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!
At the dimming of the day, love is all that matters. Happy holidays from my family to you and yours. Peace.
The Gift of Love--Sometimes the holidays can highlight loneliness or amplify stress. There was a time shortly after my husband died when I dreaded the holidays. I'd get almost manic trying to make them perfect for the kids, as if going over the top would make up for the loss of their father. In doing so, I stressed myself out and only served to highlight the absence of the one man we wanted with us. Now, seven years later, I've learned a lot about love. I've learned that love is all that's really important and that it comes in many forms.
Love begins with loving ourselves. Realizing that helped me get through some pretty lonely Christmases and New Years' Eves.
Giving the gift of love--start with yourself. What can you do today that would be loving to yourself? Would it be taking the long way home? Would it be taking a long bath and shutting out the world for a while? Would it be renting a movie or buying a book that you've been wanting? Would it be taking the time to exercise despite the schedule or going for that walk even if it's snowing? Would it be finally leaving the jerk and being okay with being alone--and peaceful--this holiday? Whatever would make you feel loved today BY YOU, do it. Be good to yourself. In my experience, this was a difficult concept to accept--but doing so was the turning point in my own journey back to happiness.
Giving the gift of love---your friends. I've been guilty of this myself--NOT calling someone because I assume they're too busy to talk or because I think I'd be a nuisance in their hectic schedule. Well, the truth is, everyone appreciates a "I'm thinking of you and hoping you have a good day" text or voicemail or an actual conversation that is "just because". Not every moment of every day needs to have a purpose and simply letting someone know they're on your mind can be a true gift.
Giving the gift of love---your family. No matter what your history is, take this time to say "I love you" or "I forgive you". Perhaps you're not able to do that in person for whatever reason--that's fine. I needed to do this with the passing of my husband because he was (obviously) not present. I needed to forgive him for leaving us so that I could be at peace. I know that's extreme--but whatever situation--now is the time to give of love to the situation at hand so that you can be at peace. With my kids, especially after the recent tragedy, I want them to know the value of the holidays is LOVE not things. Our relationships matter. Love matters.
Giving the gift of love---your significant other. Wow, this can be a hectic time. Yes, you may be too tired, too concerned about money or emotionally sick from watching the news and don't want to even think about being touched or affectionate. Well, I think now IS the time to be affectionate and to connect with your significant other. A touch can go a long way...some flirtation can make his/her day...a long, slow kiss is always recommended (my favorite thing).
Giving the gift of love--strangers. Yes, there are charities, but that's not what I'm taking about. Smile more. Compliment a stranger on their scarf or whatever. Hold the door open. Make eye contact. Connect with the world around you. We're in this together, people!