Holidays

It’s the 4th of July and I am in panic mode

Hey All,

For most Americans, today is all about get togethers, BBQ’s, celebrating our countries birthday with a day off and ending the day with fireworks.

For me, this weekend is my annual checking myself into a fancy hotel, spa days and drinking myself sleepy until I’m sound asleep before I even hear a boom go off.

My name is Amy and I am 44 years old and I am completely terrified of fireworks. Yup. There I said it. Sudden loud noises have always been a fear of mine. Fireworks, thunder, cars backfiring, guns, horns, etc. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl and guess what? I never grew out of it as most people would say.

I have always tried to pinpoint where/when/why it started and I can only think of one possible thing. I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to laugh ok? When I was 4 or 5 my mom and her friend would go bowling on Saturday nights and her friends 16 year old son would always have to babysit me. Two single moms did what they could to have a few hours off so we were an unlikely pair. We would always be at our house since I was always sent to bed way earlier I felt probably so his 16 year old self could do what 16 year olds do. I was a pretty stubborn kid so as a punishment he did this..again don’t laugh ok? We had an extremely old microwave in the house. It wasn’t digital and it was a turn dial. And back in the day it wasn’t the little beeps you hear today…it was a super loud alarm and I was scared of it. So if I didn’t go to bed and stay there he told me he was going to set the microwave for 10 seconds and hold me there to watch the countdown. Some savage torture shit for a 5 year old. I called his bluff and the monster that he was did it. (ps. totally not a monster and we joke about it today) He held me still with my arm around my chest and 10. 9. 8. …. I was screaming and then BAM! it was so loud and scary and he know I would run right to bed after that. I mean it totally worked but for sure there had to be other way right. RIGHT?!?!?!

So I’m not totally sure if that was my trigger for loud noises but that’s really all I can remember. Fireworks, storms when I know they are coming I can plan. I’m currently in a hotel drinking my wine and will order a nice dinner then night night and wake up the next day knowing I made it though. There is always the asshole that has them leftover though and like to blow them off in my neighborhood for another few days. Those are the hard ones to plan for. For storms I am glued to the radar on my phone and when I think it’s time to hide I grab my headphones and turn up my music and hide in the bathroom farthest away from any outside walls or windows. Gotta have a system people. My friends joke that I need a human size Thunder Shirt that are for dogs.

I know my fears are not rational or even comparable to our military heroes. I always think of them this time of year as well. Some suffer from severe PTSD and fireworks can trigger so many things for them. I think of all the pets and wildlife that have no idea what the hell is happening as well.

I’m for sure not one of those that are trying to ban fireworks and take away peoples fun (I would do a little dance if it actually happened though). I want everyone to enjoy the holiday and eat themselves silly with BBQ. I am perfectly happy that I just got my facial and nails done and I’m watching bad reality housewives of somewhere with my fave bottle of wine. Oh and my dogs are here too and they get big bones later. We are doing it up people.

Happy 4th!

Xoxo,

Amy

How to handle being alone on a holiday

Hi all,

Today is Easter and I’m alone. My boo thang had to be in a different state for work so I’m rocking the holiday by myself. It took me a bit to be fine saying that but here I am being a grown ass woman letting you know I’m ok with being alone on a holiday. That was not always the case.

Would I rather have a huge Easter dinner and dress up in cute outfits and be around friends and family and eat chocolate bunnies ears first? HELL YES I would. Sometimes things just don’t pan out the way you would like them too.

Over the course of my career I’ve had to work many holidays. For some reason I always felt that was easier than being alone at home. Something to keep my mind busy and just almost think that it’s just another day and no big deal. But when you are alone and you have the day off it is a bit harder to take. I would always hate the dreaded questions ” What are you doing for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years?” Sometimes I would just make things up instead of having to hear myself say nothing. A quick going to see family or my friend invited me over to her house would stop follow up questions.

At my very worst mental state I would dread holidays. I would get so depressed. I would see all the fun activities and events and even though I could have dragged my ass out to them I was having a pity party of 1 at home. I longed for the set dinner tables, the traditional food and the fun and festive atmosphere of people around me.

Now it seems I’m a bit older and wiser and on the right about of meds (hahaha) I can totally do a holiday alone and be fine. Do I still prefer the social part yes but here are a few things I have done over the years to enjoy the days a bit more.

  1. Volunteer

Just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean shelters, services and people in need take the day off. If you find yourself alone and are wanting to get out of the house try and find an organization that could use you for the day. Over the years I have served dinners at homeless shelters, brought Easter baskets to a women’s shelter for their kids, walked dogs at an animal shelter and delivered boxes of food for the elderly that may be alone as well but needed a bit of holiday cheer. You are helping others but are also helping yourself if your struggling mentally with your own holiday sadness. Here is a website you can go to to check on volunteer opportunities in your area. Just type in your city and zip code and you will all things locally.

https://www.volunteermatch.org/

2. Find a local fun run or 5K

Try and look to see if your area has a fun holiday event you can take part in. There is always a fun run or 5K around somewhere. They tend to be holiday themed with fun costumes and festive atmosphere. They always say if your feeling down a good walk or exercise to get the blood pumping can do wonders to boot a mood. You may not know all the people around you but just being in a fun environment will do wonders plus a little exercise couldn’t hurt.

3. Cook your favorite holiday meal

Just because you are by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t have a feast of your favorite holiday traditions. I am the absolute worst cook but even if I can’t make things myself I will go buy at least a few things. Just because you are alone doesn’t mean you can’t have a large amount of pie:)

4. Make the day a ME day

Places may be closed but you can plan ahead and have yourself a little spa day at a day spa or a DIY day at home. The 4th of July for me is my worst holiday. I am embarrassed to admit but I am terrified of fireworks. I’m like a dog and all I want to do is crawl under the bed and hide. So my new and fantastic tradition I do every year is check myself into a really expensive hotel and do a spa day and eat room service and watch horrible reality TV shows all weekend. When the fireworks start at nighttime I’m already a bottle of wine in and I’ll fall asleep around 8. That’s my thing but you could totally pick and start new traditions for yourself.

5. Try not to stress about it

I type this with it being easier said than done. All I’m trying to say with this one is try not to dwell too much on things that your not doing. If your missing some traditions and it makes you sad do a few to keep you in the spirit. Don’t feel forced to do them if it’s just going to make you miss anything. Start your own traditions. Do your own thing and if you want to wear bunny ears just for your dog that’s fine. You do you! The day is just another day and tomorrow will also be another day.

For those of you celebrating with friends and family today enjoy! To those of you like me that are alone today I urge you to pick one thing that makes you happy and go do it, or eat it or just take a nap. It’s your day to do whatever you want. ENJOY IT!

XOXO,

Amy

Happy Holidays!

Hi all,

Today is the big day for some! Myself included. I live all year for this. It’s my favorite time of year. If you are in that space I hope you enjoy this magical time with friends and family.

I also know that this time of year can be extremely difficult for some. I just want you guys to know that it’s ok. There was a time I dreaded the holidays.

I remember when I was in my abusive relationship that we I was so isolated from everyone and we never did anything for the holidays. When I was at work and that last business day of the year when everyone was giddy to get out of the office early. I was the last to leave because I had nowhere to go but home. Dreading the same question every year. “Whatcha doing for Christmas?” I lied through my teeth and said I was going home to family. It was the most deflective answer I could say. It seamed normal enough right?

In reality, I would get home and be told how I ruined his holidays and how he can’t go home because he’s embarrassed to take me anywhere.

I always stress how important self care is to anyone’s mental health. If you are still struggling and things are hard please don’t give up. Take a mini break in the shower, or if allowed go for a walk. Anything you can do to slow down and breathe. Those little breaks they can’t take from you. Keep your mind right and strong.

And if your struggling really bad like I was one year please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can chat if calling puts you in danger. I’ve used them many times and they really do understand.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Alright my friends I’m going to take a much needed break myself until the new year. I wish you all well and peace and I’ll chat with you again in 2022.

Xoxo,

Amy

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Creeper anthem or just a holiday classic

Hey all,

It’s that time of year again where everyone brings up this song and if it’s the date rape theme song for all creepers. It’s been debated over and over so I’m not going to get into all the arguments but more the take of a domestic violence victim.

As someone who has been through some “stuff” I have to admit the song really doesn’t bother me much. Some would think I’d be waving my hands up in the air and saying it’s super offensive and we need to cancel all the things that it plays on. To be honest I’m just indifferent.

As a kid I remember hearing it all the time and singing along not really understanding why the guy wants her to stay. As a grown ass woman I now understand that a man has needs but is he going about it the right way? Men begging is never going to change and in a playful way it’s kind of cute.

Some may say the lady is protesting too much because back in the day it was frowned upon to stay over as an unmarried woman. If that is the case I’m sad she felt that way. If she wanted to get it on while it’s snowing out the window she should have that right. But I will say if that dude tries anything funny she should dropkick his ass and walk out the door.

In the video of the song it does give off a bit of a creeper vibe though. I’ll chalk one up to the creepers in that aspect. But the chorography is fantastic.

John Legend and Kelly Clarkson remade the song into a more PC less rapey version which I think is good. Two powerhouses coming together can’t be all bad but it’s still not giving me that classic feel from the original.

So what do you guys think? I will never downplay anyone’s feelings about the song. Triggers are real and can be brought on by many different things. Just my old school Christmas nostalgia kicks in and I like the original. But please know if anyone gets any weird ideas keeping me from leaving in a snowstorm we will have problems:)

I truly am OBSESSED with the holidays and I hope you all are enjoying the magic as well. It can be hard for some so please reach out if you need an ear. I’ll have my antlers on!

XOXO

Amy

Christmas decorations too soon?

To that I scream a loud HELL NO!!!!

I know there are distinct holidays and each one should be celebrated accordingly but damn if I don’t love a good Christmas tub opening and putting up all my favorite things.

Recently Mariah Carey showed us her smashing pumpkins that said it’s not time…letting us know it IS FREAKING TIME. Get that shit out of the garage and put up your lights with pride people.

My favorite thing to do is pull out all the things I so sadly had to put away last year. I crank on our fake fireplace and put on a cheesy in a good way Hallmark movie. Make a cup of my favorite holiday blend coffee with peppermint creamer and get to work. This year I am in a smaller temp housing situation so I can’t go all out but in Christmas’s of yore I have been known to have like 5 to 6 trees. Why not have one in EVERY DAMN ROOM! You want a tree in the kitchen?..Cool. Want to fall asleep with the twinkly lights by your bed?..I got you girl, let’s get that tree in your bedroom. Do you feel like you just can’t go to the bathroom without a mini tree on the counter..Ok, I would want my guest to feel comfortable so let’s do it. Bottom line, Christmas used to take up pretty much my whole garage space.

Don’t get me started on the villages. OMG the mini house villages. This is where I shine people. If I have the space, a freaking Christmas town will be born. Snow, lights, mini people and dogs. I live for this shit. I would usually pick up a few new ones at after Christmas day sales along with whatever else I could find. If you see a fuzzy baby deer with a buffalo plaid pattern I mean you just can’t leave it at the store when it’s 75% off. That’s just silly.

I am fortunate enough to have a partner that loves Christmas too but if Buddy the Elf was single I would totally make a play for him. My guy just nods and says ok when I ask him to take the FULL day to bring in the Christmas stuff and dump it in the living room. He knows it’s game time and makes a drop off and gets out of the way. Lights, Trees, Villages, Stockings and whatever else I can throw out I will. Half way through the day I will need to make a Target run for coffee and because I need a ribbon for this, and some extra fake snow for that. It has to look amazing before I put the tubs back in the garage. I can at least put the empty less heavy ones back. I’m a team player after all.

Then let’s get into the movies, concert specials, the tree lighting and having my car set on the XM Christmas channel from NOW until they take it away from me kicking and screaming. Maybe there have been times I have been belting out Christmas jams at a red light. The scrooges come out with those dirty looks. My new obsession though is the ABC show Christmas Light Fight. If you haven’t seen it you need to get on board. They basically have two families that are obsessed with Christmas and they pair them up against each other to see who has the most Christmas cheer. Like these guys go all out. Look at some of these pics…I would totally die of happiness and die from my power bill. But so worth it.

I’m also that girl that gets Amazon alerts on all things Christmas. I have a few things on my list. Because my life is not complete without a life-size Grinch in my living room. I HAVE TO HAVE IT. Here he is below in all his green glory.

Do you and your family have any traditions you do each year? When I was younger our family had a Christmas eve ritual. We would have our amazing dinner cooked my my grandmother. She would be in the kitchen all day making everyone favorite dishes. Then we would sit down to eat around 6ish. Clearing the table, washing dishes and putting everything away was torture for a kid. We didn’t open anything until everything was done. Time moved so slow back in the day:) Once everyone was full and had drinks and got into comfy pj’s it was my time to shine. I was an only child AND grandchild when I was little so my job was to hand out the gifts. One by one I would deliver the gifts to everyone. It seemed we always had to sit in the same spots each year. Once all the gifts were handed out it was GO TIME. Our tradition was youngest to oldest is how we opened gifts. Thank god I was always the youngest since it was pure torture not to get those bad boys opened. One by one I would rip open everything. Someone was always writing down what the gift was and who it was from so we could send thank you cards later. Once I was done it always went to the next youngest. But honestly what did I care.. I was surrounded by toys and didn’t give a shit what was happening next. I was in full play mode. My poor grandfather always sat there patient and waiting. He always went last but all he ever wanted was anything with a Minnesota Viking logo on it. SKOL!

I am not naïve that the holidays can be a tough time for many. Losing loved one, financial hardships and worrying about food insecurity and making magic for the kiddos in your life. Being alone and far from loved ones. As much as I’m blessed I know things can be hard. Just wanted to remind everyone that so many things can happen in ones life that can take a downturn. If you are able, let’s all reach out and spread a little cheer in our own communities and quite possibly make a Christmas unforgettable for someone that could use a little bit of holiday magic.

I’d love to hear about your own traditons and maybe we can start some new ones.

This really is a magical time. Let’s enjoy and spread cheer to others this holiday season.

XoXo

Amy