Tag Archives: christmas

What’s the 1st word that pops into your head about the holiday season?

For many years mine was, overwhelmed. Followed closely by over burdened and let’s not forget overweight. You get the picture, I was in way OVER my head. Then I hit the “That’s it! button and decided, “This holiday’s going to be different.”

It was time to change and to enlist help. My hubby and I looked around and realized we had a whole team of helpers at our disposal, they were just disguised as family members. So, we decided to organize and mobilize ourself and the troops.

Give the gift of love

1. Have a Plan.  Make a plan for your time, your health and your Spiritual growth.

Use the Holiday Help! checklist and stay organized.  The Holiday Help! checklist includes all the activities that make the holidays complete and you can tweak it for your family. You post it on the fridge and let each family member or holiday guest “sign up” to help. Then, assign a completion date for every activity on your calendar and who is responsible for its’ completion. The checklist keeps you organized and holds everyone accountable.

If no one signs up for an activity, it doesn’t get done. Oh what fun, it is to get the whole family helping along, Hey!  When you’re organized and everyone’s working together cheerfully, everything is better.

If you want the checklist, just e-mail me: info@christinemartinello.com

2. Be still. Pray, meditate and open your heart to the Spirit. Focus on the true reason for the season. Read the Bible, devotional or other spiritual books to slow you down and grow in faith.

3. Simplify the Season.  Ask; Why are we doing what you’re doing? Ask your family, “What are the most meaningful traditions? Do those & ditch the rest.

4. Control gift giving. Ask the kids TODAY: “What gifts do you remember from last year?” Then brace yourself. If your loved ones can’t remember, simplify to just 3 gifts.  After all, 3 gifts were good enough for Jesus.

5. Focus on Relationships. Focus on growing in love instead of more stuff. Simplify and include others in the Season. Let go of wanting things to be perfect. Life is not a Hallmark show. They’re not going to be. Strive for ‘good enough’ instead. You really do NOT have to do it all alone. When we let others help we teach our kids and hubby how to love by serving.

6. Be grateful and Focus on the Moments – See all the joy in faces of the people you love and the moments.

7. Give the gift of Love. Grow closer together with family and friends as you share your love with the The Christmas Love Box tradition. If you’re not Christian, you can do the Original Love Box tradition. Giving the gift of love is the greatest gift you can give your family and the world.

You can get yours online at: www.originallovebox.com

Wishing you and your heart joyful moments amidst controlled chaos. Keep the faith and by all means, just keep breathing – deeply.

Breathe in: I am at peace.
Breathe out: I share love.

Merry Christmas friend!

How To Write a Cherished Love Note

Do you want to express your love in writing but not really sure how? Don’t you worry. We’re here to help you get those loving words flowing.

This excerpt from The Christmas Love Box book highlights how to create a cherished love note.

1. Quiet down and listen to your heart.
2. Think about the other person. Let all the love, fondness and appreciation that your feel for them flow out of you.
3. Start writing and don’t stop until you’re happy with the note.

To get you going, here are some love note starters:

1. What I love (or like) about you is . . . .
2. You are a precious gift to me (or others) because . . .
3. You are special and unique because . . .

You can keep these one-of-a-kind notes in the keepsake Christmas Love Box. They will be read over and over again. It’s the gift that keeps giving all year long.

To get the Christmas Love Box in time for Christmas, purchase before Dec. 17th.

Thanksgiving Love

About this time last year Peggy was planning her families Thanksgiving celebration. She was rushing around wondering what kind of activity the whole family could do together.

Peggy’s family has 4 generations to keep content! She talked to me about the Love Box tradition and she decided to alter it to fit their families needs.

As their family gathered for Thanksgiving she asked each member to go into her bedroom and write a love note or note of appreciation to her mom, Mom Helen, who is also a grandma and great-grandma. Each member of the family also took love notes home to write for each other before their Christmas celebration.

Peggy gathered all the love notes for Mom Helen and put them in the Christmas Love Box. She wrapped it up beautifully and gave the ‘gift of love’ to her Mom.

“We found my mom in tears as she read and re-read the love notes which she keeps on the end table near her sofa.” Peggy said.

Mom Helen has read the love notes all year long and each time, prays for each person. This keeps her connected to her whole family throughout the year.

Talk about a gift full of thanks and giving and it lasts for generations to come.

5 Ways to Teach Kids to Combat Commercialism

Tis the Season . . .
And the decorations and songs in the stores are here to prove it.

At this time of year I always feel a battle between doing what the world wants me to do (buy more) and what God wants of me (love more). The tug of war is real and we need to take steps to counteract commercialism.

It’s time to take back Christmas. Here’s the thing. . . YOU get to decide what kind of holiday season you want. When it will start, end and everything in between. So, let’s be intentional and do what’s most important.

If you have thought “Christmas has become like a circus” or “The Holidays suck the life force out of me,” there’s hope for a better holiday.

5 Ways to Combat Commercialism
1. Ask your kids, “What do you remember about last Christmas?” What traditions did you like to do? What gifts do you remember getting? You will probably be surprised by the answers. Do what’s most important and let go of the activities that don’t fit into your top priorities. Let’s simplify.

2. Let’s focus on celebrating the real reason for the season which is the birth of Jesus and sharing the light and love of God with others. During Advent focus on spiritual activities like prayer and good works. How about singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus this year?

3. Set a limit on time, money and number of gifts to give this year. Long ago our family decided to give no more than 3 gifts for each person. We figured if it was good enough for Jesus to get 3 gifts, it was good enough for us.

4. Model for your family the values you hold dear. Your kids will do what they see you do.

5. Host a ‘Family Love Night’ with the Christmas Love Box Tradition.
Just imagine, you’re sitting in your living room with your loved ones, surrounded by candles, chocolate and Love. With each note read aloud, the magic of love is released and binds you all closer together.

The night is a precious and magical time together as each person feels valued, appreciated and loved. The force of love binds you closer together.

Then after the holidays are over, you have love notes in your loved ones handwriting to relive those happy times. You’ll have notes from when the kids were 5, 10 or 15. The kids have notes of love from their parents, aunts, uncles and Grandparents. Forever. You can read and re-read those love notes all year round.

Oh, it can be different alright. Rather than giving stuff you can give and get the gift of love.

It’s so, so much better. I promise.

There’s a battle going on between commercialism and spirituality. So, let’s lace up those combat boots and start walking. Singing Christmas carols all the way. Ready? Set. Let’s go.

Love Heals!

“The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.” Hubert Humphrey

As Kim says, “I’m finding people are walking around and not feeling very appreciated or loved whether it’s with our kids or in our families or at work.” Like cracked glass, we can feel broken at times. We want to be put back together again and feel whole. We can heal our relationships and Kim shows us the way.

This video highlights Kim’s brave story. She shared words of affirmation and appreciation with not one or two but twelve people in her extended family! Can you imagine?

Kim stepped out in unconditional love because she felt strongly about helping each person in her immediate and extended family ‘find their voice’. Look at how Kim lights up as she describes how everyone reacted to her and everyone become closer.

If you or anyone you know comes from a family that felt broken, you know what a courageous story this is. Here’s to stopping the cycle of chaos and sharing unconditional love. Thank you Kim for your courageous efforts to be the ‘linchpin of love’ in your family.

“Love does a lot of healing good.” ~Kim Smith

Share Love & Heal

Share Love & Heal

What have you done to create healthy and whole relationships?

Share the love!

Christmas Love Box
Some days I get overcome with emotion. Today is one of those days. I’m reflecting on the outpouring of people LOVING each other. You see, as the creator of the Christmas love box I get to see, hear and feel love every day. In a big way.

During the past few days I have seen many people generously sharing their time and money to support children in a shelter and military families. Strangers helping strangers out of the goodness of their hearts.

I had no idea when I begin this journey that hearts would open like the ocean & we would fall more in love with our brothers and sisters every day.

There has also been a dark side. The bitterness of separation, brokenness, & pain in families.

As we know, love is bittersweet.

From my seat, I see a lot more sweet. And I thank God that love always ultimately wins.

Share more love!

Christmas Love Box