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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.

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Simplicity

simple   Do most women like jewelry? Absolutely. Do most men like nice cars? Sure. But there are some things that don’t cost a thing but are very meaningful. It’s the simple things, ladies and gentlemen, that lets your mate know that you’re still interested, that you care and love them, and that is the glue that holds your relationship together. Below is a list of things that won’t lead you to the poor house and could bring a smile to your significant other’s face.

+ Smile- Seeing a smile on your loved one’s face is usually contagious (unless it looks sneaky). An easy way to brighten up your day.

+ Favorite picture- Another way to better your mood is to gaze at your favorite picture. Whether it’s a picture of you two together or even a picture of the sun setting over the ocean. Your favorite visions bring pleasant memories.

+ Hug and kiss- Sometimes there’s nothing better than coming home after a long day (or a rough day) and getting a bear hug and a nice kiss.

+ Doing something without being asked- Taking the initiative or doing something without being reminded or nagged about it is appreciative. There are some people who like to nag, but most people would rather not waste their breath reminding you over and over to do something. Please save your partner some time and energy by just taking care of it.

+Text- It used to be that you would send a Thinking of You card or letter. Now a simple, “I love you” or “Thinking of you” text would suffice.

+ Phone Call- Sometimes calling just to say hi or hearing your mate’s voice is just good enough.

+ Cleaning up after yourself- You won’t fully appreciate this one until you walk into an area that you just know is going to be messy and it’s not. Your boo did his/her part by handling their business. Bravo.

What are some of your simple things?

The Rubric

  How do you know what a “perfect” marriage looks like if you don’t have a role model in your life? Should you model after what you see on television or the big screen? Cliff and Claire Huxtable perhaps? Or does a couple like this even exist? Well, yes and no. Of course the Huxtables are fictional characters, but it’s what some families strive to be- successful, loving, and positive. But is their marriage realistic?

Fortunately, the African-American community has a couple who shares the same qualities as the Huxtables and more: Michelle and Barack Obama. Of course as an outsider, they have what you could call a “perfect” marriage. A strong foundation, mutual respect, love, and they sincerely like each other. Another couple that would have fit the mold was Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.

The rubric is therefore created by the people whom you are closest to that you can observe what it really takes to be successful in a relationship. So, we have famous couples who lead successful marriages, but what about ‘for real for real’ couples that we know personally; our parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Are the people who do know someone close who can model prosperous relationships better off than the people who don’t? And for those who don’t, are you left to follow after fictional characters or unattainable people which may or may not lead the life the media portrays?

What’s your opinion?

Indescribable

   You hear the phrase “Life is too short” all the time, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. What I do agree with is that “Time flies by”. Meaning, time moves very quickly, but definitely not to the extent that you can’t tell, or more importantly, show a person that you care about them. Like I stated in a previous blog around the Christmas holidays, you should not wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to tell a person how thankful you are to have them in your life.

These two poems that I’m posting today are about two of the most important people in my life because I want them to know how much I truly love them.

                                                              

              Superman                                                                                             

You are strong and dedicated.

You love what you do and who you have become.

You are a firm believer that hard work pays off,

and rest is barely ever welcomed.

You do what it takes to get the job done; not right,

but perfect.

You love being needed and wanted, and especially

being around those who love you.

And what do I love the most about my Superman?

You are like no other.

I love you Dad.

               

             The Rock

Your amount of strength speaks volumes.

Devoted and dependable are only some of the

words that best describe you.

You are always there to listen, talk to, laugh,

and to simply be there.

Your pain is my pain and vice versa.

You underestimate your worth at times.

No other mother could compare to you.

You are the best mother and friend anybody

could ever wish for.

I love you Mom.

 

If you have some parents (not sperm or egg donors, TRUE parents) who mean the world to you like mine do, please make sure that you tell them how much you appreciate and love them more often than not. They of all people should never wonder.

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’?

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?