A Not-So Traditional Christmas

When I was younger, Christmas always held such excitement to me. I loved everything about the season, not just the presents. The first weekend after Thanksgiving was always the time we’d decorate, and we all had assigned roles in decorating the inside and outside of the house. I was usually in charge of handing my dad light clips while he climbed the ladder to the roof of the house while my mom and brother set up other decorations. Soon after that, my mom would start baking a million cookies, my brother and I would start searching for our gifts, and the holidays were officially upon us.

As we age, traditions change, as is inevitable. For me, Christmas got a little smaller. I still go see my dad’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas day it’s usually just me and my mom or the three of us when my brother joins us. My mom and I still bake cookies together because that’s a tradition we enjoy doing. We give them out to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and of course have a stash when my brother comes home for Christmas, even though he’ll say he doesn’t want to eat any. After we open the stockings and gifts, we’ll likely go to Christmas mass, then have some lunch, and go see a movie (this year it looks like it’ll be Little Women). The movie thing is only a few years old, when I was younger Christmas was all about playing with new toys we received. One year my brother and I got an air hockey table, that was a loud Christmas for my parents I’m sure. For some, these may not really seem like a traditional Christmas, while to others, some of these traditions are how they celebrate as well.


Here’s the thing I’m learning about Christmas as we grow up. What is a “traditional Christmas” to one is completely different to someone else. Traditions can change, sometimes in ways that cause growing pains, other times in ways that make you wonder why you didn’t change them sooner. For some people, Christmas happens a week before the actual day. For others, it happens a week after the actual day. What makes it a traditional Christmas is that everyone is gathering together. Christmas is a time for family and friends to gather together, reflect on the year, look forward to the upcoming year, and most importantly, create memories together.

Whether you celebrate by going to the beach or building a snowman or having a Christmas movie marathon, your Christmas is traditional to you. If your family is not the kind to gather around the piano and sing Christmas carols, that’s ok, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a traditional Christmas, it just means your traditions look a little different. As long as you are with people you love, whether your family by birth or family by choice, that’s the most important part.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! I hope no matter how you’re celebrating this year, that you’re surrounded by love and laughter.


Can You Fall In Love Without Ever Touching?

So for those of you who haven’t had your hearts ripped out by the movie Five Feet Apart, first off, how the heck have you not? And second, go see it right now! Right now!

Ok, glad we got through that. Now, without giving up any spoilers, this book raises an interesting question and viewpoint, one that I’ve actually had people ask me, and one that I’ve wondered myself. Is it possible to fall in love without ever touching? Without ever kissing or being able to hold hands or do anything other than just talk? So for me, I think yes, but this is a view that I’ve had people challenge me on. So what do you think?

To me, it seems like a no-brainer. Some people think of love as this thing that needs intimacy, that needs hand holding and kissing, and being near one another, but I’ve never thought that was necessary to love. Now, in this case, we are strictly speaking romantic love, and not platonic love. I mean, think about it, you tell your friends you love them, and you haven’t needed to hold their hands or spend the night with them (at least, I hope not, because if so, buddy, you’re not really in what I’d call a friend area). The same can be said for romantic love. The love that we all hope to find one day, it’s a soul to soul connection. It’s not something that happens because you two held hands and made out at a bar. It’s something that happens because you bonded over reading a certain novel that made both of you think. It happens because of a chance encounter that allowed you to show a stranger your true colors, and they accepted you for what you were. Sure, touch and that intimacy is necessary to build upon a relationship, and as a great way to share how you feel with that special someone. But it’s not necessary for love, and it’s certainly not necessary to fall in love.

While love at first sight may be a bit far fetched, I mean, I’m romantic, but I’m practical too, I do think that there are certain souls that are meant to be. Maybe not forever, or maybe not in that timing, but that doesn’t mean that connection isn’t there. In some cases, it may take a few conversations to uncover it, and while I know so many people think there needs to be that physical connection to help, I disagree. That physical connection should only strengthen what’s already there. To me, there are several forms of intimacy, aside from the physical. There’s the intimacy of speaking to someone at 2 in the morning, when you both are getting groggy after a long day, and you’ve been talking for hours, and sleep isn’t even important anymore, and you are being completely honest with that person and yourself, because you are just too tired to not. Intimacy is long looks across the room, reading that connection into every look. It’s those conversations you have with just your eyes, the ones that no words are needed. It’s those little moments, where you just look over at that special someone, and you just have that wonderful feeling that they’re absolutely perfect. That’s intimacy. And in my opinion, you can have that, without ever touching. You can have that being in different cities, and you can definitely fall in love without even meeting in person.

When you think of falling in love, you might think of some gorgeous guy, or girl, sweeping you off your feet, and you two live happily ever after. And that’s great, that’s what fairy tales are based on. But what about meeting someone who gets you and your little quirks? Who talks about you in their future, even though you are in different cities? What about building that friendship, knowing that someone isn’t perfect, and not caring? What about that perfect moment where you are smiling down at your phone like a total idiot, without even realizing it, because they just make you that happy? Some will argue that you can’t fall in love without that physical touch. But to me, that’s not true. You fall in love with someone’s soul, with their spirit and their personality. Not because you were able to hold hands or you had an awkward first kiss at the end of a date. Sure, those things may be a way to show affection, but true love, you don’t need that. You definitely want it, don’t get me wrong, but to fall in love, to truly fall in love, maybe we need to take away that. Take away the physical proximity. Do you miss that person when they aren’t there or were they just someone hot to spend time with? Are you at a point where you desperately want to see them in person, but are completely content just talking to them for hours? Because to me, that makes all the difference.

Psychology says that the difference in love and lust lies in the time. If you only have feelings for four months, it’s lust. Anything that lasts longer than that is love. They may be right, but society seems to rush into things so much that sometimes I think the two get easily confused, especially when the physical is such a huge aspect. If you’re not sure if you’re in love or lust, maybe try taking a step back, literally, and seeing the person for who they are. Just another person, without the added physical stuff. It may just make all the difference.

Best Ways to Get Over Heartbreak

Heartbreak is one of the best and worst things in life. You may be wondering, how is it one of the best? In most people’s experiences, heartbreak absolutely sucks, and there’s not much good in it. But, that’s just because you’re only looking at one side of it. Think of some of the most powerful songs you know, some of the most heart-wrenching books you’ve read, some of the strongest people you know. They are all products of heartbreak, showing that something beautiful can come from something so painful and awful, that some people never even put their hearts out there to begin with. If you are one who is still putting their heart out there, good for you! It’s tough, and it can be especially tough to figure out how to try again when you’re heartbroken. Luckily, I’ve compiled some of the best ways to get over heartbreak, so you can get back out there, and turn your pain into something beautiful.

Since it’s not likely we are all master songwriters, though I really wish I was, you may have to use a different method to get over your heartbreak. So here’s some of my favorites, tried and true, ways to get over heartbreak.

  • Write a letter. Write a letter to your ex, and let everything out. If you dumped him, but are feeling upset about it, if he dumped you, let out all the feelings, let out the anger, the sadness, hold nothing back. And then, throw that letter away. Don’t mail it, don’t send it to your friends, don’t do anything like that. Just get the feelings out, and then throw it away. Yeah, it can be tempting to mail it to him and try to create some perfect ending where he realized he was wrong, but just don’t. Your life isn’t a rom-com, even though we all wish ours was some times.
  • Eat some cookie dough and cry. I know, I know, the raw egg, trust me, when heartbreak has got you down, it’s worth the risk. There is nothing like pulling a tub of cookie dough close, and crying your eyes out. Just know the pain won’t go on forever, and don’t lean on the cookie dough too much. A bit of it is nice, but too much can be dangerous.
  • Write a poem. If you are gifted, write a poem. I used to do this in high school, and somewhere in my little notebook that holds them, I’d put the initials of the guy who it was about. Now, some I have no need to look for the initials, I still remember, but others, it’s quite entertaining to look at and have a rush of memories come flooding back. But this, like writing a letter, can be so cathartic in getting those feelings out, and helping you to come to terms and find that closure.
  • Go out dancing. Hurting and/or angry with a guy? Go out dancing! Line dancing is my go-to for pretty much everything, and it helps with heartbreak too. You know what helps even more? Accidentally running into a cute guy on the dance floor that you then wind up spending the rest of the night chatting with. That’s a good confidence booster 🙂
  • Movie night. Gather up your friends, but don’t put in some romantic movie that’ll make you cry. No, go for a comedy, something that will lighten up your mood, and get you laughing. Nothing helps a bad mood like a good dose of laughter.
  • Plan a getaway. The best way to get over someone is to get away from them. So plan a trip, take a vacation, and just get away from everything. Yeah, they may still be in your life when you get back, but hey, you got a great vacation out of it.
  • Go for a run. This is another one of my favorite go-to’s. Running, or even just walking outside, allows me to clear my head. So when I got dumped via text in college, I went for a run. When I was getting mixed signals from a guy I liked, I hit the nature trails. It’ll help clear your head, and give you those endorphins. Because, as we know, exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy… 🙂
  • Feel the pain. This one is huge, even if you take on another way to do it, this is necessary. Let yourself feel the pain, recognize those feelings, and accept that they were real. Even if he didn’t feel the same, or things ended badly, let yourself remember the good stuff and feel the pain. It sounds counterintuitive, but I promise, it’s necessary to fully healing. The best part is, you’ll wake up one day, and the pain will be gone.
  • Forgive. Don’t do it for him. Heck no, he’s not worth it. But you are. So forgive him for you and for your health. Recognize that even without an apology, if you want to move on with your life, you need to forgive him.
  • Recognize how much better you are without him. Maybe you’re still hoping that in 5 years, fate or destiny will bring the two of you back together, hello rom com, and that’s fine, but during this period, allow yourself to grow. I’m a firm believer that God puts people in our lives and takes them away when either we need to grow from them or they’ve fulfilled their purpose in our lives. So, recognize that while he may have seemed like the greatest thing, he wasn’t. At least, not for where you are going. Maybe he is great, and maybe he is one of the nicest guys, that’s good to recognize. But that doesn’t mean he was right for you. It means he was right at that moment, and now that moment has passed. Recognize that you have not decreased in value, that you still deserve something great. Again, maybe he is great, but not the great that you deserve.

Unfortunately, there is no timetable on how long the heartbreak will last. But you know what, take this time and focus on yourself, focus on your friends, your family, on God. Focus on what’s important, and distract yourself from it. Don’t spend the time wallowing, get out there and have a new adventure, try a new restaurant, and find a new layer to yourself. It’s better time spent than stalking his FB page.

End the Day with a Positive Thought

Some days just don’t go our way. Despite all that, end each day with a positive thought. Positive thinking can bring a bunch of changes into your life, so give it a try.

Be Kind

It’s not always easy, but it’s important to always be kind. You never know what someone is going through, and you never know what your actions will cause. So choose kindness.

Rosé with Rachel: Valentine’s Drink

Hey y’all, here is a delicious pink cosmo recipe that uses 3 ingredients! Perfect for Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day 🙂

Rosé with Rachel: Valentine’s Date Ideas

If you’re struggling for a unique idea other than dinner, here are some fun Valentine’s date ideas.

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