Welcome to the Holiday Gifts of Love Blog Hop where over 200 romance authors are doing giveaways and talking about our favorite holiday stuff. I've done sexy hops--some pretty steamy ones, actually--but this one is a bit different. I'm going to be focussing on my favorite holiday moments and things. Some of my posts will be about love, but some will simply be me opening a door into my world so you get a glimpse of the real me. (Don't worry, I said the real me, not me au natural...big difference!) :-)
As you can see from the above graphic, this is a HUGE giveaway for the overall hop. On this specific blog, I'm giving away a $25 egift card to Victoria's Secret again because everyone loved that for the Black Friday Hop. Remember...all you need to do is comment with your email address to be eligible to win it all and then keep right on hopping. Thanks for stopping by!
Yesterday I spoke of the gift of reverence--today I'm talking about the gift of relaxation! Yep, I said it--RELAX. I know it's a hectic time of year, which is why it's even more important to give yourself a time out. It's amazing what a bit of solitude and peace can do for you. During the holiday season, it's easy to say "I'm too stressed to get into the spirit." Today I'm going to give some ideas that don't take long, are simple and will rejuvenate you! Self-love--what a concept!
|Me with sparkly nails! Ha!|
- Retreat. Whether you live in a big city or the country, there's a place you can go to be alone for a few minutes. Maybe it's a museum, a park, a walk through a field...or something as basic as locking your bedroom door for a much needed dose of YOU time.
- Schedule a manicure. Bling is in and so are sparkly fingernails. As my manicurist says, you're never to old to shine! YES, you DO have time to treat yourself. No excuses. Even if you're not normally a girly-girl, consider this something special--out of the ordinary--to do for yourself this time of year. If sparkles aren't your thing (gasp!), go for a more muted tone--the indulgence of having someone else pamper you is worth your time.
- Buy yourself holiday scented candles. You know the ones that always come out at this time of year--cinnamon, pine, apple pie, etcetera. Light them around the house, lower the lights, turn off the phone and put your feet up on the sofa.
- Make a lunch date with your girlfriends. No, you're never too busy for your pals. Now is the time of year when a laid back lunch (or happy hour) with no expectation of gifts (which would only add to stress) is needed. Go, let your hair down, laugh, commiserate over family coming to town, whatever. No one is ever too busy for a lunch, brunch, happy hour, dinner--if you say you are, then you need to get over yourself. Life is short! Love the people in your life--that is the greatest gift of all.
- Keep your exercise routine. Even if you need to cut it in half, don't let it go completely. If there is company in the house, too bad. Get up earlier or tell them you need your exercise time. Screw it if your mother in law rolls her eyes or your sister makes a snide comment. (I hope they wouldn't, but...I've been there, that's all I'm say'n) It is very important to take care of yourself and put yourself on the top of your priority list.
- Don't go crazy with gifts. Money is one of our biggest stressors, so I'm telling you now to remember the holidays are about LOVE and gratitude. If you're budget is tight, don't try to impress the family with elaborate gifts that only stress you out because you're wondering how you're going to make ends meet come January. Shop locally--buy something unique from a boutique. Remember the saying that the best things come in small packages.
- Connect with your significant other. Don't let schedules, gifts, holiday decor, or travel interrupt your romantic life. Even if it's just a quick neck massage on the sofa or a "quickie" in the laundry room, stay connected. Affection is vital--don't ignore even the simplest of touches.
- Buy yourself a stocking stuffer or two--say it's from Santa. With all the shopping for others, why not pick up a few things that you know YOU want...some body butter, a new perfume, something you doubt you'll be getting from anyone else. You deserve it! What's even more fun is to act genuinely surprised when you reach into your stocking. :-)
- Read a book! Okay, so I'm biased. I actually should include this with number one--retreat. Go ahead and escape to a tropical location with a hot guy for some adventure and fun--in a novel! (however, if you can do this with a real life human being, go for it--and read the book on the beach--lol) Because you're on this hop with romance authors, I'm assuming you're a romance reader so this is probably something you do already. Don't let the holiday schedule get in the way of indulging your creative juices. (If you need some reading suggestions--uh hem--there are two great books listed in the right hand column of this blog--Riptide and Kiss Me Slowly.)
These are just a few ideas to give yourself the gift of relaxation this December. Do one, combine a few, or do all. It's okay to NOT be stressed out, you know. I hear too often that people are saying how stressed they are, usually with a breathless voice and a frantic look in their eyes. There's no rule that says holidays need to be non-stop craziness. You are in control of yourself and your life, never doubt that. (If you DO doubt that, I say again...get over yourself and get a grip.)What, if anything, do you do to escape the fray during the holidays? I'd love to hear about them in your comments, if you don't mind sharing. Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address to be eligible to WIN and keep on hopping!