Down a winding New England road lies the home that interior designer and author Lauren Fornes shares with her husband and four children. During the holiday season in 2014, their son Brick, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, became very ill and developed neurological blindness; now, rather than approaching Christmas as a reminder of that difficult time, Fornes uses it as an opportunity to spread joy, teaching her children the importance of family and appreciating their time together.
“Creating these memories for my children is probably my most deliberate act of love,” says Fornes. “It isn’t about the presents: We really try to focus on other things like family coming to visit, going on vacation together, or decorating.”
When it comes to preparing for the season’s festivities, Fornes embraces family traditions—both her own and her husband’s—that make the house come alive with the spirit of Christmas. Gingerbread houses, frosted cookies, and twinkling lights create a home that practically bursts at the seams with warmth and good cheer.
In addition to her career as a designer, Fornes recently added “author” to her resume: To raise awareness of her son’s condition and to help other families dealing with similar situations, she wrote a children’s book titled Magic Eyes about the beauty we can find in even the most devastating situations. All proceeds from the book, which was released earlier this year, support the Perkins School for the Blind.