CHILDLIKE WONDER Vs. THE GRINCH

photo-309Tiff Age 4

At lunch last week, my girlfriend and I were sharing holiday memories from when we were little girls. I mentioned how amazing my mom was at creating traditions not only at Christmas, but she also made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and Easter. Mom’s work so hard and stress themselves out beyond belief to ensure their babies have a full of wonder holiday experience. Thanks mama! Oh… and can’t forget daddy. He toiled all night on Christmas eve to assemble things like swing sets, Barbie townhouses and electric pianos. Who else got that Barbie townhouse with the cool elevator? My mom bought us a new ornament every year and on Christmas eve we could open just one gift- new PJ’s. We would set out cookies and milk for Santa and mom always (and still does) had either pine or cranberry smelling candles burning. My heart is full right now remembering these childhood traditions. I had lots of challenges as a child, but Christmas was always blessed.

As I write this, the twinkle lights are glowing on the tree and I’m sipping hot cocoa with a splash of peppermint mocha creamer. I hung up all the beautiful Christmas cards we’ve received from friends and wrapped the last gift. I am officially in the holiday spirit and should be wearing an ugly sweater, but I just can’t bring myself to it. LOL. This time last year, I could barely fake being in the holiday spirit. I wasn’t quite a full on grinch, but almost. We had only been living in Dallas for a few weeks and adjusting to ice storms. Our cross-country move cost much more than we expected so the Christmas shopping budget was painfully tight. I didn’t even send out real Christmas cards. An e-card was the best I could do.

As I always say, life happens and we just have to show up and do the best we can with what we’ve got. The ebb and flow of life is inevitable and I’ve learned to surf it instead of fight it. We’ve all had crappy holidays, but even as an adult, it’s much more fun & fabulous to embrace the holiday with childlike wonder than to be a grinch. I was so at peace being back in my home state and that was the best gift ever. Finances may have been tight, but you cannot put a price tag on peace.

ARE YOU IN THE SPIRIT?

This time of year is difficult for many. Perhaps there is family drama or the loss of a family member creates sadness and a void in your heart. Like my holiday last year, maybe your finances are putting a damper on the festivities. I highly recommend doing fun simple things like creating a Christmas station on Pandora, burning holiday candles (I prefer the smell of vanilla over pine, cranberry or peppermint) and watch old Christmas movies. The original Miracle on 34th Street was on a few nights ago! Talk about getting in the spirit when you watch a good old black & white film. My mom, sister and I usually bake cookies together and I look forward to doing that with them next week.

Most importantly- if the holidays make you sad instead of spirited, I highly recommend helping someone else have a good holiday. Your sadness will lift and God will bless you richly. It doesn’t have to be a homeless shelter, although that is so needed, but maybe there’s a single mom at your child’s school who can barely pay the rent much less buy a Christmas tree. You could get her a cute small tree at places like Hobby Lobby or Target. All the holiday decorations are already on sale at both places! Last year, one of my besties gave us a beautiful little decorated tree and I can’t tell you how much life that brought to our new place for the holidays. When I couldn’t bring myself to decorate, a friend pulled through. My spirit was lifted.

Choose to be childlike.

Choose to count your blessings.

Love, Tiff

P.S. Don’t forget the SOS Stocking Stuffer Giveaway ends 12/24! 

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SINGLE, SMART + SPIRITUAL

Happy Sunday Sistas!

Many of you fabulous fashionistas are single and I wanted to take a minute to encourage you and remind you of something VERY important- if you truly desire a healthy relationship with your “soulmate”, then you must remember the best matchmaker is God and one of the most important qualities in a man is that he has a strong Faith.  Most of the time, it’s us gals who place our Spirituality as a priority because we are more intuitive, nurturing creatures. Who knows- I’m just guestimating that.  We all have different Spiritual beliefs and I respect everyone’s Faith.  I am only speaking my Truth and sharing my experiences with the hope that it encourages you.  I always had the dream of being married (in the back of my head and hidden deep down in my heart), but like many of us- I had been cheated on and my heart smashed to pieces a few times which altered my views on what a healthy relationship was.  I dated the gamut of men from broke screenwriters to narcissistic male models to sports fanatics to grown men who acted like a 12 year old to wealthy businessmen with bad drug habits.  Then add my “daddy issues” and it seemed like a far-off-impossible dream that I could ever find….. someone I trusted with all of me (the good stuff AND the baggage), genuine love, a partner who had my back, a cheerleader who nurtured my dreams AND a real man who loved God. Was it possible? Is “he” out there?

Ok, I admit it– I was one of those gals who had the ‘lap over’ relationships.  You know what I’m talking about, find a new one before you really leave the last one. Shame on me, I know!  I didn’t know how to be alone.  Before I could allow “the one” to appear in my life, I had to begin a relationship with “The One”- God.  I had to allow myself to be alone (I hated that) and start falling in love with me as well.  It was like I was dating God. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.  I actually started a list of what I wanted in my “dream man”.  I wrote every little detail down and prayed for him. Yes, I started praying for him before I even met him.  I had to become content and comfortable with ME!  Being single is actually a liberating and beautiful time of growth.  For the first time, I actually liked me, my single status and embraced the excruciating growth period. Then, after about two years of this introspection, praying, believing and lots of “Tiff Time”….God brought along my Knight. So yes, to answer my own question….IT IS POSSIBLE!  HE IS OUT THERE!

If you have the dream of sharing your life with the “man of your dreams”, TODAY- I recommend writing down every single characteristic you want in him and begin asking God (the ultimate matchmaker) to prepare you both and bring you together at the RIGHT TIME.  My wish for all of you– who desire a healthy, loving relationship– is that you are able to experience how truly remarkable it is to feel real love and support from the PERFECT MATCH that God has for you.

With love,

Tiff

{Aaron Hendra- My Knight}