When I was younger, me and my Dad (my Mom sometimes too) would do a volunteer day during the Holiday Season at the Salvation Army. I was a present runner and my dad loaded the present and boxes of food into cars. It was pretty fun but also sad. Sometimes, people would come to pick up presents for their kids and turns out no one had picked them off one the trees in the mall. In that case, you would go over to the generic age bins and pick something for them (closest match to what they wanted). Then you would go pick them out an outfit. One day I saw a whole freaking box of forgotten angels! It made me so sad. Now you can donate from a wish list of gifts for these forgotten angels. You don’t even need to go shopping! You can order it online (Walmart is the only option which is my favorite but whatever it doesn’t matter). Walmart also gives a small discount on your donation/gift purchase, which is great. You can go to the Salvation Army website and pick your region (or any region) and go to their wish list and buy a few things for the forgotten angels. Here is the link for SoCal (https://socal.salvationarmy.org/southern-california/angel-tree/). I just bought a few things and got in and out for under $35 with no hassle. I hope the kid that get them enjoys what I picked out. I encourage you to help out today. I know Salvation Army isn’t everyone’s favorite – there are several places to make a similar donation. Do what you can! No $ No problem. Go volunteer for a day. I promise you will feel better for it. It’s a memory I cherish and think of every single year.
I was really contemplating this last night as I was thinking about being around my family for Christmas. Are you really your true self around the people you know and love or do you feel like slightly different version of yourself with each of them? I do, I change things or hide things in order to be more aligned with their set of standards and what will make them love me. Honestly, it’s exhausting. Why can’t we all just be who we are and have everyone love us anyway. So Hi, I am Andrea. I have horrible anxiety and honestly the best treatment is marijuana. I smoke weed. I don’t think it is any worse for your then alcohol or other forms of smoking. I mess up a lot and I hate the injustices done inside my world and outside of it. I hate that most people are blind to other peoples feelings because they matter most to themselves. I love the corny things about Christmas, really I do. I don’t know if I want to get married. I definitely do want to get engaged. I don’t want kids because they need to be your whole life and I don’t want to give over my life. Also, I think you really need to want kids to devote what it takes to raising them. I don’t. I like my selfish life full of nights out, travel and sleep. I am also kind of sick of justifying that choice. I will love all of your kids till my dying days, I will. I just don’t really want my own. I want to see all the things the world has to offer and not be tied within a ten foot radius of my house. I love my dog an insane amount. He’s be cutest best dog ever. No contest. I like exercising and hate eating well. I get really excited about things and sometimes I way overreact and I am overs sensitive. That is my best estimation of the true me that I am right now. Take it or leave it.
…and over 3 weeks until Thanksgiving and I am already seeing Christmas everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. September – January is my absolute favorite time of year and I can’t believe how fast the first half of this time has gone. I saw my first Christmas TV commercial on Halloween night! Crazy. I am still appreciating Dia de los Muertos and coming off my Halloween high trying not to be sad that part is over and Christmas is already coming in hot. We still have Thanksgiving y’all – let’s not rush through the season. I still totally support doing what makes you happy. You wanna put up your tree- DO IT! But just let Thanksgiving have it’s time too. enjoy the build up to that and all it brings. Pumpkin season isn’t over just yet. I’m excited for peppermint mocha too, but in it’s time which for me is after Thanksgiving. It start to feel like Christmas when I see Santa at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When the last bit of turkey is eaten it’s time for multiple viewings of Elf, peppermint mocha, and beautiful lights. When does it start for you?
*Holiday shopping started long ago hahahaha Gotta spread that cost bomb out a bit.
The clothes at Costco are cost effective and usually of pretty darn good quality. My pants I have purchased there lasted a lot longer then my designer jeans and they were a lot cheaper. It just makes sense! Also, shopping for clothes is part of what got in financial hot water in my earlier life so I avoid anything too pricey. I will sometimes splurge on a nice purse, but really that is about it on expensive clothing. Shoes are pricier in general and I usually get those on sale too. Honestly, I really gotta like something to pay full price for it. It’s just funny because I will buy folks nice and more expensive presents then I will ever buy myself. I wonder why that mindset is? We have talked about it in the past on this blog – just on my mind. Over the weekend I spent about $600 between birthdays and Christmas. You all know I shop early for Christmas since I can’t take that big a financial hit in one month, nor do I want to. There was some great stuff at Costco that is totally fashionable and functional. (not all the gifts were clothing items – that was mostly for me hahaha). I have never felt less then for this choice. I actually feel pretty good about it. 😉
HOT COSTCO TIP: If you were looking for the Hot Cocoa Bombs last year at Costco but found they were sold out – they are in stock now. Buy them now – great gifts. I was psyched to see them. I bought three boxes hahaha
It sounds silly, but I am completely serious. I got to decorate for our Halloween event at work and it took me from a terrible mood to a great one. It helped me let go of the anxious thoughts running around in my brain. Walking around Michael’s with all of the Fall and Halloween decor is just bliss. I pick out all the things I would buy if I could and get a few small things that make me smile and I can afford. Seeing my neighbors decorations when I am out walking my dog is absolutely great. There is a whole grass part of the complex that is now dedicated to Halloween. The dollar store has pretty good affordable decorations. The value section of Target has one of my favorite new decorations this year, my bird wall. It’s black crows you bend and tape to look like they are flying. So cool! It all makes me incredibly happy. I imagine it’s how a lot of people feel about holiday displays or how I hear people describe visiting Disneyland. My twisted little heart loves Halloween.
…and my hopes that the Thanksgiving Day Parade doesn’t follow.
Another example of me being selfish – or just voicing my own wants – one of those two things. The Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of my favorite Thanksgiving Day Traditions. It’s a center of celebration and joy for not only those in NYC in person but those who watch it. It’s coming together and taking a minute to appreciate the day with those you love around you. It feels good. The Christmas season can’t really start until you see Santa Claus at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade. I look forward to it and it brings me joy. I hope they find a way to have it. I am thinking of it now because of the cancellation of the NYC marathon. I know there are bigger issues to be thinking of but that is what has been on my mind.
…and away we go with Holiday fun…and expectations.
I love the holidays and the holiday season; if you could see my nail polish right now you would have no doubts. I get to see family and friends, eat good food, and look at light displays. It’s my kind of holiday. This year is especially exciting because I get to have Christmas Eve with my dude (complete with quarterly fancy brunch) and dinner with his family. I have secretly always wanted a significant other’s family to spend some holiday time with and be a part of. It’s small but I appreciate it a lot.
While I love this holidays and wouldn’t give them up for anything; they do come with certain expectations that are sometimes hard to meet. The first one I want to discuss is presents. I LOVE giving people gifts. There is nothing better then knowing you got the perfect gift and watching them open it. Unfortunately, my wallet isn’t in agreement with most of gifting plans which just sucks. I don’t want to let people down. Especially since I do 2 Christmases and I need gifts for everyone to open at each Christmas. I don’t have all the gifts I need yet and that’s a bit stressful. Trying really hard not use a credit card with the I’ll pay it off later mentality. Secondly, I am in my home town for a really short period of time this year; 4 days short (not full days on either end with travel). I have people I need and want to spend time with but zero idea how I am going to do it all…without a car….Thirdly, there are so many Christmas things I want to do that I feel like I am stressing my poor dude out hahahaha I want to see Christmas lights, and put up decorations, and watch Christmas movies, and all that jazz. The time period to do it all is SO short though, especially while keeping up my workouts, going away parties, wine parties etc. I am not complaining because I love it all, but I don’t want to stress him out or anyone else around me.
Despite some challenges of the season I am really excited to set my own p(e)ace as best I can this holiday season. What get’s done get’s done and what doesn’t doesn’t. I can’t wait to spend Christmas with my family (especially my nephew), spend Christmas Eve with my love, and do all the fun things I have planned. And of course see the new Star Wars movie – that’s a must.
How are you setting your own p(e)ace this holiday season? Also, I need ideas for presents for the dudes parents – nothing big just a token of my appreciation for raising such a great son.
…learning from Disney movies they make a cute Christmas movie for Disney Plus.
It’s a beautiful rainy morning in Southern California and I was watching ‘Noelle’ on Disney Plus (after a wonderful morning snuggling with my dude- he had gone to work at this point). Aside from being cute and set mostly in Phoenix, AZ (really enjoyed the references to home), it really taught me something. At the end of the movie Noel said to her another character “traditions change.” She is speaking to her friend who is a divorced dad who is debating spending Christmas with his son, ex wife, and her new husband. He feels like he wont fit in or it will be awkward. She tells him that traditions change and that can be scary but it can also be great. It hit me in my feels hahahaha. Traditions change and that’s okay. They have to change with growth and change in a family or friends or circumstances and that’s okay.
Last year on Christmas night I wound up spending the night with my dad and step mom and her family. I cried all the drive over to my dad’s house. Not because I don’t like my step mom or her family, I do. I was crying because that seemed like an official end to my old traditions when I was little. It had been years since my parents got divorced but it hit me in that moment. This holiday Disney movie brought me back to that moment and hit home. Traditions change and that’s okay. The new traditions can be great too (especially when your step mom makes the most delicious homemade jam and gives you some to take home).
Like getting a real Christmas tree with my dude. It was the best anniversary present ever. It’s a lovely gesture of our first real Christmas together (officially). It isn’t decorated yet but it was still so nice to wake up to this morning. I love it! So here’s to holding old traditions close to the heart and embracing the new ones.
You can’t pour from an empty cup – and all of the other self care cliches that are true. On Sunday night I got very little sleep and was feeling pretty terrible about the 11 hour work day in front of me. My poor dude woke up to be in tears in the bed next to him at the thought of it.
My work wife told me to take a couple of hours in the middle of the day off. I contemplated napping but I am NOT a good napper. I wake up confused and even more out of it. I settled on pulling some money out of the Christmas present fund and spend it on a massage. It was the best way I could have spent my time and money. I was a new person after and ready to do my work proud.
At the end of the massage I wondered why self care is so challenging for me and so many of us. We are so ready to care for those around us that we let our own care slip. That’s the Hufflepuff nature I suppose (and possibly a lot more groups). I want to care of those I care about but I need to remember that I care about myself too. I deserve the same attention and care I offer those around me from myself. I may have to find massage money in the budget more often.