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Black Velvet
December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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It’s About Being Present, not Presents

Submitted by on December 1, 2011 – 1:00 am13 Comments

Advent by Jorbasa on Flickr

Navigating the Holidays

I tried to Cyber shop. I really did.

I hid away in my office on Black Friday and scrolled through pages and pages of Amazing One Day Only Deals!

And then on Cyber Monday, I used up even more data by searching for more Amazing One Day Only Deals! on my smart phone and on my computer.

I walked away with nada. Well, something if you count a stiff neck and back.

The sad reality is, I am not a great gift-giver. I have no idea what to get the people in my life, people who have everything they need. I don’t always know their wants, and besides, I am not sure I could afford their true wants. (Like sending Mami to Spain to visit familia and walk the plazas…)

Even shopping for myself online, I found nothing. OK, I put one dress in a cyber shopping cart, but, eh, I closed the window and moved on.

So, I sit here with the realization that, while I’d gladly buy myself a brand new DSLR camera, there isn’t much I want or need this Christmas. And, I rejoice in knowing that the people I love don’t really need anything. I will make purchases, of course. Likely in small local shops and via online artisan shops. I’ll include a heart-felt note. I admit, I do not buy much, even for the 8-year-old. (I know, pobrecita…)

Creo que, I long for simple. Just a simple gift (preferably an experiential one like an outing or a class) and time to hang out.

Christmas, all the trimmings and rush rush, tends to overwhelm me these days. It sweeps in all bright and glittery and jingly, and it overwhelms. Like how can I do massive shopping online in just a few hours, or why would I have to check back on the same site every hour for new deals? My brain explodes. Explota, I tell you.

Plus, in the holiday season, there always is so much to do — parties and packing and presents. That’s not what I love about Christmas.

Maybe I am being Scroogish, I am not sure. But, I know that the memories I want to create for my family are not of busy, rushed December days, but of time together with meaning, of Christmas traditions and in reflection of our personal beliefs and faith.

The presents are good, for sure.

But, for me, being present is way better.

Y Tu?

How do you navigate the Christmas and  holiday season? Are you energized and joyous or a little overwhelmed?

How do you make sure the occasion is special and memorable?

Life Special Occasion, Hallmark

Disclosure: The “del alma” category is sponsored by Hallmark and the Life is a Special Occasion campaign. To receive notices on Hallmark products and special offers sign up for the newsletter.

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