I know that Valentine’s Day as we know it was invented by our halls of consumption. But that’s no reason not to take it back and shape it to fit your relationship! Continue reading
I hear a lot of whining about the weather these days. And it’s true; winter can seem to go on a long time. But actually it’s the same length as other seasons. It serves an important purpose in the cycle of growth. And if you look around there is promise everywhere. And promise is what weddings are all about. Continue reading
What do you have planned that you’re absolutely excited about during the holiday? Is your sweetie excited about it too? No? Then I asked the wrong question!
What is going to happen this holiday that the two of you will enjoy. Nothing more than cuddling in your bed? Well, maybe your tradition is getting a new set of flannel sheets for your joint holiday present!
Do you really like cookies and milk (or fill in your favorite foodstuff!) then you might want to find yourself the perfect milk glasses and cookie plates. Plates that you only use for the holiday.
It takes neither a lot of money nor a huge amount of effort to plan something sweet that slows you down and lets you enjoy one another.
Tip: plan something simple but sweet as a way to be together. Already over scheduled? I’m sure there’s something you can fit in. Get up a half hour early and snuggle. Dozing in one another’s arms is great. But then pay careful attention,or (gasp) have a conversation about what it was that was fun over the holidays. Next year. Do more of that. That’s how holiday traditions get started. There’s something that’s about celebration that’s going to draw each of you in and not step on any holiday corns. Remember, the season says life is supposed to be quiet and sweet right now.
One trick to creating your own “new family” holiday memories is to revisit was was special and wonderful in your own holiday history. Even the most horrible childhoods had some great memories, even if sadly they they were at someone else’s house!
The fact is you’ll do better building new memories if you start from realizing what was the sweet thing at the heart of your memory. I recently heard a woman tell the story of how her parents made a big red ribbon line that she followed around the house until she discovered her present… a great big cuddly bear. She got the bear when she was 4 and has him still. Part of what made that particular bear a great gift was the build-up… (Hint: build up costs nothing and requires simply a little inventiveness and a bit of humor.) The bear represented companionship.
If you discover the heart of the memories, then the plans you make can grow out of the positive things: Rather than, let’s not spend any money on gifts because we don’t have any: Let’s not spend money on gifts because what we want are gifts from the heart. And we’ll give gift money to someone else. Or, it may be that this is the year to give one another sparkly shiny things because your love is sparkly and shiny. But whatever it is, spend some time remembering and sharing what was best for you about the holidays.
Tip: Create the holidays you want to have not the holiday everyone thinks you should have. And base your plans on what was wonderful for you when you were a child.
Here’s a great way to start figuring out what really matters to you in your life. If you do the work for the holidays, you’ll have a headstart when you start planning your wedding. What? You didn’t know you get to have your wedding be about your values? Now you do!
Before you start making a lot of holiday plans that you might get stuck in forever, why not figure out what makes each of you and both of you happy about the holidays?
- What do you like to do? What are your favorite holiday memories? How can you repeat them?
- What do you care about? From cookies, to caroling to volunteering? What do the holidays say to you?
- Who do you want to spend time with? Are holidays about friends? family? people in need? You get to choose!
- What holiday traditions would you like to establish in your own home? When you’re newly engaged or newly married, it can be easily assumed that you’ll go to other people’s houses. That may not be the only way you want to have the holidays.
Tip: Talking about these things and planning ahead will serve you in very good stead in the years to come. It will also establish a pattern of discerning what really matters to you which will be great for the wedding and for your life. Why not have yourselves a happy little holiday season?
I’d done some research about fans for my column over on Examiner.com (you can find this by scrolling down and checking out the right hand column). I’d started thinking about fans as something to carry at winter weddings when flowers are, shall we say, scarce!
There are lots of fun things to do with fans. Victorian women (of the leisure class, which would leave a lot of us without a feather to flutter) had an entire language of fans. It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to excavate some of the language of flirtation to start having more fun in your play life with your partner.
I’d seen some fairly jeweled and ornamental fans and admired them. But now I’m totally in love. Isn’t this gorgeous? Wouldn’t it have looked fabulous against my black velvet wedding dress? How about against your white satin one? Flowers, they’re so summer!
Tip: Go ahead and play at your wedding. Look your best and have a good time.
Are you dreading the thanksgiving dinner with all the family dynamics?
It’s just food and family. There’s nothing more wonderful.
If there’s too much tension going on, dial it back. Dial back your expectations of the meal, dial back everyone’s contributions.
Are you prone to the “if i don’t have this side-dish, it’s not Thanksgiving” syndrome? Remember that you can make side dishes another day. You can visit other families another weekend. Don’t consign thanksgiving/Thanksgiving to a single date. Eat and be happy with the people you love. And if you can’t be there, set up the camera and skype. Let your families be together, wherever they are!
Tip: consider making Thanksgiving a celebration for which you are grateful. Beautiful table settings, family recipes, family time — these are not things we have too much of in our lives. So instead of thinking about the possible horrors, move into pollyanna mode (anyone remember who she was?) and start being grateful. Have a blessed day, my friends! (and here’s a NY Times article about what you can learn from Turkey Day at home.)
The broom has always signified the domestic side of life. Witches are associated with brooms because their “magic” was thought to be practiced close to the hearth fire. Most “witches” (at least of the Northern European variety) were healers or weavers or spinners. Continue reading
So what’s with the broom and witches? And what’s with the broom and weddings?
So glad you asked! Brooms and witches, today, brooms and hearths tomorrow.
In certain wedding traditions, women wielding brooms walk before the wedding couple, brushing obstacles from their paths. They were often elders in the village, women who knew how to ease the stones away without creating a large amount of dust.
Tip: Why not have a wisdom shower? Ask your bridesmaids (or go ahead and do it yourself) to ask all the women over 50 to give you advice about marriage, creating a home, being a great woman. It’s a book you’ll treasure forever.
On the eleventh Day of Christmas, My Beloved gave to me
Eleven paths to friendship
Ten ways you love me
Nine hours of sleeping
Eight gifts of bounty
Seven days a-helping
Six stolen kisses
Five looks of Love
Four calling friends
Three snow strolls
Two nestling hearts
And a day free of expectations.
Too often when people fall in love, their interest in their long-term friends falls away. Now, this is somewhat understandable, after all, the species has survived because of the power of infatuation. Being swept away keeps us moving into marriage and family. But we are more than our hormones! And we need friends with whom to hang out, celebrate and commiserate.
As you get ready to choose your attendants, there are many ways to think through who will stand with you as you step forward into your life. It’s true your BFF from kindergarten probably needs to be there. But what are the qualities that you and your beloved truly value in friends.
- List 11 ways you are a good friend. If your list isn’t as long as you’d like it to be, there’s some work for the new year! Being a good friend is a fairly fundamental characteristic of being a good person, in the Wedding Priestess’ humble opinion.
- Then list 11 ways that friends support, challenge, stimulate and amuse you.
- What are the most important characteristics to you?
- Then consider your friends in light of those characteristics. Who among them have been really good friends?
- Are they the same people you were considering as attendants? Were there people missing from your attendant list?
Tip: It’s fine if you’ve already made your attendant choices and this list teaches you something different. You now have the opportunity to find other ways to weave these people into your lives. The success and health of your marriage is enhanced by being a member of a thriving, healthy community. So as the Girl Scout song says “Make new friends, but keep the old, One is silver and the other gold!)