Monday, December 24, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Finale.

"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, 
doesn't come from a store."
~Dr. Seuss

Over the past 20 days, I have been on a quest to bring the magic of Christmas back to my heart and life.  I somehow lost the spirit of my favorite time of year over the past few years and I am very happy to say that I have re-ignited that flame and this has been a most wonderful Christmas for me.  This final edition is dedicated to family.  Not just any family, but my family.

I honestly don't know where I'd be without my family.  My girls and parents, especially.  My girls are my world. My everything.  Christmas probably wouldn't even be worth the craziness if I didn't have them.  My parents, have been two of the few people who have been by my side, supported me through every crazy decision, moment, and turn of my life.  I don't know how I'd get through just a normal day, let alone Christmas if I didn't have my girls or my parents in my life.  

I don't want Christmas to be over tomorrow.  I wish it weren't going to be here for a few more days.  Just so I can have a few more days of the anticipation, the preparations, the craziness.  Christmas is hard for a lot of people.  I tried to explain to Caitlin, just yesterday when she had a huge breakdown about her grandfather not being here this year for Christmas, that it is important to remember the good times, and keep them present in your heart, rather then dwelling on the fact that they aren't here.  This is very hard, I know, but it makes hard times that much more bearable when you can stop yourself from falling into negative thoughts and bring the positive ones forward.  

This year, Christmas has been amazing!!!  For the first time, I did what my mom use to do with me, I took Caitlin shopping for her presents, but still have a few tricks up my sleeve.  I also have started to teach Laurana what the true meaning of Christmas really is, that isn't not just about presents, but about family.  She's so cute when she goes through her list of family.  I have a man who is simply amazing, he treats me with love and respect and thinks it's cute when I sing (he must be deaf!!! LOL). 

For the first time in a LONG time, I feel like how I use to at Christmas time.  I don't feel like anything is missing, in fact, I'm so happy, I could cry!!!!  I hope you enjoyed reading about my journey, but even more so, I hope, more then anything, if you were like me and unable to find the magic of Christmas, that this helped you, even just a little.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Peace, Love and Light, 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 19.

"At Christmas, play and make good cheer, 
for Christmas comes but once a year."
~Thomas Tusser

Part 19 is dedicated to singing and dancing. I LOVE dancing, almost as much as I love singing! Neither of which I do very well. LOL BUT, it doesn't stop me from enjoying myself. 

Yesterday, while picking up all of the food for Christmas dinner, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree came on in the grocery store and Laurana was singing it, so I started singing it with her and then I started dancing.  She was laughing so hard, then she kept trying to spin me.  So there we were, dancing in the dairy section of the grocery store.  It was a good time.  I didn't even care if people thought I was going absolutely insane.  It's a memory that we will have for many years, and who knows, maybe it even put a smile on someone's face. 

One of my bucket list items is to take ball room dancing lessons, one day, I'll do it.  I took singing lessons, a few years back, I'm not sure it really helped any, but I had fun and it made me appreciate singing even more. Next month, I hoping to take a few Scottish dance lessons before attending the highly regarded Burns Supper.

Singing and dancing fill the heart with joy, take time today to dance and sing, even if it's in the middle of the dairy section! ;) 

 Peace, Love and Light,

Friday, December 21, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 18.

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and 
behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."
~Norman Vincent Peale

Part 18 is dedicated to Christmas Lights.  So pretty and colorful, they twinkle and give off a soft glow of fun light.  I love driving around seeing houses lit up with all the pretty lights!!  They are just so beautiful, even more so in the snow.  

Growing up my parents use to take us to the Festival of Lights up in Niagara Falls, NY.  I can remember being so mesmerized by all the lights, it all seemed to be so huge to me at the time! I loved walking around and seeing all the light displays and being surrounded by trees and plants, it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen!!!

Festival of Lights has since changed and the last time I went (probably about 10 years ago), it didn't seem as grandiose as it did when I was a kid, but I still enjoyed it just the same.  I am hoping to make it out to one of the lighting displays in my area this year, we will have to see how the weather holds up this weekend!!!

Do you have any fun memories of Christmas Lights?

 Peace, Love and Light,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 17.

"Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile."
~Fred Gailey (Miracle on 34th Street)

Part 17 is dedicated to Believing.  There is a very large part of me that believes in things like Santa Claus, fairy tales lives, happily ever afters and love at first sight.  I've been told that my beliefs are unrealistic and silly, even.  

As silly as it may seem, believing in these fantasies allows me to keep my inner child, well, young.  Think about how a child's face lights up when he or she sees Santa at Christmas time, the innocence of believing that one man is so powerful and magical, that never ceases to amaze me.  I love that innocence.  I love feeling that innocence.  It's not something that too many adults stop to experience.  I think that this is one thing that I inherited from my gram, her passion and love of the feeling of innocence.  Growing up, I never really seen that but since I've been on this journey of re-igniting the magic of Christmas in my heart over the last 17 days, she's been on my mind ... a lot. I realize just how much I miss her.  I realize just how empty my grandfather must feel every single day he lives to see another without her.  And, most importantly, I realize, even more so then ever before, just how important it is to appreciate making memories built on those of the past.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass but rather about learning to dance in the rain ... so let's dance, and sing and sit on Santa's lap even tho we are "too old".  Who dictates what the age limit is for visits to Santa, anyways?

And just for the record, I will always believe in happily ever afters and love at first sight.  You see, a happily ever after does not necessarily mean that your relationship is perfect, made of butterflies and warm and fuzzy slippers under a canopy bed, but rather a relationship where you are perfect for each other and you mean enough to each other to fight for what you believe in.  That is my happily after. 

Do you believe?

Peace, Love and Light,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 16.

Warning ~Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Part 16 is dedicated to originality. The poem above isn't the least bit related to Christmas at all, but as I sit here editing photos and listening to Christmas songs I've not heard before, it hit me how nice it is to hear new and original songs of the season.  

The poem you just read was one my Granny loved, it is a true testament of how important it is to have fun, dare to be different, and go against the norm just because you can.  One thing I've always said about myself is that I am the epitome of my own self, meaning, I am the perfect example of myself and no one else.  I feel it is important to just be yourself.  Why try to be something you are not?  Life is ever changing, which means, we, too are ever evolving.  You never know what that next corner will have around it, so I try to live life to the fullest and to enjoy even the most mundane of moments.

Life can be so much fun if we just stop worrying about what's going to happen next and start to live for the now.  It's hard to do all the time, I understand, we all get caught in the web of tomorrow. but just for today, give it a try, stop worrying about tomorrow, and just have fun now.

Go sit on Santa's lap, ride on the carousel, go sledding ... answer the call of your inner child!!!! 

Peace, Love and Light,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 15.

"Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, 
you won’t find it under a tree."
~ Charlotte Carpenter

Part 15 is dedicated to random acts of kindness.  The other day I seen a post on Facebook where someone was participating in completing 26 random acts of kindness in honor of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, so I thought,well, what if, instead of committing to 26, why not go for an entire year.  I really think that this is something that people do regardless, and just don't realize it.  

A random act of kindness can be something as little as holding a door open for someone, or even a smile at a stranger to brighten their day.  It doesn't have to be anything major, just something small that you are doing for someone else that is completely selfless.  I know, I, personally, feel absolutely wonderful when helping to make someone else's day just a bit better, and I'm sure you do as well.

I created a Facebook group for those who wish to share their experience with this project. This may seem like something that is unnecessary, but I feel this may give a little bit of hope back to the people who have lost all hope in humanity. Also, it makes it a conscious thought and makes you think about how you are affecting others lives. It may seem like something trivial, but if I can consciously do something to help make the world just a tiny bit better and help restore faith in humanity, I'm all for it.  

Would you commit to doing one random act of kindness every day?

Peace, Love and Light,


Monday, December 17, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 14.

"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the 
mess created in the living room on Christmas day.  
Don’t clean it up too quickly."
~Andy Rooney

Part 14 is dedicated to Last Christmas. No, not the Wham! song, well, not entirely.  Ya see, last Christmas was a tough one for me.  I had mixed feelings about a lot of different things ... well, really, about everything. I mentioned in an earlier post that I hit my rock bottom earlier this year, but the bottom started to become clearer and clearer sometime around October of last year. 

An end was coming to my almost 5 year relationship and it was not even remotely close to getting any better, despite efforts to try harder, on my end.  The thing about trying harder is if it's not a two way attempt, it doesn't work. And this didn't work.  Not for me.  There was no trust, no affection, nothing that any good relationship should have in order to survive.  So around the end of October (2011), I started to be realistic about my reality.  In January, I had given one year for things to get better, by Thanksgiving, things were so bad, I didn't even want to be in the same house, let alone the same room as this person I had been with for so long, but, for the kids, I stuck it out till after the holidays, telling myself that, maybe, just maybe, if we could make it through Christmas things would start to get better. (As a side note, I knew they wouldn't be getting any better, I just had to lie to myself to make it through, yes ... LIE TO MYSELF???!!!!???) 

The spirit of Christmas was so far away from me last year that I was sooo happy when it was over!!!!  I couldn't even believe myself when I had a sigh of relief that Christmas, my favorite time of the year, had ended.  With the spirit of Christmas gone from my heart, so too, was the love. I had had enough of my heart being ripped out and handed to me on a flimsy used paper plate and the day after Christmas, last year, I realized that I had spent the last 3 Christmas' with someone I didn't know, and no, not him ... ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The beginning of the song, Last Christmas, is a very important piece to this puzzle "Last Christmas I gave you my heart But the very next day you gave it away This year To save me from tears I'll give it to someone special".  I didn't realize this is where I was until I heard it FOUR times on Saturday while shopping with my daughter then again TWICE yesterday.  I thought, "Seriously, I rarely hear this song at Christmas time, why the hell have I heard this song SIX times in the last two days?" (I also realized that I have not heard, not even once, "Snoopy's Christmas" by the Royal Guardsmen this year - to which, I rectified that situation this morning, thanks to Spotify!!!)  Now, if you know me, even just a little bit, you know that I am all about signs and everything happening for a reason.  You may have also gotten the drift that I'm the happiest I've been in as long as I can even remember. 

Last Christmas, I had given my heart (again) to someone who wasn't as careful as he should have been with it and after several, long, hard years of fighting, struggling and smiling through the pain to cover it up, he, quite literally, made a choice the day after Christmas which crushed me and was the very beginning of a 3 month ending.  

This year, however, I have been able to give my heart to someone special, someone who appreciates it and takes very good care of it and me.  I have such an overwhelming happiness in my heart that I have not felt in such a loooonnnnggggg time!!!!  I feel like me, again, finally!!!  Spunky, playful, loving, passionate, fierce and strong ... me, in a nutshell.  It feels so good to have found, not only myself again, but someone who loves me and truly appreciates me, for me and doesn't feel like he can't be himself around me.  The fact of the matter is, however, if I hadn't endured what I did for just over 5 years in my previous relationship, I honestly believe that I wouldn't be where I am today.  There were lessons I had to learn, things I had to experience in order to know how to be happy.  I was in that relationship to help me, though I didn't realize that until earlier this year.  The two things I learned that made all the difference in my life are living one day at a time, even one moment at a time when necessary and this, very simple set of words: "God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Al & I in NYC This Year
Photo by Tom Schopper
The moral of this story, I had to hit my rock bottom in order to have the spirit Christmas reignited in my heart again and also, to be genuinely happy again. 

What was your "Last Christmas" like and how did it affect you?

Peace, Love and Light, 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Parts 12 & 13.

"To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good 
will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born 
in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its 
gleam of hope to the world."
~ Calvin Coolidge

Parts 12 & 13 are dedicated to Giving and Receiving. They go hand in hand and when executed properly, they fill you with all the warm and fuzzy feelings of the holiday season!   It is my personal preference to be the one giving gifts, rather then receiving during the holidays.  If you are asking why the answer is simple, I enjoy seeing people smile and the anticipation of opening the gifts is wonderful as well.  

The gift giving part of Christmas, to me, is all about the kids though.  I don't buy many gifts for adults, I would much rather spend the money on the kids just to see their HUGE smiles when they see all that Santa has left for them.  There is really nothing more exciting then to see a child on Christmas morning.  

My youngest has only really asked for one thing this year ... the Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle.  I will feel bad when she doesn't get it at our house on Christmas morning, but when she opens it at my mom's house, she will be ecstatic!!!! I really cannot wait to see the look on her face when she gets it!  My oldest pretty much knows everything she's getting this year, which kinda takes the fun out of it, but I have a few surprises up my sleeve that she doesn't know about :) 

Receiving presents is always nice, but I think that a lot of people expect to receive just because they are giving.  In my family, we have this thing where we see who can make who cry with a card or gift and that person gets to hold the bragging rights till the next gift giving time.  It's all in good fun and makes finding that perfect card or gift a bit of a challenge.  But the only thing I ask for is to have family together.  I don't need anything physical to open or anything like that, just a happy gathering of people to make memories with, that we will have to hold in our hearts forever. 

Caitlin in 2009 opening her Wii
Laurana's 1st Christmas - 2009
Do you have any fun giving or receiving traditions? 

Peace, Love and Light, 


Friday, December 14, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 11.

"Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart.  
To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child,
a good example. To yourself, respect."
~Oren Arnold

Part 11 is dedicated to best friends. I have a few besties, but one very best friend who I lost for a while but am lucky enough to have her back in my life.  Quite obvious, but best friends are those in your life who know EVERYTHING and are still there for you.  They are the ones we call first when we have exciting news, are sad, heart broken, scared, happy and when we just need someone to listen.  A true best friend will be the one to give it to you straight and won't sugar coat it.  

My bestie, Lynn, has been in my life since we were kids, I want to say maybe 7 or 8, maybe younger, it's been soo long that I don't even remember.  She's literally 6 days older then me, and yes, I make sure I taunt her for that! LOL  Lynn and I had a falling out sometime around age 13, when I was dating a boy that lived on her street that she TRIED to warn me about.  Needless to say, she was right, and I had lost my best friend.  So, we both struggled through the next 20ish years without each other. I thought about Lynn frequently over the years of her not being in my life anymore.  Tried to locate her on social media, then one day, it happened.  I guess the time was right for us to be back in each others lives.

Today I couldn't imagine another day of my life without her in it.  I would be devastated if something happened and she was no longer a part of my life.  We keep each other going. We build each other back up when we get knocked down. We laugh and cry together. Lynn is the one person, who, above anyone else, knows EVERYTHING about me.  I know she will never judge me for a single thing that I do and I know that I can count on her for anything!!!  We recently got matching tattoos of a Celtic friendship knot and a quote that says "Friendship is a knot tied by angels hands".  She is so much more then a friend, she is a sister to me, and having her in my life is one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for.

Lynn and I at Def Leppard 8/2012

I should also make a few honorable mentions here as well, as I have a few other people who have really stuck by my side over the past few years and have helped me get through some of the toughest times and decisions that I've had to make.

Brian - I'm not even sure what to really call him, he's so much more then a friend and even more then a brother to me, he's like my siamese twin who was detached at birth, a part of me no matter how far away he is.  Brian has been there for me in ways that I didn't even know about until just recently.  If the day ever came that he was not in my life, a very large part of my soul and heart would be gone.

Jen, my soul mate, came into my life in 2009 when I first photographed her family for the holidays.  The moment we met, we were instant friends!  Jen is an amazing woman who I also do not know what I would do without her in my life.  We walk on many of the same paths, which helps us keep each other strong when the path gets a bit rough.

Nichole, my sister from another mister (and mrs, for that matter LOL).  Nikki was another friend that I lost contact with for a while, but now that she is back in my life, I don't want to go a single day without her.  We may not talk as much as could or should, but I know, without a doubt that if I needed her, she'd drop everything in the blink of an eye to be there for me and I would do the same for her.

Linda, Georgette, Dave, Kim, Jeff, Amanda, Ashley, Sarah, Jess, Diana, Theresa, Jerry, Henry and probably a few others that I left out (sorry in advance!!!!) - friends who support me and push me to keep going when I am losing hope.  All in my life for very different reasons, but all just as important to me. 

Who are your cherished friends? 

Peace, Love and Light, 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 10.

"Before I draw nearer to that stone, tell me! Are these the shadows of things that must be, or are they 
the shadows of things that MIGHT be?"
~ Ebeneezer Scrooge

Part 10 is dedicated to "Father Time."  I totally thought yesterday was Tuesday.  It wasn't until about 6:30 pm when I realized it was actually Wednesday.  I sat there trying to figure out how I lost a day.  It seems that time just passes us by sometimes, leaving us wondering "where has the time gone?"  Also seems to happen more frequently as we get older.  Maybe it's because life gets busier as we get older, we have more to worry about and feel like there just isn't enough hours in the day. 

In my opinion, this is why it is so important to appreciate the life around you and those in your life who you love and care for.  All too often people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to stop and appreciate.  Recently, I have been trying to be more attentive to everyone and everything around me.  I'm still learning about this thing called life and as each day passes me by, all too quickly, I strive to just be in the moment, to not worry too much about what is to come in following hours, days, months and years.  It takes a lot of stress out of your daily life to truly live in the moment. 

Have you ever seen or heard people talking about how they are going to hug their kids tighter that night they hear of a tragic accident?  I really just want to say to these people "Why wait?  Why does it take another person's tragedy for you to realize that you have, perhaps, gotten just a little bit too busy to just stop and appreciate?"  I rarely ever leave the house without giving my girls a kiss and telling them that I love them.  Each night before they go to bed, I tell them good night, kiss them, hug them and again, tell them that I love them.  I am CONSTANTLY telling my girls that I love them.  These are memories I am making with my girls to ensure they will remember it, not just some nights, but every night they are home with me and not just some of the time when I leave, even if I'm just running to the store, I do not leave the house without at least telling them that I love them.  So, I ask, why wait till you hear of something horrific to get you to hug your kids tight EVERY NIGHT?  Do it anyway, do it every night and tell them that you love them often, even if you are not a family that expresses this much or very well, perhaps now is the time to make that change.  It is also VERY important to laugh with your kids, just as it is important to cry with them when they are hurting and talking to them about life in a matter of fact manner so that they can make the best decisions possible.

The same thing can be said about that special someone in your life.  There's a few things I've learned over the years that are (or, rather, should be) important in any relationship.  First and foremost, if you love that person with your entire heart and soul, don't just tell them, show them, every day.  Live each day you spend together filled with as much passion (intimate and non-intimate) as possible.  Laugh. Often.  Snuggle. Frequently. Kiss. Passionately. Hold hands (I'm a sucker for that cute old couple who still holds hands as they walk down the street together - that is what I want to have when I am old, someone who will still hold my hand as we walk together). Understand each others morals and values. If they differ, find the common ground where you can meet in the middle so you don't lose yourself and begin to harbor animosity.  Know each others dreams and goals. Share them and help make dreams come true and support each other so goals are more obtainable rather then seemingly out of reach.  NEVER fight over money. EVER. Money is the purest root of all evil, it is a necessity, but not worth fighting over.  If you happen to find yourself in an argument, NEVER go to bed mad. Communication is key in every relationship. You need to understand where the other person is coming from, so stay awake to hear the opposing side, be Switzerland until it's your turn to plead your case, it's a good way to ensure your significant other will extend you the same courtesy.  And last, but certainly not least, Trust each other.  I cannot express how important trust is.  Once trust is lost, it is VERY hard to get it back and it's up to you to decide whether or not you think you will able to trust the other person.  Ok, so maybe that's more then a few things, but they are all very important in a relationship, in my opinion.

Life moves so fast and it's easy to forget to take care to do these things and one day you wake up wondering where the time has gone and how things have gotten to be where they are.  It's never too late to start taking the time to stop and appreciate.  Take life one day at a time, each moment at a time and make the best memories you possibly can.

When was the last time you took the time to just stop and appreciate?

Peace, Love and Light, 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 9.

"You see, Mrs. Walker, this is quite an opportunity 
for me. For the past 50 years or so I've been getting
 more and more worried about Christmas. Seems we're 
all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster and look shinier and cost less that Christmas 
and I are sort of getting lost in the shuffle."
~Kris Kringle (Miracle on 34th Street)

Part 9 is dedicated to making new traditions.  When I was kid, I use to think Christmas would remain the same, see Part 2 of this series to read about what Christmas was like when I was young.  Then, all of a sudden, it wasn't. Something changed.  I don't think I can really pinpoint the year it changed, but there came a point in time when Gram stopped making dinner, family stopped coming over and spending the day and it was just ... different.  Everything changed, but didn't.  Then we grew up, grew apart and now, if we see each other on the holidays, it's merely a coincidence.

So, Christmas traditions changed.  But it never seemed to be the same.  Then in 2001, when Gram died, Christmas would never be what she made it to be.  Christmas, as we knew it in our family, died, with my grandmother.  That first Christmas after she died was tough!!!  And my own Christmas traditions really didn't start to become real traditions until 2007, when I bought my house, could have a real tree again and decided that I would be the one making Christmas dinner every year.  The only thing that mattered to me then was that my daughter had a nice Christmas, and that she had some sort of tradition to count on each year just like I did.

As stated in Part 1, in 2004, my oldest daughter and I began our own new tradition of buying a new ornament each year for our tree, which I now also do with my youngest.  Their first year out on their own, they will both receive their ornaments as a set to remind them of our annual Christmas tradition, which I fully intend on continuing with them even after they are all grown up and beginning to make their own traditions.  I have made Christmas dinner  for the past 5 years and my parents, aunt and uncle come over and share in a feast.  This year is different, though.  This year, the difference is what has changed during this year.  A new beginning means new traditions will also begin. 

Now to get to my point of this post, as one tradition ends, it doesn't mean that Christmas isn't what it should be, it simply means it is evolving. Imagine if everything stayed the same, how boring would life be?  But there are certain things that people want to remain the same, forever.  Unfortunately, forever isn't, well ... forever. People get depressed around the holidays, they miss their loved ones who have passed, miss traditions of days gone by and this causes them to hate this time of year.  Holiday shopping becomes a hassle rather then memories to be made and people just seem to be too busy to really see the true magic of Christmas as adults.   It's time to wake up and smell that freshly brewed coffee you make everyday and realize that as one tradition ends, it is up to you to create new ones, with the people that are in your life today, they are the ones that are the most important and are the ones who will help make new Christmas traditions with you.  Whether your new traditions are similar to those of yesteryear or completely different, one thing is for certain, they are YOURS. And they are IMPORTANT.  Don't let the spirit of Christmas get lost in change, embrace that change and let the spirit of Christmas live within your heart and start making new traditions that can be carried on and shared with future generations.  

What has changed in your traditions and how have you made new traditions? 

Peace, Love and Light, 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 8.

"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine?
A crummy commercial? Son of a bitch!"

Part 8 is dedicated to love. Love comes in so many different forms, it may be hard to come up with a short quip for this post, so forgive me if this goes astray and gets a bit long winded.  And yes, I realize the quote may not be directly relative to love, but Ralphie soooo looked forward to getting his Little Orphan Annie Secret Society Decoder Pin in the mail for weeks and his excitement when it first arrived (prior to cracking the secret code) was what drew me to use this  quote.

Love is such a powerful feeling, an emotion that fills you with joy and excitement!  When you find yourself in love you never want it to to end. You want to keep it, forever.  Many say nothing lasts forever, promises are meant to be broken, blah, blah, blah ... yea, I know, sad, right? I am that dreamer who believes in love at first sight, fairy tales lives and fate.  I will never give up on those things, because I still believe, despite everything I've gone through over the years, that a love that is cherished and respected does last forever and promises need not be made just to make another happy.

I've had a rough stint with love though. Now, I'm not saying that I'm not to blame for any of it, I am. I can say that because I had lessons to learn to become who I am today. Failed relationship after failed relationship, it probably seems like years wasted to most people, but not to me.  I have learned that you have to take the good out of every situation, even the ones that bring you down to your complete rock bottom.

So here we are and it's Christmas time.  I hit my rock bottom this year in March, but since August, I can't remember a time in my adult life when I have been any happier in love.  After a breakup from a very toxic relationship, I gave up hope on finding someone who would be a part of my happily ever after.  Then, I met someone, who, at the time I didn't realize would be anything more then a friend, until August. Everything changed in August with a few simple words.  Ya see, I'm a simple girl, all I really want is a man who will take care of me, who will be there for me when I need to bitch and complain, someone who will make me feel as beautiful as he tells me I am ... and mean it.  Yea, I got that. And OMG! if I could have ever imagined it would feel THIS good, I would have thought I was over-rating it.  It feels sooo AMAZING to be given back the same amount of love that you give out, to be with someone who shows you that he loves you, not just says it.  Someone, who with a simple smile, makes your heart melt!!!!  Love should never be taken for granted, ignored or under appreciated.  It should be embraced and held in such a high regard, so if the road does ever get a bit rough, you know, with every ounce of your being, that you will get through it ... together, and that you will be stronger because of it.  

So what's this got to do with bringing the magic back to Christmas????  Well, everything. Love is the leading ruler of this world, aside from war, anyways.  Marriages end in divorce because people don't take their vows seriously enough to fight for what they thought they once wanted. Prejudice and judging others seems to be a wave of the future again, rather then a death of the past and causes our children, the future leaders of this world, to grow up with hate rather then love, judgments of who they SHOULD be  rather then endorsements for who they WANT to be, and the worst of all, the media, of all kinds, helps this get along further then any feel good news that would actually show mankind that there is still good in this world, rather then all of the drama, hate and despair that goes around.  I believe that we need to make changes in how we show this world to our children.  John Lennon had it right in his song "Imagine" ... yes he was a dreamer, but so am I ... but I don't have the dream of a world of peace, that is impossible, war is inevitable, HOWEVER, if we can live our own lives with peace, love and harmony, perhaps we would have stronger family bonds, friendships and other partnerships, which, in turn, would provide for a world of a stronger humanity.  

So, here's my unasked for advice ... if you have someone in your life who makes you his or her everything, loves you with their entire heart and soul and would take a bullet for you, and not only tells you but shows and proves it to you as much as humanly possible ... show your appreciation for that, because it can be gone, in an instant, leaving you with your heart in a billion pieces because you didn't take the time to slow down, respect a TRUE love and give it back the way it is given to you.  Love is something that you should cherish EVERYDAY, not just when it suits you.  Love should never be taken for granted, it should be respected and given back threefold.  Make memories together and laugh often.  Share emotions, secrets and scars that make you who you are, don't hide them or try to forget that they are there ... why would you want to cover up YOU? 

"LOVE" Statue in Philadelphia, PA

Have you found YOUR ever lasting love? 

Peace, Love and Light, 


Monday, December 10, 2012

Taking the magic out of Christmas ... and bringing it back. Part 7.

"Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window."

Part 7 is dedicated to the Christmas Tree, another tie to my German roots.  The Christmas Tree originated in Germany and  was traditionally decorated with edibles such as apples, nuts or dates.

I LOVE a real, fresh Christmas Tree in the house this time of year!  This may surprise some of my readers who personally know me, considering my hippie, tree-hugger ways, but the artificial tree just doesn't do it for me!!  The smell of Christmas as you walk into a house just fills my heart with so much joy and excitement!!! 

One of my dreams was to go see the Christmas Tree all lit up at Rockefeller Center in NYC, this past weekend that dream came true for me!!  It was the most magnificent, magical and beautiful sight I have ever seen!!!  It was even more majestic then I could have ever imagined!!! I felt like a little kid in a candy store admiring the tree, just taking in it's beauty and the energy of the tree and the MOBS of people that gathered in Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree 2012

Do you have a favorite Christmas Tree story? 

Peace, Love and Light, 


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