Once you admit how bad it actually is, life will start to reassert itself. It always does. It won’t be exactly the life you always dreamed of as a younger woman, but it will take another form and you’ll be happy in a whole new way, because you’ll be stronger.” - slightly paraphrased at the beginning, from The Little Christmas House.
Holly is a 30-ish schoolteacher who adores her young charges, and has redecorated her home now that her ex is no longer there.
One of her newer students is a girl named Eliza, whose single father, Edward has moved her to a new school and a country dream house. Or it will be once it has been given a little love and restoration.
All three have experienced loss, and are in the beginning stages of healing, but for this post, I intend to focus on Holly.
Facing the Truth & Evolving into More of Who You Are
Life often asks more than we planned to deal with and sometimes more than we think we can bear. And as we find ways to deal with it, because we have to, we are forever changed.
Alchemized. Into new and more true versions of who we came here to be.
In this book, that is what happens to Holly, who has always wanted children but has been told that she would never be able to have them, after which moment, her boyfriend of ten years walked right out the door.
Once you have fully grieved what you have lost, you will find yourself opening up to happiness in a whole new way. A different sort of happiness, but no less real. And you will begin to see possibilities you weren’t able to see while you were avoiding the pain. - paraphrased, The Little Christmas House.
How true this is, for all of us.
How can we let go of whatever has been holding us back if we are still running from it? But once we face it squarely, in a “I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts,” kind of way, we can move through it with much less drama, and then, begin to heal.
Once we step onto that path, we are already different. And it may take time to get to know this new, heretofore-unrealized version of ourselves. But it’s worth the patience and the time it takes to discover who we are becoming.
She will wait for us to catch up without getting too far ahead.
(1) Grieve and grieve and grieve
(2) Gradually, begin to let go of your loss
(3) Allow time for reshuffling & getting used to what’s new
(4) Return to yourself in a whole new way
(5) Find a different, but deeper happiness
And that’s what we see happening to Holly, in the book, albeit without the identified stages.
This book is well worth the read.
See you next time!
Christmas on Wheels
As the movie begins, we see a mother and her young daughter getting into a beautiful red convertible. Years later, all grown up, Ashley collects Christmas antiques, but never goes home to Robinsville for the holidays, because it’s too painful after the loss of her mother.
She and her mother spent her early years loading the car up with gifts for those who were less fortunate, and they traveled from home to home, giving out what was needed at Christmas time, along with toys for the kids. When her uncle calls to ask her if she wants the car, she says no, and suggests he could “do whatever he wants with it.”
But when she comes home one holiday season to help care for him after he injures himself, and finds out that he sold it, she is heartbroken.
She finally decides to look for it and eventually gets it back. She soon decides to resurrect the Christmas on Wheels charity drive that will help her bring gifts to those in need again, and the entire town gets in on helping her raise the money.
Her dream is to own an antiques store, and while she’s staying with her uncle, a friend calls to tell her that she shop she has been keeping an eye on is finally available to lease. The town, of course, hopes she will stay.
Throughout her time there, her uncle’s lawyer and friend, Duncan, has been helping her and they’ve been spending time together. When he finds out that she is considering the lease, it seems to throw cold water on their budding relationship.
What Can We Learn from It?
What I see in this movie - grief over the loss of her mother changes Ashley, and dims her joy during the holiday season. Buying Christmas antiques is the outlet for that joy that she allows, but due to her grief, she avoids other reminders of holiday memories with her mother.
Coming back home begins to return her to herself. And before long, she lets herself open up to everything she had previously been avoiding.
This void I’ve always felt at Christmas - I realize that I’m the one who created it…
Something to think about - grief and loss are inevitable. And it can change you in ways you might not even notice.
But you’re likely to find that the more willing you are to stay present with your grief, the less of yourself you lose, and the easier it is to find yourself again when you’re ready.
See you next time!
A charming Christmas village, a storybook castle, a royal ball, and a gorgeous prince are the last things New York City reporter Kaylie Karlyle expects to find on her holiday freelance assignment to Europe. But when the family she’s interviewing turns out to be the royal family of Tolvania, Kaylie has a meltdown when the quirky queen wants her to write a Christmas fairy tale for the spunky young princess. - Karen Schaler
Blogmas Day Two: A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
Who hurt you?
That question is a sort of joke these days that people sometimes say in response to unyielding negativity from someone else, especially if those negative perceptions are getting in that person’s way. But it’s actually a relevant question in this story.
Prince Alexander has been hurt by life in many ways. He has lost both his father, the king, and his wife, and he is still emotionally limited by both losses.
Part of the reason for that is the press.
Paparazzi, to be exact, who were extremely unkind to him as he prepared to take his father’s place as leader. When they couldn’t find anything juicy enough for the readers of the publications they worked for, they made it up!
And of course, they hounded him relentlessly, giving him no privacy, as paparazzi are known to do. In response, he eventually went into hiding, just to get some peace, and starve them of opportunity.
Along comes an investigative reporter sent to live in his home, the castle, and work for his family, durng the holidays. The queen hired her, without telling him, so he was blown away when he found out about it, and did not react well.
Because of his unhealed experiences with the press - especially the papparazzi press, and also the loss of his wife at a time when he was still grieving the loss of his father, he could not see Kaylie clearly.
And he was quite shut down emotionally. So, initially, he was not very motivated to to try.
Now, let’s look at Kaylie, an investigative television reporter who recently lost her job when the station she worked for was sold.
When she finds out that she has been hired to work with a royal family, and that her job is to learn about their family traditions and then write a fairy tale that will be a gift to the young princess, she is appalled. This job is not in her wheelhouse, in her opinion, and she expects to fail miserably.
She had been concerned already, knowing that it was to be a feature story. She doesn’t believe she is good at writing those kinds of stories. And now she is being asked to create a fairy tale?
She’s also not a big fan of Christmas at this point in her life, and the queen tells her that the reason she hired her was to help the prince and princess rediscover the joys of the season and reconnect to their own holiday traditions. Can you see how she could feel like she is totally wrong for the job?
“You don’t decorate, you don’t have a tree. You never come to the TV station Christmas party.”
As our story begins, we learn from her best friend Rachel, and from Kaylie herself, that Christmas is no different than any other day for her.
In spite of the fact that she has recently lost her job, and needs the income from this one, she tries very hard to refuse it.
And the people who know and love her, as well as the queen who knows of her ability, remind her several times that she tells stories for a living, and if she can do that, she can write a fairy tale. It almost doesn’t make sense that she hears that argument so many times, and continues to reject it.
But it’s because she has defined herself rather narrowly and has limited beliefs about what she can do. And about what she wants.
She thinks she’s not good at feature stories, so she tells herself they are puff pieces and aren’t her thing.
She has also been hurt by what she sees as her family’s loss of love for celebrating Christmas and she pushes that away by convincing herself that she is over Christmas, too.
If not for the snowy weather, they might not have had enough time with each other to begin to let go of their limiting perspectives. Thank goodness they do.
As a transformation coach and intuitive healer, I love to help women take a close look at the roles they now know & play by heart. And to consider whether or not what they think about themselves is true.
What would life be like if they walked away from the ways of seeing themselves that are now too limiting?
How would they see themselves if their wounds were healed? If they were liberated from old, stuck feelings and beliefs?
That’s what happens for both of these characters, and reading stories like that becomes satisfying for us, because we get to feel liberated too, if only for a while, by sinking deep into their stories.
At the heart of this story we have two people who have altered the way they think about themselves, and their lives, in response to their experiences. And doing so ends up hurting them both.
Do you think you might have done that in your own life? Reading this book would be an entertaining way to take a closer look at the way you define yourself, and how that may have changed over time, without your realizing it.
Hi, I'm Jeanine
Professional elf, transformation coach and self-care healer.
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