Holiday Notes To Boyfriends and Girlfriends
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 21:56Hmmm. I hear it every year. Someone thought they were getting a ring for Christmas -- or New Year's. And then they didn't.
However--they DID spend time with someone in their family, or their partner's family. And it wasn't fun.
What do you want your Holidays to look like? The above results are what happen when you don't clear your plans with the important people in your life. If you have been dating someone exclusively, talk about your expectations and boundaries. Little things that you just take for granted can turn into a big, big deal. Or deal breaker. For instance:
• One of you may assume the other one is automatically coming to a family celebration. Or you may assume you are invited to your date's family traditions, but then you discover you aren't. Uh oh. Better discuss all plans ahead of time. You want to minimize hurt feelings. And if your plans and dreams are miles apart, this may be the season to discover you don't actually want to keep dating this person.
• How close are you to the family of the person you are currently seeing? Does this family expect a gift from you— individually, collectively, or not at all? Does yours expect one from him? Every family has their own way of doing things. Find out what it is. And tell your date what the least is that your family would expect.
• Is your heart set on gifts from each other? This is always a bit tricky when you have only been dating someone for a few weeks or months. (Example: She gave him a cashmere robe and slippers; he gave her a ballpoint pen. Honest. This really happened.) So listen for clues, ask a few questions, or talk to friends to get some idea of what the person might be thinking.
• Note to Guys:
Women are generally not moved by gifts that are appliances, carpentry tools, plumbing fixtures or new tires unless they are accompanied with some flowers, perfume or candy. Also--don't give her anything that looks at all like a ring box, unless you have a ring in it with the message she wants to hear. Jewelry boxes can send the wrong idea, and then she's disappointed.
• Best Inexpensive GIFTS
Besides the homemade foods or the hand stitched presents, a meaningful book, relevant to something the other one really cares about is usually a winner. A CD of his or her favorite songs can be a reminder of you when you're not together. Packets of seeds wrapped up in clay pots that you’re going to plant together in the spring; a kite to build together and then go fly; a hand decorated tray full of his or her favorite sweets; or a small carved box with a lock of your hair all make sentimental, memorable gifts.
Biggest note: The holiday season is not only a great time to get together with others, it's an opportune time to observe your date in a different setting. How was he or she with your family members? With their family? In party groups? How generous or realistic is this person within the confines of their budget?
This is important stuff to know. Stay aware of what's going on. Because whether it's an endearing quality you notice, or a red flag--it's a good time of year to unwrap any hidden surprises.
Christmas On A Budget
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 21:31How exactly do you work it out with very little or no money at this time of year? You have to get creative. Giving presents doesn’t have to break the bank--unless you let it. Besides looking in the mall, or in craft books and magazines, or on the Internet for low cost gift ideas, here are some others that can work. Where do you start?
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 14:26You just have to love a country that has a national holiday celebrating thankfulness. I'd never thought about it--at all--until I spent two different years in two different foreign countries on Thanksgiving. And man--was I homesick.
I guess I hadn't stopped to think about the fact that other countries don't celebrate this day, and, more importantly, that it was important to me. But there was a definite blip in the middle of my psychic screen --and my spirit knew it. I couldn't wait for the year to roll around so I could have my November again and I could get back into the grace it provided.
Perhaps the planning, the food, the coming together, and the moment of blessing; the tenderness of pausing to reflect at this special time, quickens something deeper in the heart of the family and even in the national soul. I'm not sure what it is. I only know I had a longing that nothing else could still.
I realized when I was gone that Thanksgiving isn't about just the day itself. I missed the entire month of thinking about gratitude. I felt the absence of the people I wanted to thank. There was no communal or solitary time to remember the moments of the past twelve months that should be savored. And in retrospect, I had lost the unconscious summarizing of the good that had been accomplished during the year, the letting go of what had passed, and the new direction that the wisdom of those events brought us.
So, I know better than to take my Thanksgivings for granted anymore. From everything I've experienced in my travels, I'm grateful this year to have a home and to be at home; I'm happy to have had another year with my steamin' hot husband; and I'm really, really glad to have you as readers, for all your sharing, caring, questions, and kindnesses. Thank you.
I hope your table is full of love this holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving and God bless.
Warmest thoughts to you, Tonja
Love and Movies
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 01:05
I love movies. I love good movies about love. I love just plain good movies -- about anything. But lately, I have seen a series of movies about subjects that are so sad or depressing or hopeless or violent, I almost didn't want to see anymore movies. Maybe I saw too many of these downers, one after the other, and I lost my objectivity. But I was starting to get kind of jaded. These were movies that came highly recommended on Rotten Tomatoes. Popular magazines gave them great reviews. Movie critics on TV raved about them. Me? I wish I'd stayed home.
However -- there are two I did see this last month that I will suggest you try. ENOUGH SAID, with James Gandolfino and Julia Louis Dreyfus, was a little gem. Sort of a quiet sweet story between two divorced people trying to reach out to each other. Both actors did a wonderful job of being wobbly about dating and vulnerable in their emotions.
The next one--ABOUT TIME-- was absolutely my favorite. With Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy, it's set in England in current time. Hilarious, fanciful, and a touch emotional, I was so ready to be entertained and to feel good in a movie for a change, it was -- well, what can I say. A love story that was just my cup of tea.
Life After Divorce
Sunday, 10 November 2013 22:48Dear Readers,
This week, I received a letter in my in-box that was too inspiring and remarkable not to share. With permission from the writer, omitting her name and some identifying markers, here is a beautifully told story of loss, courage, honesty and love...and ultimately, renewal.
Just takes my breath away.
Warmest thoughts to all of you,
Page 1 of 50