Did Someone Say Christmas Crafts?

Happy holidays, friends! Are you ready for Christmas?! I think a lot of people this year are doing things a little differently, but I hope however you’re spending this holiday, you can find some way to find peace. Whether it’s going for a walk (connecting with the Earth is one of the best medicines ever), watching your favorite holiday movie, baking cookies, sending Christmas cards, even just going to an empty room for 20 minutes just by yourself.

If you’re like me, you’ve been spending time making Christmas crafts. I think my love for Christmas crafts started when I was in grade school. It was one of the very few things I did enjoy about grade school. I remember the smell of the glue, the construction paper, ALL the glitter (the more, the better, please and thank you), sequins…you name it. When we did these in grade school it was usually a solo project, which is why I liked it because then it meant that I didn’t have to worry about not being picked to be in a group. I loved the excitement as a kid: wearing normal clothes to school instead of our uniforms, eating candy during class, exchanging gifts and cards…oh wait, yeah, that didn’t include me. There were many times when teachers would try to give me a gift because they felt bad that I was the only one in class that didn’t get a card/candy/gift from a classmate. It was humiliating.

I remember one Christmas season at school where I was sick, which wasn’t really surprising because for whatever reason, I was always sick a week or two before Christmas. But, I was really sick that year and the teachers thought I was making it up to get out of gym class (I mean, in their defense, I probably did use that excuse a time or two which actually came to bite in the butt the year that I tried to pull that when we had to all do the Achy Breaky Heart line dance. They made me do it alone. By myself. In front of everyone. Come to think of it, that may have been the last time I tried to pretend to be sick at school.) Anyway…so, I was actually sick at school, but they wouldn’t let me go home, or even go to the nurses room. I was trying not to even more because I wanted to throw up and it was during craft time. One kid threw garbage at me and I asked the teacher for the fourth time if I could go home because I was sick. Again, she said no. I sat back down and guess what? I threw up all over the desk, floor and he kid next to me. Kids were laughing at me, calling me names, telling the teacher to rub my face in it. The teacher actually yelled at me. I was in fourth grade, so it’s not like I could really do much more. The teacher literally made me sit there and look at it before she had someone clean it and take me to the nurse.

I remember going home and watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (the cute, clay animated one) and after being able to relax and not think about anything else, I was feeling so much better. Of course, that also started the need for Arby’s roast beef sandwiches when I was sick—they really are a cure-all for me.

I think this could be true for many things: when we are stressed, anxious, tensed up, it can make us sick. When you’re constantly in a situation where you’re being bullied and abused, it can wreak havoc on our heart and your entire body to the point where you just breakdown. Once you take a moment to distance yourself from that, you might see that your physical and emotional wellbeing improves, even though there’s still healing that needs to be done.

If you’re there, friend, I feel you. If you’re in school and it’s just not going your way. If you’re being bullied, please talk to someone who can help you. If you keep it in, it will only grow inside of you and make you feel worse. I promise. I want you all to be happy and healthy and live beautiful lives. Please know that you are worthy, loved, accepted, seen, heard and that you matter. You are not alone, not for one second.

I still love Christmas crafts and to be honest, I sometimes still make some of those crafts I made when I was in fourth grade—not because it reminds me of pain, but because it reminds me of the beauty that came after the pain. When I was able to go home. Rest. Lie by the colorful Christmas tree. Be with people who love me. Watch Rudolph (which I have to watch every year now). And, of course, eat Arby’s.

I hope you have a wonderful and safe Christmas. Thanks for reading (anyone, anyone?) and for putting up with all of my grammatical errors. 2021, we’re ready for ya! If you’re crafting, let me know what you’re making!

Xoxo.

What I’m listening to:

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Judy Garland (I mean, this song. A happy song and Judy just turns it into the most heartbreaking Christmas song ever…but it’s one of my all-time favorites)

“Willow,” Taylor Swift (thank you 2020 for not one—but TWO—Tay albums!)

“Kings & Queens,” Ava Max

“The Bridge,” Dolly Parton

It’s December

Happy December, friends! We made it to December; let’s all do a little shoulder dance! We are thisclose to a healthier new year and that’s something to celebrate.

I don’t know about you, but I love this time year. Christmas and everything about it: decorating, having trees all over the home, listening to Christmas music 24/7, watching cheesy Christmas movies, drinking hot chocolate, driving around looking at Christmas lights, reading about the true meaning of Christmas. This year feels different, for obvious reasons and I think it does for many of us. I just want to acknowledge those of you who might be spending the holidays alone, or away from those you love. For those of you who may have lost a family member this year and won’t be able to spend one more holiday with them. For those who are sick or scared. For those who lost their jobs, homes, etc. For those who are experiencing anxiety, depression. Domestic violence is rising during this pandemic, as is suicide. If you are feeling scared, being abused (physically, verbally, mentally, psychologically, financially, etc), please seek help. Please call: 1-800-799-7233. If you are feeling suicidal, please call: 1-800-273-8255.

My heart goes out to any of you who have experienced any of those above, and more. You are not alone. There isn’t one single person in this world that hasn’t been affected by this year in one way or another. Just when we think we can’t handle anymore, something else happens and it’s a lot! I was talking with a friend one day and I said “you know, first it was the fires in Australia, and we all thought that would be biggest news of the year. Then, boom, pandemic. Surely, that would be it. Then, protests, riots, fires…okay, we’ve hit the most that could happen this year. Nah, then it was pandemic not going away. Then, ugh, election. Okay, the election is over, we can breathe! No more drama. Wrong! Some more election stuff. Oh, not enough yet? Second (or it is third?) wave of pandemic and more people are going to die.” Guys, it’s a lot.

This year I have seen so much hate and a sickening amount of divide. BUT, I have also seen so much beauty in people coming together to try to make a difference. One of my heroes has always been Fred Rodgers. I mean, come on. Can you imagine how amazing his world would be if we had more Fred Rodgers in it?! He said when he would see things on TV that didn’t make sense, he’d look for the helpers. Because that’s where the love is.

We all have the opportunity to spread love, compassion, kindness, respect. We all have the choice in how we view this world. If you keep seeing the bad, that’s all you will see. If you want to see positivity, look for it. It’s there. I promise, it’s there. I see it every day. In the small acts, the almost unnoticed acts. A text from a friend, a smile from a stranger. Sometimes it’s loud, sometimes it’s quiet. But it’s there. We all have the ability in us to create a world where love prevails and everyone feels accepted and respected. That’s exactly how God created us. He did not create us to disrespect other people because it’s our “right” and our “freedom.” We don’t get to choose who we respect and if we feel like it. We do it to every single person in this world because God calls us to. Love one another as you love yourself. Respect is love. Keeping others safe and healthy is love. Reaching out to help is love. Reminding someone they matter is love. Apologizing when you’re wrong is love. A smile is love. I say this so much because it matters: it doesn’t need to be a grand gesture to express love. My motto is that this world has enough hate, judgements, divide, I don’t want to add to that. I want to try to build a bridge and bring unity. Who’s with me? We CAN do it! I am a huge dreamer, so to me, nothing seems impossible!

I highly recommend to start a gratitude practice. Every morning and every night, I list things I’m thankful for. I usually say I will list 5 things, but it always ends up being like 20+! I can help you out to get your list started: a phone, computer, the breath in your lungs, the love of God, the new Taylor Swift album. Boom. There you go. Now, go ahead and continue that list 🙂 Gratitude makes a world of difference.

However you’re spending this holiday season, I hope you feel warmth, love and you stay safe and healthy (and keep those around you safe, too). I’m always here for support—reach out anytime! Just remember you are not alone and you mater.

Xoxo.

What I’m listening to:

Any and ALL Christmas music!! Duh!
Faves: Any by the Rat Pack
Mariah Carey (obvs)
the Charlie Brown Christmas
“Blue Christmas,” Elvis
Non-Christmas music I’m listening to:
“Dear God,” Cory Asbury (highly, highly recommend this song!)
“Wild Life,” OneRepublic
“My Tears Ricochet,” Taylor Swift (favorite Tay song, ever)