Santa Claus and Cinnamon Rolls

The holiday season is getting into gear! The roads are busier, the stores are more crowded, and many people seem jollier than they usually are.

Traditions are being honored as we make our way through this joyous and magical season. Christmas trees are being assembled, gifts are being bought, and family traditions are about to take place in a matter of weeks.

The Mall

When I was little, my mom took my sister and I to the mall every year to see Santa Claus. We sat on his lap a few times to express our Christmas wish list, but we mainly went just to see him and watch him interact with all of the children.

We were always so excited to witness Santa Claus right there in the mall! The jolly man who made our lives happier and left his magic was right there in front of us.

My mom would take us into some stores to see all of the toys and be a part of the holiday hustle and bustle. It was a very exciting experience for us each year. The mall was beautifully decorated with wreaths, a large Christmas tree, and adorned with Christmas lights.

A Special Treat

After our mall tour and our visit with Santa, it was time for our traditional mall treat!

We made our way over to the Cinnabon. My mom ordered three cinnamon rolls, one for each of us and she ordered an iced coffee.

We sat at the table and looked through the glass at the staff making our delicious cinnamon rolls! We watched them roll out the dough, sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar, and then roll it up perfectly into a log. The dough was then cut to make separate rolls and placed in the oven. Watching this was an experience all in itself!

A Delicious Memory 

Smiles were all around as the cinnamon rolls were brought to our table covered in delicious, gooey white frosting. My mom had her iced coffee and she let us take a few sips, we loved it!

This tradition of Santa and cinnamon rolls quickly became one that was carried out every year. As we got older, we stopped this tradition, but the wonderful memories live on.

Every Christmas and holiday season, I think of this tradition with my mom and sister, we still talk about it today. I now have children of my own and I carry this tradition on with them every year. Mom even comes sometimes as well!

Whatever traditions you have, keep them alive. They will fuel happiness for many years to come!

Thanksgiving Magic

Exactly two weeks from now, many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving! It is so hard to believe that this time of year is here again. I am very excited for the holidays to arrive!

Though this time of year can be crazy, busy, stressful, and emotional, I try to focus on the good that the holiday season brings.

I have always been the type of person that goes all out for the holidays and enjoys them to the fullest. They bring me joy and excitement and they add a little spice to life.

Thanksgiving Day Traditions

We get up early on Thanksgiving morning to get food prepped and to set up the dinner table. Time passes quickly as we prep as much as we can.

Before we know it, the time has come to sit down and enjoy Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV! Watching this parade has been a tradition ever since I was a little girl. For those that have never seen it, the parade takes place in New York City every year and consists of floats, dancers, singers, and the grand finale is Santa Claus! I’ve never been to the actual parade; I just enjoy watching it from the warmth of my home!

The parade lasts three hours long and gets my family and I extra excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Traditions truly do make the heart happy as they transport us back to happier and simpler times.

Dinner Time

The turkey goes into the oven while we are watching the parade and takes several hours to cook. In the meantime, the side dishes and desserts are being made and set out on the table.

We always eat our Thanksgiving meal around 2:00 pm/3:00 pm, this is much earlier than we usually eat. It is almost a meal that is smack-dab in the middle of lunch and dinner. Very outside of our normal meal times.

Back when my grandparents were still living, Thanksgiving was hosted at their house and our family would all travel and meet there for good food and good company. I truly miss my grandparents and other loved ones that have passed on, especially during the holidays.

Since they have passed, we all have started celebrating within our own immediate families for the most part. The holiday memories will live on, and we are continuously making our own.

After the table is set, we all sit around and say a prayer and mention all that we are thankful for. It’s important to practice gratitude every day, but we make a point of saying it out loud on Thanksgiving Day.

 Being Thankful

Life is never going to be perfect or anywhere close, but we all have something to be thankful for this holiday season. It can be as simple as having hope or having the chance to be with our loved ones.

However, you chose to celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope that you stay safe, have lots of fun, and realize all that there is to be grateful for!

We Don’t Talk Anymore

The other day I was scrolling through the Contact list on my cell phone, trying to find a phone number that I needed to jot down.

As I was scrolling trying to find the name of the person that I was looking for, I came across several people who are no longer in my life. So many emotions came over me.

What I Found

I came across contacts that have mutually faded slowly over time, ones that have ghosted me, and ones where there was a falling out. Sadly, one of my contacts that I came across had even passed away within the last year, but I didn’t have the heart to remove them from my phone.

After jotting down the phone number that I needed, I was left in a state of reflection. I felt sadness for the people that I had lost. I was left thinking of the memories that I had with each of these people. A brief sadness came over me.

State of Mind

After feeling initial sadness, I quickly thought of the phrase that describes how people are in our lives for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Many of these people on my contact list have been there for a lifetime thankfully, many others were there for a reason or a season.

Seeing the names of people from my past brought back so many memories. I reminisced about where I met them, what we talked about, what I learned from them, and how each of them touched my soul in some way. Each individual, regardless of how the relationship ended, helped me grow in some way and even taught me about myself.

Acceptance

Unfortunately, losing touch with others is a part of life, but we are left with memories and what they have taught us. They have each shaped us in some way and we can be grateful for that.

I truly believe that other people are placed in our lives for a reason. Sometimes we may find that they are placed there at just the right time.

I have no closure with several of the contacts that I came across. While this does bring me sadness and wonder, I have to accept this fact. Maybe one day, our paths will cross again, and maybe I will never know, but it’s up to me to be at peace.

Message for You

As always, we should cherish the individuals that we have in our lives right now and express our gratitude and love for them. We should strive to directly and openly communicate to keep these relationships alive and thriving as long as possible.

If you have people in your life that you have had a falling out with, or that have left your life in some way, I encourage you to spend a little time thinking about the positive aspects of what that relationship brought you.

Maybe you learned about yourself or the world around you, or maybe you learned what you do and don’t want from a relationship. Sometimes we focus mainly on the negative things that we have experienced with someone, but even if we have to search for a long time, there is bound to be a positive that we can discover!

The Importance of Community

Sometimes lacking something in life makes you realize its importance. Roughly 10 years ago I was very sick with several medical issues that left me homebound.

My friends didn’t understand the issues that I was facing and because I wasn’t able to go out and do fun things with them, they left me in a heartbeat. I have learned a whole lot about this situation in my life and also there is much to be thankful for in this life, including good health.

Human Needs

We all have a desire to feel loved and that we have a sense of belonging. When I went through this really tough time medically, it was an even bigger realization because it was then that I felt so alone.

Sometimes we don’t realize the importance of something until it’s gone. We know that as human beings we all need each other, but we don’t always realize the extent to which we do.

Stronger in Numbers

The phrases “stronger together” and “strength in numbers” are very valid. Community and teamwork can bring us so far. We can rely on other people to share the good and the bad.

It is the most amazing feeling to be a part of something, to have a sense of belonging, and to feel like no matter what, we have someone in our corner.

My Experience

I have lived in many different neighborhoods and only two stick out in my mind as having a great sense of community, including the neighborhood that I live in now. I know what it is like to live somewhere that makes you feel like it’s “every man for himself.” I know what it’s like to live in places where some people don’t smile or wave to acknowledge that you are there.

Thankfully, the community that I live in now is a phenomenal one! I certainly feel blessed with such wonderful neighbors who genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

I try to be involved in the community as much as possible, and not only my own. I love to donate to charity even if it’s only a dollar and to donate items to the less fortunate. I love to help my neighbors in any way that I can like helping them with yard work or bringing them food when they are sick. A community is there for its members.

Food for Thought

Many times in life, we feel as though we need to deal with hardships on our own. Maybe we don’t want to burden others, maybe we feel like we are strong enough to handle whatever life throws at us. Whatever the reason, many of us do not reach out and rely on others for help through hard times.

We enjoy helping and taking care of others, but we don’t allow help in return in many cases. If we can open up and share our burdens and what is on our minds and in our hearts, we can lessen the load and feel much lighter. It can feel like a weight has been lifted off of us. We are human beings, we need each other, and we need to be there for each other.

You May Be Carrying More Than You Need To

Many years ago, I was at work, and one of my coworkers, who we will call Vanessa, came up to me and said that she noticed that I wasn’t my usual cheery self. She then proceeded to ask me if I was okay.

I told her that I was feeling stressed and sad because of some things that were happening. My coworker asked me if I wanted to talk about it. I began telling her what was on my mind.

We Talked 

I remember telling Vanessa that my friend, cousin, and another loved one were all going through a really hard time. I told her what each individual was dealing with and then she looked at me. Vanessa’s response was a shock to me.

Vanessa told me that she understood why I was upset that my loved ones were not in the best place in life, but what she surprisingly said was “none of these things are happening to YOU.” I can still remember where we were standing because it hit me with such a huge realization after she told me. She was right, I was feeling so stressed and sad over things that weren’t even happening to me, yet I was taking on such heavy emotions as if there were.

I Am an Empath

I feel the energy and emotions of others around me very deeply. Oftentimes, if someone is going through something, I will feel their emotions as if I was the one experiencing it. As you can imagine, this is very exhausting. Life is hard enough, and we need to have enough resources to take care of ourselves and our lives.

Reminder

It is very important to take a step back when you are offering support and a listening ear to your loved ones. It is very important to offer them love and understanding and it is also very important that you can help someone else without becoming so involved in the other person’s experience or problem, that you take it on as your own.

Keeping yourself available to others is part of helping humanity, it is important to remember to keep yourself separate. We all have many battles that we fight in life daily and taking on additional worries and stress that do not belong to us only acts as a disservice to ourselves and those around us.

I’ll Never Forget

These words will forever be in my mind, and I am so thankful to Vanessa for making this observation and for being brave enough to tell me. Being able to separate myself and my issues from someone else and theirs is still difficult, however, I realize that I need to be a helper in those types of situations instead of someone who takes on the problem as well.

I love when other people can share an observation that they made to help us grow as a person. We may overlook things in our lives and sometimes what is overlooked is profound.

Every person that we meet teaches us something and Vanessa taught me to be a strong support system for my loved ones. She taught me instead of carrying someone else’s burden, that I can be sympathetic and offer love and be the strong person that they need me to be.