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All Things Must Come to an End

NY  We have only a few days left of 2013. Some people have been planning for the 31st since January or may have started last week. This day is a big deal. Who you spend it with is just as important as what you do. When I was younger, staying in a night, especially the weekend, was not an option. As I have aged, the tables have definitely turned, since sitting on the couch with a small amount of people around me is my preference- even on weekends. So why should New Year’s be any different? Here are some cheaper and safer ways to spend New Year’s Eve (and remember what you did the next morning).

1. Couch love- There is nothing wrong with curling up on the couch, having a movie marathon and watching the ball drop at midnight. You are in the house; safe from drunk drivers and you are within your own four walls. You can’t beat that! If you can’t sit still on the couch, play a game with your family or make something together. The great thing about this suggestion is that you can feel free to be in your pajamas and curlers… all day long!

2. Reflection- Take the time to reflect on your year. What worked, what didn’t, what you would like to change (add or delete). With a new year comes a brand new start. This is the time to focus on making improvements and setting goals, but also, try not to overwhelm yourself so that you’re not setting yourself up for failure. Take one or two goals, set a timeline, and see it through completely. You will feel a lot more successful if you completed a goal versus having six incomplete goals on your plate.

I recently read an article in the Huffington Post about creating New Year’s themes, instead of resolutions. For instance, if you want to eat better and cook more, your goal would be ‘Nourish.’ If you want to try new places, travel, and do something spontaneous, your goal would be ‘Adventure.’ You get the picture. It’s worth a try.

3. House party- Similar to number one, post up at your own house, a friend’s house, or a family member’s house. You are with people you love and somewhere safe (hopefully). If you are not at your own home, please wait to leave after 12:30 or so. Give the crazies enough time for them to drive all over the road and for you and your loved ones to get home safely.

How are you spending your New Year’s Eve?

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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.

Thanksgiving Prayer

thanksgiving 1  Dear Lord,

Thank you for bringing us together for another Thanksgiving. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my friends. I am so blessed to have them in my life. Please continue to watch over them and protect them from harm.

Thank you for this food I have been blessed to receive used to nourish and strengthen my body. And thank you for the hands that prepared it.

I hope this day brings peace and many blessings in my home, as well as my family and friends’ homes, this holiday as well as EVERY day. I know I may not speak or see them too often, but please let them know that I love them all. I thank you for every person you have brought into my life; those who have brought me love and happiness.

Please continue to bless my marriage as we celebrate our first major holiday as a married couple. Let this be the beginning of many more.

So this Thanksgiving, I just want to say thank you to You, my family, and my friends. Thank you for being a special part of my life. I love you. In Jesus’ name I pray.

Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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.

What’s Your Vision?

The New Year is on its way in three days. So you have three days to come up with some magnificent resolutions. Brand new year, brand new start, brand new promises to yourself that you cannot or will not keep. I will exercise everyday. I will lose 45 pounds in thirty days. I will meet someone and marry by the end of the year. Why do we feel compelled to lie to ourselves year after year? Our New Year’s resolutions have one foot in and one foot out of the toilet by the time the Super Bowl rolls around. But I have another plan that will work as long as your heart is in it, not your ‘I will just exercise tomorrow morning to make up for eating half a pizza’ conflicted mind.

Goal setting is something that is not new to mankind. In fact, it is a very essential piece to living peacefully and sanely. There are two tricks to goal setting – set small and attainable or measurable goals, and don’t make more than three to five at a time. In regards to New Year’s resolutions, let’s just stick to two or three.  Sure you may slip up here and there, but don’t get discouraged and stop. Pick it up the next day with more ambition and a positive attitude.

Something that I tried, which is not new, is the Vision Board. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Vision Board, this is a board made up of your wishes, hopes, and dreams in which are depicted through pictures and/or words.  A couple of years ago, through prompting of a couple of friends, I completed a small unorganized board. Did I accomplish anything on the board? Nope. But January 2011, I started fresh. I tossed my old board (after I took it out of my closet) and got serious. A friend of mine and I had a Girls’ Night; took out scissors, glue, and construction paper, picked out several pictures and words/phrases, and built our boards. This time, I hung it up so that I could see it everyday and believed that I would get everything that I deserved this year; everything that was pasted on my board.

January 1st, 2012, my friend and I are getting together to do the same thing, but this time, we will hold each other accountable, including making a couple of small, attainable goals aside from the Board. What is the purpose of all of this? Holding yourself accountable and believing in yourself. Encouraging yourself to get what you really want. When you have another person there to observe what you want out of life and are aware of your dreams, they too can push you into the direction of success, which of course is the overall goal of the Vision Board.

So what did you learn today… you do have some control over your destiny. Through creating two or three goals, short term or long term, you pave your way to becoming who and what you want to be. Stay positive, keep on track, and encourage yourself to be great.

Many Blessings

When you think of family, most people would think of their nuclear family (mom, dad, brother, sister) or even their extended family (grandmother/father, aunts, uncles, cousins). Some would even take it a step further and mention their co-workers, neighbors, or close friends. However you choose to define it, be grateful that you have someone to include. Me, myself, I am blessed to have such wonderful and loving family and friends who are there for me and love me unconditionally. But my question is this, unless it is a holiday or a special event (ex. birthday party, family reunion, etc), why do many people wait until then to rejoice, visit, or celebrate life and togetherness?

In a previous article I talked about ‘Just because’ gifts or gestures (I won’t tell you which article because I want you to read them all), but gatherings should be included. I watched the movie Soul Food again about a week or two ago and grew a little envious. Of course I’m not talking about all the drama with the bickering, going to jail, Big Mama dying, and so on. I’m talking about the way the family met up every Sunday, cooked dinner together, and sat down together to eat and communicate. They didn’t wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to see each other, they took the time every week to show their family that they cared.

Now granted there are some family members that you wish weren’t family, but overall it’s a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by those who genuinely care about your well-being. For those of you who are blessed with many friends (acquaintances don’t count), loving parents, caring siblings, and valuable relatives, I challenge you to gather all of the people that you love and are cherished with to get together on a day besides a holiday. What’s the occasion—to celebrate life, peace, and many blessings.

So what did you learn today…appreciate the people in your life that you are blessed to know and love. Show them how you feel any and every day of the week, not just holidays.