19 December 2011

How to Have the Best Christmas Ever

 
This is what happens when Danny hands the camera to someone....  :)
Let's try that again...
My dear friends -
My heart is so full tonight.  It's Sunday night.  I have been amazed by all your lovely notes lately & I want to thank each & every one of you!  I'm sitting here feeling all Sundayish and Christmasy and feeling a lot of love for all of you.  And I am sitting here giddy from meeting one of my favorite bloggers ever, natthefatrat, and her baby boy, Huck (he is adorable)!  We just had ourselves one sweet excursion to Dyker Heights.  That woman is one of the cutest moms ever...seriously.  She just loves being a mom so much and it's so fun to see!  And Brandon is such a great guy.  We just had the best time with them all.

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But Christmas time is not all fun & games, right?  Are any of you feeling the holidays caving in on you?  This time of year is so difficult for so many whether it is the stress of Christmas or something greater.  We are all facing so many different things - and we all have a different set of tools to deal with it.  Some may feel that they don't have any tools & are just barely getting by.  I'M THINKING OF YOU!  :)

I thought today I'd write about HOLIDAY STRESS & offer some tools for letting it go!  :) 

Ohhh, let's see here.....Parties to fit in.  What to wear.  Babysitters to find.  Crafts to complete.  Treats to make & deliver.  Meals to prepare.  Stress that turns into fights with your spouse.  Houses to clean for guests.  Flights to take with babies (ohhh....the anxiety!  Seems to be the hottest spot ever for every mother I know.) 

Or how about loneliness or singledom blaring in your face.  Awkward family moments & drama on the horizon.  Questions you don't want to answer (are you dating anyone?)  Maybe manicures to get (to be paired with that engagement ring that you hope is coming.  Oh my, is it coming?) 

And maybe one of the heaviest weights......making sure that all your loved ones feel loved!  Are we we doing enough for them??  Do we need to buy MORE just to ensure that they smile big on Christmas?? 

I felt some stupid holiday stress for about an hour a couple of days ago.  But it's gone.  It's GONE, I tell you :)  Here's how I turn things around.... 


I do it the same way I try to survive a trial every single day of the year....

1.  I try to notice quickly if I am feeling a little seed of something crappy.  I'm talking those emotions in my heart....cause those are the ones that matter!!!! (you know...feeling overwhelmed, stress, fear, anxiety, doubt, regret, worry about anything, insecurity).  I think it's easier if you notice it right away!  We all can't deny what we're feeling on the inside!

[By the way, the outside stuff doesn't matter....who cares if we have the most beautiful, clever wreath ever on our door or if we just donned the most perfectly festive outfit that wowed everyone or if we just sent out the most beautiful Christmas card ever...if on the inside we are feeling unloved, stressed, too fat/too thin, unhappy with our lives, not good enough, insecure about our selves, our marriage, our motherhood or lack thereof.]

2.  So in that moment of recognition, I think to myself...."Is this really how I want to feel or can I choose something better?"  I have come to realize that these crappy emotions only get me FURTHER from the thing that I wanted in the first place!  It only gets me further from feeling love & harmony & progress.  And the risk of sending that poison out there to my husband or loved ones is too great.   It's not worth it.  I am sure many may disagree with me....but I have come to believe that ALL of those negative emotions I mentioned are not worth holding onto  :)  Even the big ones that we feel justified in feeling!   We are quite good at rationalizing and wanting to think some things are a big deal.  But they really aren't.  I try to look at the bigger picture.  I was raised to believe that life has a purpose, ALL OF IT...good and bad, beautiful and ugly, joy and sorrow.  Part of that purpose is to learn to recognize negative emotions for what they are - a waste of my precious energy and a potential drain on those I care about - and to do my best to choose something better. 

3.  I have confidence that I can let something go & embrace something better.  I know I can turn piddly little Christmasy stress around.  Cause heck, I've turned some pretty big problems around (you know, the infertility and divorce and other mumbo jumbo.) And I've seen so many people do the same.  So I KNOW we are all capable of this. 

4.  I remember that EVERY thought or feeling in my heart either blocks the oneness with the Divine or allows me to tap into it and vibrate with His same light That provides some dang good motivation for me.  And of all times, this holiday season reminds me to tap into that oneness with all I've got.  To me, that's what Christmas is all about.

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Doing these things has helped me to so far have one of the best Christmases ever.  The cookies I made tonight were darn flat and unattractive.  I opted for some low key decorations which for a second made me feel like scum cause my Christmas tree is still in the basement.  And I still have loads of things to fit in this week.  But IT'S ALL OK :)  These things are not ruining my spirit.  I am working on something greater than putting together a perfectly orchestrated Christmas.

May we all take a deep breath and if we are feeling a pinch of that Christmas stress......let's feel grateful for it....cause it's one little reminder that we need to get our act in gear and turn things around.  There is no greater gift we could give or receive than the change of our attitude.

Love to all,

Mara

P.S.  Did you guys see the Giveaway? You can still sign up! Winner chosen Monday night.  

10 comments:

  1. Great advice for a great life (not just Christmas)! Advice to live by all year round. May you and Danny have a lovely, peaceful Christmas and enjoy every moment :)

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  2. Thanks again for concise advice on how to repent! Coming closer to Christ is my greatest desire and having your advice helps me along my way. Thank you!

    Any advice where to eat when we head to see the Nutcracker tonight.

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  3. You are gorgeous, inside and out.

    How cute that you and Nat got together. Her blog is a fun read, too.

    This season is so special, why not enjoy it?!?

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  4. thank you! every post here is a gem. I love reading your blog and feeling truly uplifted. I'm feeling a lot of pressure/responsibility this year - I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, and this is the first year that my 4 year old really "gets" Christmas, so I feel a lot of responsibility to make it magical. But the expectations are all in MY head, you know? My goal for this week is to slow down and enjoy everything!

    by the way, when I woke up this morning, for some reason you and Danny were on my mind, and I said a little intention for you. just wanted you to know that you had some positive energy coming at you today :)

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  5. SAGE - yes! It is all about repentance...
    And - - SOOO excited for you guys to go to teh Nutcracker. So awesome. Here are some places to eat near Lincoln Center:

    Alice's Tea Cup is a bit further up at 102 W. 73rd (at Columbus) but it would be super cute with your girls. They do have meals on the menu in addition to tea and scones. It's a walk, but not too bad at all.

    Shake Shack is popular but very casual. 366 Columbus at 77th.

    Patsy's is one of NY's best pizzas: 61 W. 74th St. off Columbus.

    More $$:
    Rosa Mexicano: 62nd & Columbus.
    Isabella's: 359 Columbus at 77th.
    Shun Lee Palace: 43 W. 65th St.

    For dessert:
    Magnolia Columbus at 69th St.
    Levain Bakery (best cookies) - 167 W. 74th St. -at Amsterdam. But they close at 7 pm.
    Jacques Torres - 285 Amsterdam btwn 73/74. Best choc. chip cookies + wicked hot choc.

    Hope you have a magical evening!!!

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  6. Karen - that is so sweet of you to think of us! Wow, thank you so much! :)

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  7. You're awesome! Thanks! (I'm ending up bringing my 11 yo daughter and my 15 yo son who loves Shake Shack--they go there before doing baptisms at the temple--and leaving the 5 year old daughter home, who saw a Nutcracker on tv that scared her and now she doesn't want to go).

    Cheers!

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  8. This was great Mara! I think this post is a very fitting reminder to us all. I know for me it started with deciding which family to spend this holiday with (im single, my parents are divorced, so i have to make sure i fit them into the holidays, evenly). There's also church activities, buying or not buying gifts for a huge list of family and friends... and yeah it was beginning to get to me. But as i've read here before, I have a choice as to how I react to the circumstances before me. And I must deal with things with peace, let them go and do what I can without losing my joy!

    So that's what I'm doing. Already feeling better and looking forward to spending the weekend with my Dad and siblings and helping in the kitchen (a new passion i picked up!).

    Have a joyful week!

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  9. Beautiful post, Mara! And beautiful photos, too! You all look SO happy!

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  10. here i am, here i am! the orange lips are amazzzzze. i sport the tomato soup orange lip every once in a while, but i work for engineers, so only on days i can mentally prepare for a day of weird eyes and confused plaid shirts staring in my direction!

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