Tag Archives: holidays

True Love is Selfless

Selfless Love Collage

What comes to mind when you think about the word selflessness? Do you think of new parents learning to shift their focus from themselves to their newborn’s needs? Maybe you think of volunteers who compassionately carve out time to help others despite their busy schedules. There are so many ways that people are selfless every day. I know in my own life, watching my mother struggle with cancer with such grace and thoughtfulness for those around her has been a constant daily reminder of how to be selfless.  She always jokes to keep smiles on our faces, and while most people would understandably dwell on their pain or anger in this circumstance, she instead maintains a positive attitude to encourage others.  Continue reading

Christmas: Live in the Moment

Amidst all the parties, shopping trips, and planning this holiday season, remember what this is really about: celebration. No matter what holiday you celebrate, whether it’s Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, and beyond, this is a time to enjoy yourself, your family, your friends, and the time that you have together. A holiday is not about the past, and it’s not about the future. The day of Christmas, for me, is about right now and treasuring the moment. On Christmas Day, or whatever holiday you celebrate, live inside the moment.

This means letting your worries drop. Take a good look at the people around you; notice the love and warmth in the room. Admire the smiles of your children and grandchildren. This is what the holidays are really about. Living inside the moment means being thankful and grateful for the life that has brought you to this day, but prizing the 24 hours within the holiday like a precious jewel.

Sharing laughter, joy, dinner, and the day together is what it’s all about. Becoming overwhelmed by stress is not the intention of the holiday, so no matter how much you want to let yourself feel stressed by all you have to, don’t. You have the choice to feel stressed just as much as you have the choice to feel joyful and thankful on such a precious holiday. All year, we look forward to this time. Spend that time wisely, and take full advantage of those hours with your loved ones.

Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” My holiday interpretation of that quote is that people won’t remember the wrapping paper on a present, and they may not remember the present itself. But what they will remember is how they felt on that day, and YOU will remember how the people around you made you feel. The way to create lasting memories from a holiday is simple: be in a good mood. And you can get there by not letting yourself stress out and focusing on all the good that surrounds you—namely, your family.

View the holiday season as it’s truly meant to be: a time to rejoice, a time to celebrate, and a time to share the joy and love with those closest to you. I wish you a very happy holiday season.

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Be a Great Holiday Guest!

We are in the throes of the busiest season of the year. While we get stuck in the mindset of how busy we are, we have to keep in mind that everyone is feeling the pressure. When it’s your turn to relax and enjoy the party, not run the show, keep the hostess of the party in mind. She’s probably worried about having enough wine, hoping everyone gets along, and concerned about everything else but herself.

If you’ve ever hosted a party before, you know how stressful they can be. What did you wish for as the hostess? As you’re attending parties this year, keep the hostess and other guests in mind.

Here’s how you can be a great holiday guest!

-Be classy and fabulous: Coco Chanel said it best: “A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous.” In a party environment, remember to arrive in a good mood, be sociable, and always be polite. Even if you’re best friends with the hostess, she wants to leave all her guests with a good impression. You can start with returning an RSVP as soon as possible—a hostess needs to know the number of total people who are attending and plan accordingly. Keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum and leaving any lewd or crass humor and behavior at home will leave the hostess at ease. Your reputation will be in check, too!

-Bring a hostess gift: You should never show up to a party empty handed. Depending on your relationship with the hostess and how formal the party is, you’ll be able to judge what kind of gift you should bring. A bottle of wine, a nice dessert, a certificate for a post-party spa treatment, or cocktail glasses are all great, thoughtful options. You want to ensure the hostess knows that you’re thankful and that you’re thinking of her.

-Thank the hostess in her love language: People speak in five love languages. People are receptive to Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, or a combination of any of those languages. Be sure to thank the hostess in her love language. For example:

-If she responds to Words of Affirmation: Tell her, “Thank you so much for putting on this beautiful gathering. You are an excellent hostess and made this a really enjoyable night!”

-If she responds to Quality Time: Talk to her when she has a moment alone to thank her and compliment her. Be sure there are no distractions around and that you give her your undivided attention.

-If she responds to Receiving Gifts: Aside from a hostess gift, offer to take her out to dinner or treat her to a girls’ night. Thanking her with a night in which she gets to relax and have fun will be rewarding to her.

-If she responds to Acts of Service: Stay later than the rest of the guests to help her clean up or wash dishes, or call her before the party to see if there are any last-minute items you could pick up for her. Relieving her of anything that might be a burden will speak volumes.

-If she responds to Physical Touch: Hug her as you thank her for the party, or gently pat her forearm while giving her a compliment.

-Don’t be tardy for the party: Being punctual is respectable; being late is not. Remove the “fashionably late” excuse from your vocabulary! Respect the times explained on the invitation so as to relieve extra stress, worry, or uncomfortable situations. It would be upsetting if you were the one hosting a dinner party, for example, and someone walks in while everyone is on their main courses.

-Mix and mingle: It’s easy to talk to only the people you know, but try to be as much of a social butterfly as possible. Float around the room and be open to conversation with anyone. Introduce yourself to people you haven’t yet met. Be receptive to people who approach you and be conversational. Keep conversation lively and interesting; people attend parties to have fun!

With these tips, you’re sure to be the life of the party and the dream guest!

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Are YOU on Your To-Do List?

December—a time that should be dedicated solely to family, friends, and enjoying life—is when life gets even more hectic for me, and probably for you, too. For me, it means wrapping up this year’s business, searching for the perfect gifts for my children and grandkids, celebrating numerous birthdays, attending countless holiday parties, planning a Christmas celebration for my whole family, and prepping for my daughter’s New Year’s Eve wedding (and the list could go on). All this magically fits within the time span of four short weeks.

My to-do list is never ending, yet there is one important to-do I have to remember to add: me. In the month of December, perhaps more importantly than ever, I need to remember to make time for myself. This past year has been a whirlwind. With the expansion of Pure Romance in South Africa and Australia, the launch of the e-book I co-wrote, working to raise funds and awareness through the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health, and always improving the Pure Romance product line and business, I have been so busy I’ve lost touch with myself a little bit.

When you have your business, family, and demands of life on your to-do list, it’s more than easy to nix “me” time from the mix. “Why do I deserve time to myself when there’s so much that needs to be done?” you might think. Well, think again.

There is a quote that is everywhere right now. It says, “Keep calm and carry on.” Ninenty-nine percent of the time, women do just that. We feel stress, but we suppress it and carry on until the tasks at hand are complete, or the other people in our lives are happy. This month, I challenge you to stop and take a minute to yourself instead of powering through. Stop, breathe, read a magazine, take yourself out to dinner, get a pedicure—whatever it is that you want to do, do it. And then carry on with your tasks. There is only one you, and people understand that.

It’s also important to remember that not everything needs to be done. It’s not the end of the world if something waits an hour. Do not see this as giving up. Instead, think of it as giving yourself a mental break. Stress bodes well for no one. It can negatively affect everything from your sex drive to your sleep—and we all know what stress can do to one’s mood. If for no other reason, put yourself on your to-do list so you stay relaxed (as relaxed as possible, that is), happy, and healthy during this holiday season.

Give yourself the biggest gift of all: Make yourself a priority. You’re likely to have everyone and everything else on your to-do list before carving out time for yourself. It’s time to change that. Those closest to me know I have an impossible time slowing down, relaxing, and doing things for me. But this December, I’m making the impossible possible. I’m making myself a priority in the midst of chaos, and because of this, I’ll be able to enjoy my own company as well as my family and friends even more. Having a happy holiday season means making yourself happy, too.

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