“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it―you feel it, you know it, you believe it.” – Kevin Alan Milne

Our Winter Wonderland Christmas Tree

There’s something so magical about the holidays. December has always been my favorite month for that reason. We end the year on a high note and then welcome in a new year with all the feelings of joy, light, and love. From decorating for Christmas to giving back to communities in need to a surprise birthday celebration, there have been some exuberant moments to highlight this month.

2021 has without a doubt been a challenge. Ever since the pandemic started, our lives have all changed in some way. Finding joy in the “little things” has never been more important with all that’s happening in the world (pandemic and beyond). I kicked off the month of December with trimming the tree and getting the house filled holiday cheer. The sparkling lights and smell of fresh balsam added a little dose of magic to what sometimes feels like an ordinary life. It made me grateful for those “little things,” and it also emphasized the importance of living in the moment for me. We take so many things for granted because they’re easily available to us. We forget that waking up each morning is a gift and that every single thing we have in our lives are blessings.

This time of year, we tend to focus on giving back. We started donating to the LA Food Bank ever year to help communities who have food insecurity. I’m grateful to work for a company that hosts this event year and matched the donations from our employees. We also participated in the Spark of Love Toy drive hosted by local fire departments each year. I love being able to personally pick out a toy for a child to make their Christmas magical. A part of me always feels sad while I’m doing it because the Christmases I had as a kid were lavish in comparison. It’s made me realize, when I have a family of my own one day, that Christmas is not going to be the same. It’s never been about the gifts under the tree; it’s so much more than that. I want my kids to know that Christmastime is a celebration of Jesus’s birth. I want them to understand the “why,” so they can appreciate what we’re really celebrating. It drives me crazy to see kids rip open presents on Christmas and think it’s just an excuse for more presents, especially when there are so many children that don’t get to have a similar experience. We can still enjoy the holidays without going overboard, and it’s so important to me that we give back each year. Every child deserves to know what it’s like to open presents on Christmas.

As the month carried on, I was reminded of what great friends I have. A couple of my friends came together to throw a surprise, early birthday lunch for me in a nearby park. It was Parisian themed and so much fun to spend the afternoon with them. We sat at a low table on pillows and blankets, had mini Eiffel towers on our place settings, and ate delicious sandwiches on croissants. We also had macarons for dessert, of course.

Birthday Lunch in the Park

The birthday festivities (and surprises) continued from Cory with tickets to the Van Gogh exhibit on my actual birthday. It was such a magical experience and it felt like we were in all of his paintings. It’s something I’ll never forget.

Immersive Van Gogh Experience

Now, as I embark on this next part of my journey, I’m excited to see what 28 has in store for me. My promise to myself during this next year of my life and during 2022 is to focus on consistency. I am going to make showing up for myself a priority and do this in the ways that are meaningful to me. Wishing you a great holiday season and a Happy New Year! 🍾🥂✨

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