choose a theme.  It is a grand site to see everyone expressing their creative juices.  Next year they are even considering having a prize!  We often see best costume so why not best costumed yard.

Sending Halloween Cards– With Halloween looking different from past years Brandy decided to make cards and send them to loved ones!  There is something very special about a handmade card in knowing someone took the time to write you a note let alone decorated a card for you.  Touched by this gesture, we are taking Brandy’s lead and making cards for loved ones as well!

Baking Special Pumpkin Treats–  Brandy and I both LOVE to bake and share these goodies with loved ones!  Pumpkin treats are a favorite in her family too and they gather together to bake and indulge in these yummy dishes.  Brandy especially enjoys the pumpkin cake that was featured in an earlier blog post this month!  When it is safe, she really looks forward to brings a slice of cake to her neighbors. 

It is such a pleasure to give you this introduction to Brandy as there are more layers to this beloved puppy.  I felt it appropriate to make her the feature of this month given the importance of community especially in year like this one.  Each of us has been forced to adapt and adjust in many ways and some days are harder than others.  My dear friend, Brandy, has taught me that if you accept the change and see where it leads you beautiful things can blossom.  From just one holiday she has shown me alternative ways to connect and celebrate a treasured tradition from a new perspective while building community through it.  We wish you all happiness and joy as you move forward in this season!

Love Always,

Kristina Lucia xoxo

P.S.  Brandy created a coloring drawing of the illustration featured in this post!  In her illustration she choose to decorate her pumpkin with a Halloween cat but in the coloring drawing she left the pumpkin blank so that can express your creativity!