We dream of a perfect Christmas. Twinkle lights twinkling the magical hue that makes you feel…all twinkly inside.
The smell of the most delicious meal of savory and sweet, roasting away as the family snuggles together in poofy slippers and comfy jammies, all sipping their double milk hot chocolate with whipped cream. And sprinkles. Don’t forget the sprinkles.
The packages under the tree are perfectly wrapped in matching, no, coordinating, patterns and colors, like the family pictures we’ve seen lately. It’s so deliciously perfect its ready for a magazine.
Because in some strange, twisted world we were taught that:
Christmas + Our Family = Perfection.
Perfect Christmas? No such thing.
But, a perfect Christmas??? Oh, please. Don’t make me PUKE.
Sometimes, dinners burn. Dad comes home from work late. Homework takes A LOT longer than you’d planned. Christmas trees fall. You fall to sleep wrapping gifts.
When you try to make it all perfect and twinkly…you’re missing the real magic. The magic of enjoying one another, appreciating the wrapping that your toddler tried to do all by themselves, and the ornaments that are swimming in glue and sparkles.
I want real. I want genuine. I’m sick of plastic, shiny, over-the-top holidays. I want something I can sink my teeth into. Homegrown, organic, fresh from our hearts, sincere holiday season.
Christmas, like life, is about being real. It’s about these three things.
Appreciating the special people in your life. And telling them.
At the end of this life, you won’t be able to take the gorgeous car you just got. You won’t remember that trip, or the sights you were able to see as you squeezed in another excursion on the cruise to the Bahamas. And you really might not care about the fancy clothes you wore.
You’ll think of the people who touched your life. Hopefully, they are with you. You’ll laugh until someone sprays out the schnoz at the stories of the “Belching Ballet” in the front room when you should have been doing the dishes. You’ll wonder why you never went and played tag in the summer in the park anymore. You’ll remember that one night you stayed up with someone under the stars.
Here’s a holiday gem: Tell them. No, really. Tell them what those people mean to you. When you sign your Christmas card this year, make sure you put just one memory of that friend and how you think of them when you smell fresh tortillas. It reminds you of that one time you were laughing in that old taco joint you used to go to together that was, in a word, epic.
Doing that one thing goes from plastic Christmas to real. Real friendships rekindled. Card companies can’t do it for you.
What of your family? When’s the last time you truly enjoyed time with them…and then thanked them for that? Take time today. Tell them what they mean to you. Make sure you plan to do that fun activity again soon.
I often hear that love is really spelled T-I-M-E. Make sure you spend time with your loved ones this holiday season.
Laughing at those magical moments that never happen.
The second part of my real Christmas is when baking is underway, everyone is busy in the Christmassing, and something goes terribly…awry.
I’m going to still try to have a Christmas that is lovely, that has a special place in our hearts, that we have enjoyed all of our holiday traditions…but sometimes the gingerbread house collapses. The turkey’s dry (remember the Christmas Vacation turkey?) Dad has to work late. Again. Your cousins are stuck in a major snowstorm trying to get home for the holidays. We didn’t get to our favorite ice skating rink, or Christmas carol sing along, or…whatever. Or something just isn’t “Perfect…”
In that moment, think to yourself, “Yup. This is REAL. This is Christmas.” That mantra. That keeps me sane through the holidays.
You can let the anger, frustration, and all the expectation of “perfect Christmas” go. Let it go and LAUGH. Those are the moments your kids will really remember.
Twenty years later they will remember the time when everything should have gone swimmingly and instead of yelling at us, “Mom busted up laughing! No really! She busted up! We thought she’d finally cracked!”
Giving the truest you to the world.
Sometimes the most heartfelt gifts you give have nothing to do with money. They have everything to do with friendship. They are the gifts only from you.
I just spent the last 20 minutes making Sasquatch holiday cards. I’m not even joking. My friends love to laugh at Sasquatch stories. I don’t even know how it started. I just wish I could see their faces when then open their cards. It’s going to be THAT good.
Giving the truest you takes more. More thought. More consideration of the receiver. And possibly, more time. It doesn’t need to require more money.
Share some of you with the world. Neighbors shovel the walks for others. Help a struggling family with some service. Take a meal to someone in need.
If you find yourself feeling low, or your missing something in your heart, share more of the true you. It feels so good.
Your Real Christmas
This holiday season, as things don’t go well, or the top of your Christmas tree is like ours and the lights just go out, realize that this isn’t your Perfect Christmas. There is no such thing.
There’s Real Christmas. Real people in your life that care about you. Real mishaps that bring so much comedic value. And real opportunity to give to the world by sharing the truest you!
If you’d like to work with me so that you can get zest back, share more with your family, and still have time for you click here.
Tell me in the comments below, how you do you keep Christmas Real?
It’s the week of Thanksgiving. This week always gives us time to reflect on what we’ve learned, how we have progressed and where we are headed.
It seem like looking back can make you think of all the things to do differently this coming year.
This year was going to be different. You were going to have all those ducks in a row. Every cute, fuzzy, waddling little ducky.
Yet, the house is still not quite…clean. You are just not quite organized with homework, extra projects, and focus.
If you’re not paying attention, life can get overwhelming. Fast.
You know where you want to go, but the path just isn’t clear.
You Need a Plan
You want to be more organized. You dream of having it together and being able to do more to serve the community, or take on that job, or have an afternoon just to read.
The question is then:
How do you take care of those who depend on you, keep your house in order, keep up with all the components of your life… and still be able to work on your “other dream”?
This is the exact question I was asking myself a while ago.
With all love, compassion, and understanding I have I’m telling you: “Girl, you’ve got this. This is hard. Don’t get down on yourself. You need a plan.”
Girl, you need a plan.
First of all, I know how it feels. You are pulled in so many directions. You have so much on your plate right now. If you are not organized in your daily routine, your entire family doesn’t run smoothly.
That’s a lot of pressure. Too much.
For years, I’ve been working on finding the right planner for me. I’ve tried all the big brands, some home etsy shop brands, and those online- kinds. I’ve spent a lot of money on planners that don’t work for my brain.
Sure, life should run in a chronological left-brained schedule. But I’m pretty right-brained. They see the forest and the trees. I see all those trees and try to discover which Pantone hue would match that forest.
It’s not about finding a way to cram my life in a planner, it’s finding the right planner for my life.
A few months ago, I discovered Passion Planner. It has been a significant game-changer for me.
The color. The zest for life. The energy from this company called out to me. This is the first planner that makes sense for my whole life.
The right planner for you, You Gorgeous, Busy, Productive Woman.
This is the right planner for you, You Gorgeous, Busy, Productive Woman. I know. That’s a really big promise. Here’s why I’m confident saying this.
I have bought it for myself. And used it consistently. Because it’s easy and it works.
I have given this planner as a gift.
Maybe your life is about way more than just appointments. Maybe it’s about the relationships that matter to you. Maybe it’s about setting goals, working toward, making mistakes, and ultimately, achieving them.
Probably, it’s about all of that.
Your life, you busy, productive, amazing woman, is about progress.
We can easily lose that trying to swim upstream with the constant demands of life.
Passion Planner understands that. Passion Planner is for you.
It’s more than a calendar.
You can get a calendar anywhere. One more calendar is not the solution.
Your life is more than just a calendar. The image you see here is how most women thinks of her life: Put the appointments on the calendar and you’ll get to to the rest of your life.
The image below is all the other things that you’d like to have in your life that just DO NOT FIND A PLACE on a calendar. You want more friends for Girl’s Night; you need a creative project to keep your mind fresh; and, you have always wanted to travel.
When you look at the things that just haven’t happened, and quite frankly, will not happen, until you have a plan… things start getting really clear.
Clarity of your life. And your dreams. Believe me, girl, it is so good for you to go after your dreams.
When you go after those things that you know deep inside are your calling– you are not being selfish. You inspire others all around you. You become the magnet for good energy, good people, and good vibes. What’s better than that?
The Passion Planner helps you have complete understanding of where you are in relation to where you want to be.
It’s refreshing to see the person you have become to show you how to become the person you’d like to be. That’s the first thing I noticed about the Passion Planner. It works.
Learn to prioritize your life. Then create your Passion Plan.
We all know that it’s important to have your priorities in order.
What does that really mean in daily life?
Think right now: what are your top 3 priorities. 1, 2, and 3, and no, there are no ties. You don’t have tied priorities. You have confusion.
Name them now. If you can’t specifically name them, you haven’t made the decision to make them a priorities.
This is the gray area. This is the area that gets us, women especially, into trouble. If you haven’t said “No” to a few things, how can you know, for sure, when to say “Yes”?
No one else can answer this question for you. You have to make the choice. Give your goals the value they deserve.
With your Passion Planner, you set up your Passion RoadMap, evaluate your priorities in life, the re-frame your life according to your priorities.
Until you have written down the choice and made the commitment- it’s not really a choice at all. It’s a wish.
Don’t let your wishes take you off focus of your dream.
Your dream will only come to fruition if you have a plan.
With your Passion Planner, you are doing good for someone else.
I can’t stand it anymore. It’s late. I just can’t sleep.
All these posts on social media, the news, the name calling is outrageous.
While reeling through the anger online and in the world, it hit me. I can be better. I can choose to make positive connections.
I’m not going to participate in pointing the finger and showing how we are so different, fearful and hateful.
I’m not going to participate in hate.
I choose love. I choose kindness. I choose genuine connections so I can learn from others. And we can learn from each other.
Not just nice, positive, sing-song words. Not just a few clicks online and call it friendship.
It didn’t start out this way.
During election week, I’ve had this overwhelming impression to make introductions to friends from days past- to new friends. I have no idea why I’m supposed to be doing this I’ve just been making connections. While walking with my headphones on I just stopped and thought, “They have to connect!” I sent a message to 2 friends introducing each other and said, “Maybe you guys are supposed to work together on a project. Maybe you’re supposed to become great friends…. I don’t know. I just know you are both incredible humans that should probably know each other.”
That’s it. I went back to my exercise and could not stop smiling because I thought they could have a genuine connection.
It’s been so much fun. I have no idea if they will become real friends…that’s on them. I just want to work to start the conversations.
Today is November 11, Veterans Day. There are 50 days left in 2016. I’ve committed to making either: one introduction or a true, heartfelt, friendly connection every day from now until the end of the year. One connection for every star on our flag.
I’m not doing this to make a political statement. This is not some “build your business network” nonsense. This is human connection. This is reaching out and saying, “You’re someone I care about. You bring joy. Here’s a new buddy. You two can teach other something. Go on, make friends.”
Seriously, it’s that easy.
Can’t we all make a connection?
Isn’t there someone who made you laugh yourself silly in school that would be a great friend to someone you’ve met in the past five years? Do they remind you of each other? Is there a similar connection in their stories? Do they both have a terrific laugh that is just infectious?
Or, perhaps you think of 2 people who should meet because they share a fantastic intellect. Or are voracious readers. Or love the Cubs (and seriously, don’t we all right about now?)
It can be as easy as sending a message saying, “Mike meet Bob. You guys should meet. Seriously. Mike, I once saw Bob stick a nickel up his nose for college finals comedic relief. I laughed myself to tears. Bob, you love the outdoors and Mike has a moose story that is one for the books. Make friends. Enjoy.” And leave it at that.
You don’t have to do this challenge my way. Maybe you decide to do 50 tiny acts of service to help others. Perhaps you will write 50 thank you notes that you’ve been thinking about. Maybe 50 International friends need to connect online and will never know about each other until you introduce them.
The point is that we are working to make a positive, genuine, compassionate, sincere impact on the world.
Simply by being real.
This is about kindness. This is about healing. This is about taking responsibility, finding positive connections, reaching out, and building bridges between people.
Because person-to-person is the only way we are going to make this world a better place.
Sure, it sounds naive.
Know what else sounded naive at the time? 56 men signing the Declaration of Independence. Did you know that riots started in New York because of it?
The simplest ideas sound naive. And yet, they can make the biggest impact on the world.
Each Friday I’ll be reporting back on what I’ve done to make connections. I’ll share the stories. Show you my stars. Tell you what I’ve learned and how I’m growing through this process.
Will you join me? Comment below on how you plan to do the 50 Friends Challenge.