May 17, 2012

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day has also become inextricably linked with the start of the summer vacation season and the blockbuster movie launch. The weekend is typically replete with red, white and blue bunting, picnics, BBQs, beer, fun and frolicking. At the same time, there are so many families in the United States—and overseas—who have lost loved ones to war. How to reconcile those two things?

How about a candlelit picnic dedicated to memories?

Pack a picnic hamper with some food and libations—and plenty of candles. Bring tealights—I like battery-powered tea lights as there is no fear of accidental fire. If you are near water, all the better. In Los Angeles we have the beach and nearby lakes and rivers. Imagine how beautiful it might be to eat dinner on the beach with tealights set into the sand?

Collect a seashell or pebble and spend some time holding it while remembering those who have died. If you have a particular person in mind think of them. When you feel like you have honored their memory with your quiet time then throw the shell or stone into the water.

 Puffer Fish Votive Candle Holder ©

Light the candles—there is a long tradition of candles being associated with spirit and memory. Plus they have the added bonus of creating a truly beautiful quality of light.  I love these little puffer fish tealight holders from They are whimsical and charming. The water theme also reminded me that when I am sad, or missing a loved one who has died, being next to water is very comforting. There is something about the sense of continuity, of the cycle of life that is reassuring.

In my post on Mothers Day I described how you don’t even have to leave the house to create a seaside mood. I have been on a beach kick lately. Perhaps it is the promise of summer, just around the corner.

If you prefer to simply celebrate that aspect of Memorial Day Weekend then put on your shorts and flip flops and head out to the great outdoors for some fun in the sun.

Written by Catherine Holliss


Interior Design Blog Writer,, LLC


Director of Interior Design, Sander Architects LLC.  



Photographs © Catherine Holliss unless otherwise noted. 


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