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Giving Love

present  This is probably one of my favorite months of the year. My birthday, family and friends gathering, and Christmas all wrapped in a bow. The snow sucks, but other than that, it’s a great time of year and closer to ringing in a new one.

Each family celebrates Christmas and Christmas Eve differently. I’d just like to share some of those Christmas Eve traditions. Feel free to add your own.

+ Open one gift

+ Make homemade gifts and present them

+ Family dinner and swap family stories

+ Twist in dinner menu- instead of turkey or ham, have steak or Chinese

+ Go to church

+ Make something together as a family (ex. cookies, pie, gingerbread houses)

+ Have a movie marathon (Christmas or family theme)

+ Do some charity work

This is a time for family and giving. Make sure you are “giving love at Christmas,” to quote the Temptations. Enjoy your holiday. Give from the heart. Be safe and be merry.

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Holiday in the Dumps

grinch  Is it okay to break up with your mate during the holidays? I would like to play devil’s advocate for this topic. For the most part, I believe that it would be a heart breaking thing to deal with- if they were someone special. I mean, who would want to be by themselves intentionally for the holiday season, have to worry about returning a gift (especially if it’s a nonrefundable gift), or have no other family in the general vicinity to spend the holidays with.

Some people break up before the Christmas on purpose just so they won’t have to buy a gift, which is trifling. Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is not simply just about buying gifts (check out my last blog “The Spirit of Christmas” if you haven’t read it already), but it is the season of giving something.

There are times when maybe you should just stick it out until Christmas passes, for example, you love them a lot more than them getting on your nerves. You don’t want to spend too much time with them and a couple more days won’t kill you, but after those few days, you can then give them the boot. There is a break between Christmas and New Year’s but you have to act fast. Or if you already scheduled a trip and want to wait until after New Year’s to break up since you don’t want to lose the money that you spent on airfare, hotel arrangements, etc., then wait a couple more if it doesn’t kill you.

On the contrary, there are some instances where waiting should not be in the cards, for example, when there is abuse involved, cheating, the sight of them makes you physically ill, or any other case that’s similar. If your happiness and sanity are in jeopardy then you shouldn’t wait, even if it happens on Christmas Day. Now just like the last blog, don’t go blaming me for your breakup saying that ‘Klove said it was okay to kick you to the curb on Christmas because you were tripping.’ What I’m saying is your happiness (your children’s happiness comes first if you have any) and sanity are very important and if you don’t take that into consideration, then you are damaging your livelihood and your mental health. Please keep this in mind and choose what’s best for you.

Happy Holidays everyone. Be safe and make some good decisions:)

The Spirit of Christmas

C  I started reflecting back to a conversation that I had with a girl friend of mine yesterday. We were talking about the holidays. How there’s a big build up and then let down once they’ve passed. How people measure their holidays by how big their gifts are. This type of behavior and/or thinking is what leads some to seasonal depression. But that’s not what Christmas is about. Christmas has been so commercialized that the spirit is definitely not where it should be. There are other ways to give and to still feel good about yourself while feeling that true Christmas spirit again.

-Give Love: Hugs, kisses, time, consideration, effort- all that wrapped up in a bow.

– Give to Others: Donate…time, clothes, money, whatever. There’s always someone who is worse off than you.

– Give homemade gifts: My girl friend mentioned this and I think that this is a great idea. Now, it doesn’t have to look mammy-made, but it does have to be creative and something that the person could truly cherish.

Now fellas, don’t go home telling your wife or girlfriend that Klove suggested that their gift should be a hug. That’s not where I’m going with this. What I’m saying is to give from the heart and those are the best gifts that can restore the spirit.

Light My Fire

   What is romance? How important is it? Romance is the expression of love and one’s deepest desire to connect with another. I believe this to be a fifty-fifty split between actions and emotions. Sure we all know how romantic a bubble bath with rose petals floating in the water is romantic, but the art of romance stems from a person’s inner being or feelings. You have to have the thought behind the action. For example, my Valentine’s blog (“How to Avoid Sleeping on the Couch Valentine’s Day Night”) offered some suggestions on gifts to give the special woman in your life. There’s a huge difference between coming in the house and saying, “Here” and throwing a box of chocolates in your direction, versus setting up a treasure hunt with love messages and a piece of chocolate at every stop. Thought + Effort= Romance= A Happy Couple You get my drift.

Romance is extremely important and a vital way to keep a relationship alive. Without it is like a fish out of water; suffocating and a part of both of you are dying slowly. It is spontaneous. It is special. It is a golden moment that you both can cherish and have that conversation years later saying, “Remember when we/you… “. Don’t forget, ladies and gentlemen, you did something to attract the attention of your mate and to keep them interested long enough to be in a committed, loving relationship, so why not keep that going? Why wait til Valentine’s Day to give your woman something special? Why wait til Father’s Day to let your man know that he’s a great father? We all know that relationships are hard work and require a lot of maintenance to keep it fresh, so why not brush up on your intimacy skills right now.

– Hold a conversation about your personal goals, hopes, aspirations, dreams, and future together as a couple.

– Draw a bath for your mate.

– Slow dance.

– Make out (Yeah, I said it. Kissing is very passionate and also just as important in a relationship. And I’m not talking about “grandma” pecks!).

– Touch.

– Feed each other.

– Use candles.

– Eat dinner minus the television.

– Cuddle.

– Give hugs and hold each other.

Remember that what you put in to a relationship is the same as what you will get out of it, and that relationships are all about give and take. What are some of your ideas? How do you keep your relationship alive and kickin’?

I Am Malcolm X

One of the many things that I miss about working at a school is presenting daily African-American facts during Black History Month. Not only could the students learn about all the greatness that stems from their heritage and where we came from, but I also took it personal. I saw it as my own history lesson. One thing that I did stress was that February should not be the only month to learn about our history. Instead, look at February as a time to celebrate our successes, contributions, and accomplishments and be proud of our people. So, what I plan to share is only a couple of African-American Firsts. Enjoy:)

  • Macon Bolling Allen was the first African-American to pass the bar and practice law in the United States in 1845. He was also the first black American Justice of the Peace and the first African-American licensed to practice law in the U.S.
  •  Arthur Ashe was the first African-American to win the U.S. Open (1968); to come in first in the Wimbeldon men’s singles (1975); and be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (1985). In 1963, tennis champion Arthur Ashe was the first African-American to be named to the U.S. Davis Cup team.
  • Actress Diahann Carroll won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Series in 1968 for her role on the sitcom Julia. Carroll was the first African-American actress to star in her own television series where she did not play a domestic worker.
  • Politician and educator Shirley Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress. She was also the first major-party African-American candidate for President of the United States.
  • Human rights activist Clara “Mother” Hale founded the first and, at the time, the only black social services agency in America in 1975. Over the course of her life, Mother Hale received more than 370 awards for her work in the fight against AIDS and inner city drug use.
  • Robert Johnson, the owner of Black Entertainment Television (BET), became the first black billionaire in America in 2001.

Stay tuned for the next “I Am Malcolm X” segment… .

How to Avoid Sleeping on the Couch Valentine’s Day Night

Obviously, this post is particularly for the fellas. Let me let you in on a little secret. Valentine’s Day to a single woman is like a mother with a crying child on a plane; she avoids it and pretends that that it doesn’t exist. On the other hand, to a woman who is not single (dating, in a relationship, or married), it means just as much as a birthday. This is the day to show how romantic you are, show how much you care, and how much she means to you. So if you put little thought into what you “reward” her with on V Day, don’t expect a warm embrace from her. Just saying- don’t shoot the messenger.

So, what are some good things to do or give on this special day you ask? Well, I can give you a couple ideas. Please keep in mind that they are not in any type of order.

  Jewelry (you shouldn’t be surprised about this making the list). Any type will do as long as it doesn’t look cheap, used, or, of course, ugly.

  A nice hot oil massage for her back and feet.

  A home cooked candlelight meal (that you made, please don’t let her cook her own meal). And don’t forget the dessert:)

  An original poem or song that you made and framed.

  Candy- this does not mean stop at the nearest gas station and pick up a Snickers bar. But something with some thought behind it. Something upscale. Or even her favorite.

  An outfit you want her to wear for Valentine’s Day. It could be a hot lil number for dinner or after dinner.

  Take a trip.

  Personalize This- you could engrave anything from a watch, to a photo album, to a jewelry box. And they are not as expensive as you think.

  A gift basket- there are tons out there that include cookies, candy, brownies, fruit, or a combination.

  And when all else fails, some nice smell goods from Bath and Body Works.

If you noticed, cards and flowers did not make the cut, because they are simply unacceptable when given, especially alone. What “successful” gifts have you given that you can add to the list?