Happy For The Holidays
Welcome to Day 2 of my Happy for the Holidays blog post series! If you haven't already, check out Day 1 to get the full scoop on 7 Holiday Hang-ups and 7 Simple Solutions! For Day 1, I addressed Cold, Gray Weather + Short Days + Lack of Sunlight.
The weather here in Lincoln has been pretty mild as of late, with only a couple light dustings of snow, and it's looking like we're going to get up into the 60's this week! I will admit it's been pretty nice not having to bundle up in quite so many layers, but honestly, I can't wait for snow. Please don't hurt me! Yesterday the hubs and I took some of the advice from Day 1's blog post on combatting the wintertime blues, by taking Beau for a family jog on the bike path. It felt so good to just breathe in the fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun beaming down on my face!
*Disclaimer: No, we don't go for jogs dressed like this, but I just had to share one of my favorite pictures from last year's holiday photo shoot! We love our dog—he makes it so easy to get outside and play around, no matter what the weather's like!
Another common pitfall around the holidays is the feeling of loneliness, whether you’re single, stuck at work, or geographically separated from loved ones. Especially if you’re single, it can feel like love is all around you—just watch "The Holiday" or "It’s a Wonderful Life" by yourself, and you’ll surely feel like you’re the only person left on the face of the earth! Being home alone with festivities going on all around you can make it feel like you’re missing out. But at the same time, going to holiday parties, shows, and events can sound like a drag, because you know you’ll be the third wheel if you go with your paired-off friends, and the thought of showing up solo is simply gut-wrenching.
Although I’m happily married, I’ve definitely been through my lonely and single days around Christmas time in the past! Lonely and single don't have to go hand-in-hand, though! Being "home alone" can be scary—just ask Kev! My advice to you is to be bold and brave—get dressed up, ditch the empty house, spread your wings, and fly solo! If you get an invite to a holiday party, show up; you’re bound to run into someone you know, maybe bump into an old friend you haven't seen in a while, and there is always the chance that you'll meet that special someone you’ve been waiting for! You won’t know if you don’t go!
Maybe what you really need to do, though, is to quit waiting around and/or searching for the love of your life. Being single is the time when you can truly hone in on who you are through self-reflection and self-care! Doing the "internal work" can help you to become confident in yourself, making it more likely that you will attract the most compatible partner in the future. Try spending some quiet time first thing in the morning with a pen and paper organizing your thoughts, and listing what you're grateful for. Try prayer and meditation. When we stop asking, wondering, and worrying and slow down enough to listen, we can find the answers we're looking for within ourselves, rather than relying on outside sources.
Focusing on nonromantic goals can make you feel more self-sufficient and less alone. There are tons of ways to feel fulfilled outside of love. Bringing happiness to others through volunteering can in turn make you happier, and also help to put things into perspective. Join a gym and meet some new people or start nailing down plans for your new business venture!
Seriously consider booking a solo flight somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit—a Christmas present from you, to you! Take yourself on a shopping spree! Even something as simple as going to your favorite sit-down restaurant alone for lunch or dinner can feel so freeing—I've done it a handful of times, and it's so empowering! Treating yourself isn't being selfish, it's been self-full, and ultimately, no one can truly love you until you learn to love yourself, so love yourself up!
Make It Up
If you're stuck working during the holidays, simply re-schedule. Make it up to your loved ones by celebrating the holidays at a later (or earlier) date. You could even get as crazy as Christmas in July, and do a tropical family vacay! While you're working, remember to put a smile on and focus on how you can be of service, because you never want to be the person to ruin somebody else's best day ever!
If you live far from home and maybe can’t even make it home for the holidays, schedule frequent catch-up dates with those you care about! In the age of computers and smartphones, there’s no reason why we can’t see the ones we love, face-to-face, everyday! Do these three things, and you'll be golden: 1) send a card back home—seriously, nothing beats a handwritten letter, 2) FaceTime with Mom and Dad, and 3) don’t forget to give Gma and Gpa a call!
No matter if you’re far from home, or simply home alone, i beg you, PLEASE, deck the halls! Put up a tree, string up the lights, crank the Christmas tunes, and be full of joy! Kevin didn't sit around in an empty house—he decked the halls!
Holiday Hang-ups Around Our Home
*Each day I'll also be sharing some "holiday hang-ups" around our home—because if there's one thing we love to do, it's decorate for Christmas!
I didn't grow up with a fresh-cut Christmas tree, but it's a tradition that my lumberjack husband brought to our marriage, and I don't know why I hadn't done it sooner! We usually get a white pine, with super long, soft needles, but this year we decided to go with the more traditional and classic Balsam Fir for our main tree. An added bonus is that it's one of the most fragrant pines, and it really smells incredible! After looking at this photo, we both agreed that we need to add even more ornaments—so I'll probably be posting another picture in a few days!
Ornaments can get expensive, especially glass ones, so I like to collect just a few nice, new ones every year—it's amazing how quickly they add up! Another fun idea that the hubs came up with was to cut a big piece of burlap for the tree skirt! On the wall is yet another DIY project that I did last year. I took a couple of old corbels (the shelf) that were stained a really dark, cherry color, painted them grey, and then used a white antiquing medium to give them a "Restoration Hardware" look. It became the perfect place to set an old wine bottle candle holder and a pair of white doves that Dusty's great-grandma gave us for Christmas!
You're Not Alone
Even when you feel alone, you're not alone—others feel the same! When I'm going through a struggle, I like to talk it out with someone I can trust, and most of the time they can find a way to relate. Knowing that I'm not alone in whatever I'm going through always helps to alleviate feelings of isolation! Remember, if you want something, just ask! Sometimes you've got to initiate in order to get what you need from others!
Stay tuned for Day 3, because it's the sweet spot for me, and I've got tons of great tips, tricks, and advice for navigating: Tempting Sweets + Treats // Overeating + Overindulging // Regret + Remorse.