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The Unleashing of the HOLIDAY SPIRIT

red christmas spirit image

(greet2k.com)

So, it’s a couple of weeks until we celebrate Thanksgiving with Christmas being around the corner. I can honestly say this is the most I have ever been excited about either one of them. I have decided to truly experience both holidays, instead of just managing to get through it with gifts bought and received. As a child I had some that were great, and some that sucked. We never fed into the myth of Santa Clause, my parents certainly weren’t going to let someone else get the credit for what they bought myself and my brothers. I remember my mother being completely exhausted from all the cooking she did on both days, with little time to appreciate the importance of appropriate table setting and tree decorating my father was trying to instill in me. It’s safe to say that the romanticism of it all may have gotten lost in translation.

The change in my attitude about the holidays could be attributed to me realizing how much of ourselves that we tend to give to our jobs and even our dreams, so time spent on things and with people that make us happier become even more important. With that in mind, I am determined to stretch out the months of November and December. This year they won’t just be a blur until the day of, with me confirming that I’ve gotten what I requested, and figuring out whose house will I end up at for dinner. I am going to go out of my way to really observe these traditions, and the best way I can do this is by remembering the details. It’s in the music playing, it’s in drinking hot chocolate, it’s in putting up cheesy decorations that would typically make you turn your nose up, and most importantly being grateful for what I already have. In addition I have decided to leave the conspiracy theories about these occasions out of the picture. It’s safe to say we are not idiots, and we celebrate these holidays not because of the historical or date accuracy, but because we want to. As a society at times it can seem that we don’t have much to come together about, let’s not take away these things too.

We should not allow the “powers that be” dictate when we start getting into the holiday spirit. Do we really need our malls to let us know it’s that time of the year to be of good cheer? When will we decide to meet each other with great expectation and joy on our own? When will we go out of the way to make others happy because we want to see them smile? Should we only be like this towards the end of the year? Absolutely not. While we do have birth days, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries, they are truly not enough.

Let’s find more reasons to enjoy our lives and our families throughout the year, and make the most out of what we have without needing permission to do so.

merry-Christmas-Widescreen-wallpaper

(blaberize.com)

P.S.

I am slowly turning into a person I never thought I  would become……a sentimentalist. Yuck!

Rachel Bryant Lundy

“Woo chile”, these weekends sure fly by!

 Not long ago my Saturday mornings would consist of lying in bed, while watching episodes of the Pioneer Woman, and ordering in if I eventually became hungry. Now, as a new Bride, I find myself with a “to do list” to tackle every Saturday morning. Mainly to ensure that the next work week runs smoothly and to keep my happy home, happy. Not to mention trying to squeeze in baby showers and birthday parties, of which there is never a shortage.  And, oh yeah, the most important “to do”, spend quality time with the man I just married. However, the bright side is at least I have an awesome partner in crime to help me tackle those things. Albeit, a partner that loves to get up early and stay busy, while I prefer not to do anything until the feeling hits me. Some say I’m lazy, but because I’m an artist, I prefer to call it, inspiration driven.

On Thursday evening, my sweet husband called my mother and offered to take her to work on Friday because she doesn’t like to drive in bad weather. She declined the ride but instead offered to take us to breakfast on Saturday. We both love food, and don’t turn down meals, especially free ones. The only problem, I would have to get up at 7:15 a.m., same as any other day. Oh well, breakfast at our favorite spot in Baltimore, Sip and Bite, is worth it.  It’s a small 24 hour diner known for its Greek food, but we only eat there for breakfast, and sells the best crab cakes you will ever taste.

We arrived at our favorite diner, to be waited on by our favorite sassy waitress. She and my husband are always at each other’s throats, both of them tough on the outside, and soft on the inside. Once seated my mother says “This is just like the bar cheers, where everyone knows your name”. The waitress replied “Yea everybody knows me as bit**.” Our whole table burst out with laughter. It’s really hard to be offended by a funny person. And besides the food, the main reason for going to a diner is the free entertainment. While eating breakfast, we have a discussion that never gets old, church politics and the rebellious nature of children brought up in the church.

Stuffed from breakfast, and a little tired from taking my mom to run some errands once we got home we decide to do something different, and not do anything else for the rest of the day. Before we knew  it, there was 8 p.m., and we were now thinking about what to wear for church tomorrow. So once again I set my alarm for 7:15 a.m., while thinking of the errands left to do tomorrow that we put off today.

By Sunday evening, we managed to have all the errands done, and I was able to have dinner ready in time to watch some “comforting foolishness” Real Housewives of Atlanta. My husband is easy to please as long as a meal has rice in it, but I’m a little old school,and I believe if you are not going out for Sunday dinner, then it should require a little more effort than usual. So, I took my stab at making potato salad that I haven’t made in over two years. The ingredients that go into it are pretty simple, but I forgot how much elbow grease it takes, if you want it to be good. I also made collard greens seasoned with turkey necks, and fried chicken. I was tired but it was so worth it.

Dinner was definitely my biggest accomplishment this weekend, because it was done out of love for my family, and it was good. Yeah, I’m cheesy, you can blame it on the Donna Reed episodes my father used to make me watch.

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By late Sunday night, my husband and I started lamenting over not being ready for Monday, but equally content that it had been an enjoyable weekend with together. Although the new schedule and demands of newlywed life has been an adjustment, I think we are doing pretty good, and it will only get better.

To get the most out of your weekends with your spouse, try incorporating these 5 things:

  • Pay attention to your spouse’s approach to the weekend. To keep both people happy, be open to doing things the way they want and meeting them half way. One of you may have to get up a little earlier, and the other, a little later.
  • Find a way to recharge your batteries on the weekend, so you don’t dread the upcoming work week. Take a long nap, long bath, or go for a long walk to clear your head. Those one or two hours focusing on yourself will do wonders for your mood, because you won’t feel like you are giving all your time to others with none left for you.
  • Have a plan for what things you normally need to do during the weekend to provide structure, and discuss what you are going to do on the weekend earlier in the week. So, if there are changes to your normal routine or plans, everyone will be made aware in advance.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different than you normally do, and loose the routine for the weekend. Avoid forcing yourself to do what you don’t feel like, if it’s not a necessity. If you want to, do it. If not, then don’t.
  • Continue to work on your relationship with your spouse. It’s easy to get caught up in making sure the home runs smoothly and end up forgetting about the people in the home.

I hope what I’ve shared helps to make  your weekends a little less chaotic and more enjoyable.

Remember….Stay a Busy Bee and share with a Bride to Be.

Rachel Bryant Lundy