Merry Christmas, darling.  I know that by the time you read this, the stockings have been emptied, the latkes of Hanukkah are a memory and the Sheer Delights by Gil Elvgren (1948)breakfast casseroles have been reduced to crumbs.   As I write this, I have a turkey breast in the oven and the cornbread dressing and overnight potatoes are nestled in the fridge awaiting their turn alongside the turkey.  I was craving traditional Southern foods this year.

Our holiday celebration is on the low-key side: just the two of us at home, enjoying good food and indulging in extra rest, wine by the fire, and watching favorite holiday movies.

For me, the holidays aren’t over until we reach Epiphany – the 12th day of Christmas where Christians mark the visit of the Wise Men (January 6, 2013). While I may not follow all traditions to the “T”,  keeping the “12 Days of Christmas” allows me to enjoy my trees, holiday linens and  some of the other trimmings of the holidays beyond the culmination of Christmas morning.

To be honest, darling, you’re on my mind.  I’m hoping that you found peace in your heart no matter what holiday you call yours.  And that you discovered the just right balance of the traditions of your past as you marry those to the beliefs that feel right to your soul these days.

I’m hoping that you were able to give yourself some special gifts this holiday season.  While I’m a big fan of sumptuous lingerie, delectable perfumes and beautiful shoes as perfect “celebrate me” presents, I’m talking about gifts that only you can give yourself:

♥That if you’re struggling, you’ve been willing to brave enough to hold out a hand and ask for a little help. Be willing to take a leap of faith towards the life you’ve always desired.

♥That if you are mired inside a funk, that you’ve explored ways to help pull you out. Dish, spoon, work and play… You deserve tools and tricks that will help you armor your heart and soul.

♥That you’ve made the decision to release a piece of emotional baggage that is dragging down your soul. Darling, life is short, and hanging onto grudges and painful stories does nothing but drag you down.

♥That you are allowing rituals into your life and are making the decision to stop existing and begin falling in love with your life.

If you haven’t given yourself a gift yet, baby cakes, there is still time.  You see, every day you have the opportunity to start fresh. To rededicate yourself to loving your life. To let go of the struggles and the inner critic.

I’m a big fan of the holidays and like having a loose plan.  But one of the lessons I’ve learned is that you don’t have to be a slave to the calendar.  When the New Year rolls around, I choose a focus for the coming year to guide me. Though I don’t plan to be sharing my words for 2013 with you until next week, my energy seems to have shifted the first week of December.  In 2010, it was March before I settled in on my word.

If you, darling, are needing some help in choosing your focus, consider my ebook“ Create Your 2013 Compass” ebook help guide you along your path?  It’s free for subscribers to my newsletter.  (If you are already a subscriber and want a fresh copy, just let me know and I’ll send it along to you.)

Create Your Compass includes a Personal Values exercise, an process for choosing how you want to feel, as well as a guide for choosing  actions to take.  You may choose to do the workbook as a whole and choose three words – a value, a feeling, and an action – to serve as your 2013 focus.

Or simply choose a single exercise to find your one word.

Darling, you have a right to step towards what delights you.  You deserve to be happy.   You also deserve to be head-over-heels in love with your life.  I’m sending you so very much love on this Christmas night. 

May the love and peace of the season be with you every day. And if there’ something I can do to help you, darling: don’t hesitate to reach out to me…