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The Holiday Season of Christmas

By Luci Anya Fardo

"Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart."

It is already December and Christmas is approaching quickly. My husband and I both got sick after Thanksgiving. I missed going Black Friday shopping and ended up ordering online some gifts for family. It was nice to be able to find some of those special gifts for my family.

We had spent Thanksgiving with family and had talked about playing some games on Christmas. I have been looking up some pretty cool games to play on Christmas. We are going to play Dirty Santa and some other fun family games. These have me really excited.

Today we went to breakfast at this neat little restaurant called "First Watch" in Richmond, Kentucky. Lucky for me they did have gluten free which was awesome. After a wonderful breakfast we went shopping in Lexington, Kentucky.

There were crowds of people at all of the stores. We shopped together and found toys for my grandchildren and for different members of the family. We listened to Christmas Carols on the radio. We shopped in different stores and found the perfect gifts for our loved ones. We were laughing and happy and didn't even mind the crowds.

The Holiday season has always been so special to me. I have such wonderful memories of my children growing up and my first husband. I have memories of Christmas with my Mom and Dad. They were special times in Eastern Kentucky and I remember them fondly.

I think one of the things I love the most about the Christmas holiday is the sense of love and giving that so many have. I also recognize through working with people on my team that it can also be a painful season when people are still feeling the loss of the spouse, sibling or husband that passed away.

I too have experienced that loss and it isn't always easy. There are times that the memories and loss hurt me deeply. When this does happen to me I accept those feelings. I take awhile and grieve and acknowledge how I feel. I try to remember the happy times though with a smile. The important thing is to know that you take each person who has journeyed this life with you everywhere you go. I believe that our loved one's watch over us with love and want us to be happy.

I hope that this holiday season that you take the time to appreciate the people you have in your life. Spend a little extra time with your mom or your dad. Play more games with your children. Spend a lazy Saturday with your family watching those traditional movies that you love. Take lots and lots of photos at Christmas and appreciate each person in your life.

I know that holidays are stressful for a lot of people because of money and time. Those aren't what is important though. What is important is the parents looking at the tree before they go to bed on Christmas Eve. It is hearing the sound of your children yelling, " Wake up Santa has been here," with squeals of laughter.

Take the extra time to go to your parent's house on Christmas Eve and then experience Christmas morning with the family. Go to your grandparents that evening. Those are the memories that will matter. It is the hugs you will receive and the fellowship around the dining table surrounded by your loved ones. That closeness and those bonds are what life is all about.

I remember Christmas in the past singing Christmas Carols at the nursing home. Our church would go Christmas Caroling around the neighborhood and we would have cocoa at the parsonage. When my kids were younger we would have Christmas plays at the church.

Take advantage of going to see "The Nutcracker". I know we usually have the ballet come to Richmond to EKU center of the arts. There is also a wonderful trip planned to go see "The Lights Under Louisville," Ky. I have also read about several places that are having ice skating. There are so many activities and so much enjoyment to be had.

I believe in working hard at everything that I do. I mostly write about motivation and discipline. I still work out every day and work my heart out as a team lead and a tech company. I write every day on my novel and work on this blog. I also make time for my family and friends and try to live my life to the fullest. There is more to life than work or your goals.

The people in your life are what are the most important. Try to give your time to your loved ones this season. Your time is the greatest gift you can give. Don't just spend time with the people in your life. Make sure that you are focusing on them and appreciating them when you are doing things. I know so often in my life I am thinking about what I'm going to do next. In the past I would hurry to complete the next task. My biggest regret when I lost my parents, a sister, and my husband was that I wasn't more focused on them when I was with them. I have learned from that though. When I am with my children, grandchildren, friends and colleagues they have my full attention. I am not thinking about other things. I am fully present in that moment with them.

Being fully present with people in your life will bring you so much more satisfaction. Being engaged and present in people's life will improve your relationships with them and make you feel more peace in your life.

Another important thing around the holidays is taking time for yourself. Make sure that you eat well. There are a lot of temptations out there. Make sure that you plan good nourishing meals. Make sure that you give yourself time to work out. That time is so important for you to make sure that your body is taken care of. Don't wait until the New Year to take time for yourself and take care of you.

Spend some quality time writing in your journal. Take a bubble bath and listen to an audio book. Go get a pedicure or manicure. Schedule a massage one day for no reason. We are so busy with our families and work that the person who is most neglected is ourselves. You can't take care of everyone else if you are not taking care of you.

Take a vacation before or after Christmas. We actually scheduled over a week from work to go south to Mobile, Alabama. I have told my team at work not to try to reach me. We have planned this the week before Christmas to go recharge and relax. This is a kind of gift to us. This week of being together and going to see a place I haven't visited before. I try to go somewhere I haven't been every year. This way I can experience something new. I believe that it is important to see new places and meet new people. Expose yourself to a different culture or type of food. I learn so many things from travel. I would love to be a travel blogger. That would be a dream job for me. For now though I am going to just enjoy our vacation and preparations for Christmas.

I hope that this holiday season brings you joy and peace this year. I hope that you have a wonderful and joyous time with the people you have in your life. In the coming year I am planning on bringing a lot of gluten free recipes to the blog. I hope that they are something new to the table as I and so many others have Celiac Disease. Best of wishes for the holidays. I send my love to all of you.


great photo under tree_edited.jpg

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