Many people get a little down and gloomy around the holidays. My home is no exception. My husband grew-up in a strict Christian family where things were black and white - even the holidays. Since I've known him, he always says he "hates Christmas." Personally, I don't think he hates Christmas, but I do believe he has guilt associated with the holiday season. If he's not attending church and focusing on "the reason for the season" (Jesus, if you didn't know), I think he feels like he can't celebrate at all. So, I've spent the years we've known each other trying to make the holidays as painless as possible. I keep reminding him that we can create new traditions and make new and happy memories.
Now, he'll probably "hate" that I'm sharing so much about him, but I'll make it even and over-share about myself as well. When I was younger, my mom went out of her way to make sure we celebrated the holidays at home. She would buy a tree, put up decorations, wrap tons of gifts and make a lavish dinner just for me, herself and my dad. I have many happy memories when it comes to my mom. My dad on the other hand is another story... He would always be MIA - literally. Sometimes we'd have to drive around and look for him on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, New Year's Eve... (you get the picture) Whenever he was home, he would criticize everything we worked so hard to put together. Eventually we stopped celebrating the holidays - I didn't feel there was anything worth celebrating anymore (except time with my mom). If that wasn't bad enough, the last big escalation between my parents (which led to me divorcing them from each other) happened around the holidays a few years ago. The holidays of years past have been tough.
But things are different now. We might be a small family (smaller for my husband being 1 of 7), but we're a very happy family. Over the years we've all worked on being more positive around the holidays. This year was the best so far! We celebrated in our new home and filled it with love (cheesy, yes, but true). We decorated the outside with lights, put up a beautiful tree with many gifts below, hung stockings over the fireplace, made tamales (one of our new traditions) along with a delicious meal and most importantly relaxed, enjoyed each other's company and laughed - a lot. It was the happiest of holidays so far, and I think it made all of us excited for future holidays!
|Christmas morning fun!|
|Blurry but oh so sweet and pretty | Shiner sitting for his grandma|
|My little family:|
Husband, my pretty mom, Shiner our hyper dog and Camey my 17-year-old poodle mix
|top left: DIY Ruche Tree Skirt via Pinterest|
top right: Treat Tins I made for co-workers | peppermint bark, chocolate crinkle cookies, salted butterscotch fudge balls
bottom left: our holiday spread | tamales, glazed ham, whipped sweet potatoes, brussels sprout and cauliflower gratin, green beans, kale and brussels sprout salad and goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto
bottom right: personalized stockings hung over the fireplace
One thing I've realized after the holidays is that I've focused so much on making my family happy that I neglected a key thing: me. That's partially why I feel I've had a hard time feeling motivated and inspired to write posts. This blog is about my personal style and my life - me, me, me. I haven't felt like thinking about me lately - which is a good and bad thing. I haven't felt compelled to take pictures of my outfits and the food I've cooked. I also haven't felt like documenting my workout efforts and the results of my cleanse (both of which I've been on top of - FYI: lost 7 lbs during my 2 week cleanse). Basically, I haven't allowed myself to face my own feelings and deal with my own issues surrounding the holidays. It's like I boxed them up like a gift under the tree and shoved it far, far away refusing to open it or even look at it. Well, I should know better because it would catch-up with me eventually.
I'm in a post-holiday funk. The box opened and spilled the contents all over the place. However, I'm handling it a lot better than I have in the past. Instead of giving in and stuffing my face with all the leftover tamales, I got a green smoothie the other day. Instead of making excuses why I shouldn't work out and wallowing in self pity, I'm excited to start yoga again and learn to like (not love, we're not there yet) running. Instead of sitting around in the same t-shirt and stretchy pants all week and not showering, Pinterest is giving me motivation to try new hairstyles, outfit combos and make-up. It's a new year, so why can't it be a new me?
Part of this whole "new year = new me" concept has also made me ponder scrapping this blog and starting fresh. It's something I would have done without hesitation in the past. However, I'm trying to think it through this time. Is there something wrong with the blog or with me? Do I really want to erase the identity I've created and start all over? Maybe that's why I've been so eager in the past to throw in the towel and create something new... Because in a way, it's like recreating myself. Deep blogger thoughts are a happenin here, folks: proceed with caution. For now, I think I'll work towards making this blog better - which consists of me being a better blogger. I think I need to give myself a dose of the positive thinking I tried to instill in my family over the holidays. A new year doesn't have to mean a complete overhaul. 2012 will be the year of positive thinking!