My Heart Drops with the Yearly Ball

Ever since I was younger, watching the ball drop every year on New Year’s Eve filled me with so many emotions.

I have always been a sensitive soul. I am an overthinker and I feel too deep for my comfort. I am the kind of girl that takes in all of the energy in a room and is left feeling depleted. I also feel emotions very strongly and New Year’s is no exception.

The Anticipation

I enjoy this holiday as I do all others. I find joy in every holiday and there is always something to celebrate! I find New Year’s to be a time a great reflection and time needed to take a step back and analyze where we are going and where we have been.

When I was younger, you would find me at a house party or nightclub having an absolute blast. With a drink in hand, great music, and great company, it was the greatest way to bring in the new year at the time. Now, that I am older, I still like to celebrate, but no longer in this way.

My outside celebration on this day is almost nonexistent, but on the inside, I am celebrating! I prefer a cozy night in on New Year’s Eve with good food and maybe even a drink now versus the party scene that I left about 10 years ago. No matter how you ring in the new year, the important part is that you do something that makes you happy.

The Ball

Words cannot truly describe the feelings that come over me as the countdown begins before the yearly ball drop. It always fills me with such intense emotion no matter how many times I witness it.

As I watch this beautiful ball descend, I am reminded of all of the things that I did and didn’t do in the previous year. I am thinking of how I have come so far, yet I am not where I want to be. My mind is flooded with the fact that some people will no longer be in my life in the upcoming year, however, there is hope and anticipation in the new souls that may join me along on this journey.

My mind starts becoming flooded with thoughts of who I shared past New Year’s with and some years that I celebrated alone. I recall the places where I have rang in many different new years. Somehow on this night, my mind falls backward and starts replaying all that life brought to me in the year before.

Back to Reality

I eventually come to my senses and my mind shifts ever so slowly to the event that has just taken place. All of a sudden, I have been transported into a different year. This brings much hope and wonder, it brings fear and anticipation. A bit of excitement mixes in as well.

No one will know what this year will have in store for us, but all we can hope is for the best. I wish you all a beautiful year full of love, happiness, and good health.

I wish you everything you want and more in 2023! Happy New Year!

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!

A Holiday Mishap

I went to the local store yesterday. I had a few things on my list including a few Christmas items that I needed.

The roads already seem busier than usual, and the stores have become much more crowded as we head further into the holiday season.

I parked my car and headed into the store. I had a mix of things that I needed on my shopping list, but I first headed over to the seasonal aisle to get some Christmas tree ornaments and a new wreath for the front door.

Busy is an Understatement

The seasonal aisle was jam-packed with people. We all had carts and were just barely able to get by each other to search for what we wanted to find.

I started looking for Christmas ornaments. I saw so many beautiful ones. Many of them were covered in glitter and they made me happy just looking at them. There was a white elephant, gingerbread man, cupcake, snowman, and even a little deer. I picked up a few that I wanted, and I started going through the aisles to find the wreaths. I had to keep walking and I finally found another extension to the seasonal section.

Friendly Shoppers

Many of us were packed in this one particular aisle. A lady was waiting for an employee to help her get a beautiful, frosted Christmas tree off of the top shelf, we will call her, Nicole. She politely asked me if she was in the way, to which I answered, not at all. We struck up a conversation as she waited patiently for someone to help her. The tree was stunning, it was frosted and that made it look like it was covered in snow!

Next to me was an elderly lady whom we will call Maria, she ironically was in this aisle to get the same thing that I was looking for! Maria was going through all of the beautiful wreaths trying to make a decision. There were several different wreaths to choose from. As she was going through them, I was also keeping my eye on the wreaths to see which one I was going to buy!

What Just Happened!?

As Maria was going through the wreaths, her cart knocked into the metal rack holding them all together and about 10 of them came falling onto the floor! She looked around embarrassed and started picking them up one by one. I felt so bad for her.

I don’t think that she could see the hooks too well, because she was having trouble trying to put them back on the display. I bent down to help her pick up the fallen wreaths and then we heard loud beeping.

We got up and looked around, it was the forklift coming to get Nicole’s beautiful, frosted tree from the top shelf. The man on the forklift kindly asked us all to step aside as he made his way through. The wreaths lay all over the floor still as we pushed them out of the way for the forklift to get through.

A Good Laugh

Nicole was beaming after receiving the frosted tree! She was so happy, as this was the very last tree of that style left and it was all hers! It was a gorgeous tree, if I didn’t already have one, I would have wanted that one too. I said bye to her and then my focus was back on the floor.

Maria and I looked at each other and started laughing out of nowhere. What was once an embarrassing thing for her, there was happiness and that made me happy! We spent a few minutes picking up all of the wreaths and as we were, both of us picked out the wreath that we wanted. They were all similar, but each had a slightly different style and some different colors.

As we talked, I heard her say a few words in Spanish. You may remember that I am conversational in Spanish, so I decided to join in on the fun and the next thing you know, we were talking in a mix of English and Spanish!

A Good Conversation

I enjoyed this lady’s company. I have a fondness for the elderly. They are such a joy to talk with and learn from.

We talked about how we are excited about Christmas, and she mentioned that all of her grandkids are coming over and she wanted to have a beautiful wreath to welcome them at the door. I told her that it is amazing to see how children light up during the holidays. I have kids of my own and they bring so much to life during the holiday season!

l love it when unusual circumstances bring two strangers together. I love it when meeting others goes beyond the typical “hello, how are you?” I think it is a true gift when we can stop and talk with someone that we have never met.

A Big Thank You

Maria thanked me over and over again for helping her get the wreath display back together. She said that she was embarrassed and flustered at how she was going to put it all back together. It made me so happy that I was in the right place at the right time to help her. It brought joy to both of us.

I also was thankful to her. She showed me kindness and shared a little moment of her life with me!

Kindness goes a long way; it benefits both the giver and the receiver! I will think of Maria when I hang my wreath on the door this holiday season. Make sure to spread love and kindness wherever you can. Even a small gesture such as this one was something that someone else appreciated and that is what makes a difference!

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!

How to Keep the Holidays Special During a Pandemic

This year presents a new challenge as we get ready to celebrate the holidays. We have to take extra precautions to keep everyone safe, this may mean not visiting family, not traveling this year, not hosting holiday parties, etc. Even though the holidays will look very different this year, we can still make it very special!

There are several things that this pandemic can’t take away from us, we can still enjoy decorating, putting our tree up, cooking and baking, holiday crafts, watching holiday movies, talking with loved ones virtually. We can still keep a lot of our traditions alive amongst the chaos.

My hope for you is that you can enjoy the holidays this year and think of all of the things that you are grateful for. Lift your spirits by doing some of your all- time favorite holiday traditions!