Happy Holidays, 2017!

So the time of the holidays is upon us! Whatever traditions you follow, and/or holidays you happen to celebrate, I hope you all are enjoying the season in whatever way you, your family, and your friends enjoy!

phoenix tree nicholas conley christmas holidays dead tree brought back

As you can see, here in New Hampshire we’ve followed our usual ritual of creating a “Phoenix Tree,” by finding a dead tree in the woods, and “bringing it back to life.” Here is the end result:

Christmas Phoenix tree 2017 nicholas conley holiday dead tree lights white.jpg

So enjoy the season, share good times with everyone you love, and let’s march onward to the next year. Cheers, everyone!

dreidle hanukkah


Happy holidays!

Happy holidays, everyone! I’m currently enjoying a vacation down in the foothills of North Carolina, where all of the family—which as many of you may remember is quite large, since I grew up as the oldest of five siblings—has gathered together and filled up the entire house, top to bottom.

For this year’s upcycled Christmas tree, we found a dead tree in the woods, preserved it, and turned it into something more colorful. I love the notion of this: taking something that was dead on the ground, and creating something beautiful from it, giving it new life. It’s definitely one of the most unique Christmas trees in memory.


Tonight, we’ll hit the road to New Orleans, where we can finish out the year in celebration of all of the things that have happened since the dawn of 2015. Then we’ll begin the long drive back up to New England.

2015 has been an amazing year, and I hope 2016 is even better. Hope all of you are having a beautiful holiday season, and enjoying whichever holiday you choose to celebrate.


Land of the Pines

Headed down south to the land of the pines
And I’m thumbin’ my way into North Caroline
Starin’ up the road, pray to God I see headlights
I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Pickin’ me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I’m a hopin’ for Raleigh
I can see my baby tonight…

Wagon Wheel, by Old Crow Medicine Show


The end of the year, and the holidays in particular, have always been a time of reflection for me.  Christmas, New Years, the holiday season…it all feels much like an epilogue to a hard-fought journey; we made it to another one, guys!  So many new events occur in a single year, every year – and the gathering of family and friends, the collection of faces you love, stories that made you laugh, memories that never disappear – I’ve always viewed it all as a peaceful, happy time to reflect on all of the changes that have transpired since last time around.

One thing continues to be a constant; later this week, I’ll be packing up my bags, loading the car, filling the gas tank and hitting the road to good ol’ North Carolina, to visit my family.  It’s a trip I’ve done many times, to the point where it feels more like an old friend than a long drive, and I’m looking forward to finishing this year the right way.

So as the snow comes piling down, here’s to a great trip – and here’s to a happy holiday season for all of you.