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Newsletter Dated: 12/8/2005 11:50:18 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Holiday Magic
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Happiness Tip: Holiday Magic
Recently, as we were eating in an Italian restaurant, the music being played transported me back to holidays with my Italian/American family. Traditional, sentimental Italian songs were such a large part of our gatherings for the holidays. After a huge, slow, multi-course dinner, Uncle Tommy would get up and go to the piano, and just start playing. The whole family would sing, sometimes in Italian, sometimes in English, and when I hear those old songs, I’m suddenly six years old, happy and safe for the moment, and also the sad grownup, because all the people who were singing then are gone now. Although I didn’t know it then, Uncle Tommy was a gifted musician, able to play any song after hearing a few bars. None of his genes are mine, but I know my musical ability comes from singing to his accompaniment. At this time of year, the magic of the season for me is in the music.
Richard and I have a long-standing tradition of watching a tape of the musical “Scrooge” starring Albert Finney. It’s a great combination of spiritual reminder, attitude adjustment, and musical extravaganza. It always gets us in the holiday mood. I’m one of those obnoxious types who sing aloud with the carols piped into the stores, and I play Christmas songs and carols in my car, singing along from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. I also love sharing holiday celebrations with friends and family.
What kind of holidays will you have? Whether you celebrate Ramadan, Kwaanza, Chanukah, Solstice or Christmas, I’m sure you have hopes and dreams of holidays to remember. We all long for the magic of the season to manifest in our celebrations.
What creates the magic? A combination of memories, traditions, and spontaneity is usually the key. If you’re wondering how to create magic for your own holidays, try reviewing holidays of the past, good and not so great, and see what the best components were. If you miss people who have passed on, and they were part of your holiday joy, make a place in your current celebration to remember them. If you feel overwhelmed by too much going on, cut some of the scheduled events and create some time for yourself. If what you cherish most is the connection with your family, make sure you get some time with them. If, like my friend Jessica, you love baking cookies to the sounds of Handel's "Messiah", your friends will enjoy the cookies as much we all enjoy Jessica's creations.
Magic, contrary to popular film scenarios, doesn’t just happen. Sometimes your stars will just fall into line, Santa fills your stocking, or Elija fills the empty chair, and when those blessings show up, cherish them. But, most of the time, magic needs a little help. My holiday wish for you is that you help yourself to as much magic as you can conjure up. Wallow in it, indulge yourself in your fondest memories, give and receive extravagantly, and watch the magic happen!
I thought you might enjoy my Christmas/Solstice poem for this year’s Christmas card.
The eternal dance.
– and balance is the key
Fueled with grace and joy,
We glide into the waiting arms
of the coming year.
© 2005 Tina B. Tessina
If you want more, here is a related article you can download from my website at http://tinatessina.com/monthly_column.html
"How to Have Happier Holidays"
"Dating Guidelines for Single Parents" excerpted from the UG to Dating Again is now online at News For Parents website http://www.newsforparents.org/expert_dating_single_parents.html
You can find me on the Internet, as the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date (see my predictions for relationships in 2006!), a designated Marriage Expert for Redbook Institute and I'll also answer your questions at http://www.tinatessina.com.
Through my website, you can get CE credits online based on my books: It Ends With You; How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free and The Real 13th Step To sign up for classes or browse my books, visit www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at email@example.com.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
I thoroughly enjoy your newsletters and forward each one to family and friends.
Thank you, Joe. I always appreciate it when readers pass the newsletter on.
Am enjoying your newsletters -- very insightful and upbeat.
You’re welcome, Marie, thanks for the kind words.
It was great to see you on the CBS news. I enjoy reading your monthly newsletter. Take care.
Thanks for watching, Judy!
from Curley Sue’s godmother:
Dearest Tina & Richard,
I was so very sad to learn of your loss of Curley Sue. I remember vividly driving down Colorado Blvd. in Glendale and seeing this tiny puppy walking alone across the parking lot of McDonald's.
I stopped, backed up, turned into the lot, and picked up the darling puppy. She was so trusting and so tiny! I walked into McD's and called out, "Does anyone own this puppy? Did anyone lose her?" NO ONE answered, not even someone who was willing to lie to take home this gorgeous baby.
Of course, with 4 dogs and 1 cat of our own, we determined immediately that another home would have to come for her. I secured her with a baby gate, talked to you, and the rest is history. I am so sorry to learn she has moved to higher ground. But the true surprise was how immediately your home came to our attention. You were sent to save Curley Sue, and she was sent to save you back.