Merry Christmas, Darling. Happy New Year, too!
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The joy of brightening other lives,

bearing each others' burdens,
easing others' loads and
supplanting empty hearts and lives
with generous gifts becomes for us
the magic of the holidays.”

---W.C. Jones


Good morning! How are you, my dear? If  you celebrate, are you all ready for Christmas, <<Name>>?  It's hard to believe that we are three days away from Christmas. Didn't we just arrive in 2018, wondering what the year ahead held?

Our plans for the holiday can best be described as: quiet and intimate. Just the two of us with ample time to rest and relax. No major cooking, no family gatherings, no expectations beyond simply breathing in the season. We may go to Midnight Mass.

We'll probably have a big breakfast - ham steak, eggs, and sauteed spinach. And then dinner: simplicity of a roasted pork loin, some baked potatoes, and big salads to round out the meal. I didn't even make dessert...although I did make a couple of loaves of pumpkin bread if either of us wants something sweet to nibble on.

It has been an intense year and we are both needing less. Basically, the theme is just to BE.

I would love to write just that perfect love note to you today, sharing how the lessons I am learning will give you just the right amount of UMPH to move forward in your life.The perfect inspiration for a peaceful and gentle approach to Christmas - just the right words to guide you to moving into the most delightful new year.

As I was putting fresh sheets on the bed this morning, I was thinking about what I wanted to tell you. And then, I slowed down and noticed the details: the sheets were still warm from the dryer, they smelled like lavender thanks to the Downy Unstoppables, and the little satin piping across the top sheet and pillows was so shiny compared to the muted tones of the cotton the sheets are made from.

I make the bed each day, but rather than rushing through this whole chore, I saw it as an act of love and kindness to myself - and JB. All because I slowed down enough to notice the details.

And that's my best advice to you as we wrap up Christmas and Hanukkah and move towards a new year: slow down and notice. Because the details MATTER. (Like that pretty red bow on that little box of chocolates)

Before you drink your first cup of coffee, notice the aroma before you drink it. Really LOOK at your tree and seek out your favorite little ornament. Savor the way a hug wraps you in comfort and safety. Allow yourself to simply sit in a favorite spot and mentally note what makes is perfect for you. Notice what makes a beloved decoration (like this Santa my mom made) so special.

If you are needing a bit more inspiration, The Advent Series is still going on through the New Year (You can find the Archives here and still sign up).  My Word of the Year book can keep you company on a quiet evening (or morning) - you can find it on the archive list here.

And on that note, my dear, I am sending you so much love for a lovely and sacred Christmas. And a joyous New Year filled with possibility and delight.

I'll be taking bit swaths of time OFF line as we close out the year and begin a new one. I'll be sending a newsletter on January 5th, 2019 as per my schedule...but I won't be officially back in the office until January 14th.

Though I am signing off for the holidays know that I'm just an email away. I love hearing your stories and helping you find the resources you need to create a life you love.

With so much love  - until next year!

PS -I am opening up my practice to two new clients in the New Year. If you want to dive in with some solid support for the year ahead, just reply to this email. We'll find some time to chat after the holidays to see if we're a good fit.

From the blog: Have a Case of the Holiday Blues? Here’s 13 Ways to Chase Them Away

Want to know what I’m hearing a lot this month? Folks just aren’t in the holiday spirit. It’s been a tough year. And the holidays are making it even rougher. Because, not only have they fallen away from regular routines. The old traditions that used to bring the holidays to life? Just aren’t working. In fact, many have admitted that they are experience a case of the Holiday Blues. Just when they’re ready for some peace, comfort, and joy.

I’m the first to admit that our modern times can feel super challenging. Frankly, you feel overwhelmed. And burned out. And if you’re really honest: more then a little blue. Sometimes, life moves at such a fast pace, we don’t notice how off-center life has become. Yet, when the holidays arrive? We can’t help but be brought to the cold reality.

Yes, you want to love your life again. But for now, you’d happily embrace just chasing the holiday blues away.

Despite the holidays bringing about more stress. It also brings about activities you want to enjoy. Like spending time with your favorite nieces and nephews. Or seeing that beloved sister of yours that lives so far away.You want to relax and appreciate your holiday decorations. And really take the time to savor those once-a-year holiday treats.

Especially when life has felt more than a little challenging? You just want to enjoy the holidays.

But those blues, oh, those holiday blues seem to creep up on you.

And while you know that something has got to change for the long haul. Because, you know you can’t live this way forever. So, what if you simply begin here, right where you are. Before we leap into the new year.

It’s easy to pretend. Or force yourself to just go through the motions. But what if you found a way to capture the essence of the spirit? And really bolster your mood? Sometimes, seemingly simple or small things can help more than you’d think.

Here are 13 ways to dive into spirit and shake the blues this season.

1. Spend Some Time with Nature

There’s nothing like the beauty of snow or the way the moonlight shines across your lawn. Nature allows us to connect to our real inner rhythms instead of those outside demands. Layer on the clothing. Wrap a scarf around your neck. Put on a hat. Feel the wind in your face. Let the light of the sun (or the moon) shine upon you.

2. Ensure You Have Some Full Body Contact

There’s nothing like full on body contact to release the good endorphins. Hug. Snuggle. Lean into the warmth of others. This works with children, pets, and adults. This will help you work things out from a place of love.

3. Combat the Holiday Blues by Going Within

Listening to your heart is challenging when you’re so busy. Get still and do a little meditation or prayer. Pray the rosary. Lay on the driveway (with a blanket!) and count the stars. Dive into gratitude. Begin a prayer journal.

4. Stop Working So Much and Play

Allow your inner child to have her way. Pull out a checker board or Monopoly. Throw your dog a tennis ball. Turn on some music and dance around the house. Pull out markers and a stack of paper and draw. Put on your favorite songs – be it Christmas or Show Tunes – and sing at the top of your lungs. Play is often a way to combat feeling overwhelmed.

5. Indulge Yourself

Go to Starbucks and sit and savor your favorite drink. Buy a piece of good chocolate and slowly eat it. Curl up with a good book and a blanket. Watch your favorite holiday film. Take a luxurious bubble bath. Go ahead and buy yourself that handbag you’ve been wanting rather than hoping to find it under the tree. Indulging yourself can be the path to remembering how much you need delight, pleasure, and small luxuries.

6. Giving to Others Can Help Chase Away the Holiday Blues

Clear out your pantry and donate to the Food Pantry. Better yet, go to the store with the sole purpose of donating. Dig out the change at the bottom of your purse and put it in a Salvation Army kettle. Donate clothes that you no longer love to Goodwill. Choose an Angel off of a giving tree. Write a check to the Humane Society.

7. What if You Embraced the Spirit of Forgiveness?

Life is too short to hold a grudge. Write a letter of forgiveness – even if it’s to yourself.

8. Play Dress Up to Boost Your Spirit

There’s nothing like getting all dressed up. Take time to tend to yourself.  You can go out if you like. Or. You can get dressed to the nines for an intimate dinner at home. Don’t forget your favorite lipstick!

9. Chase Away the Holiday Blues by Immersing Yourself in Scent

Olfactory memories can bring us great pleasure. Burn a candle or make some homemade cider with Cinnamon sticks. Snag a bag of those scented pine-cones. Use scented lotions or body wash in the shower. Don’t forget a spritz of your favorite perfume.

10. Decide How You Desire to Feel

What would help you create that desired feeling? Pulling out all your decorations and decking all the halls or doing the minimum? Would you like to create a lavish dinner or an intimate affair? Lots of friends or family? Or just you and your sweetheart?

11. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Sometimes, a case of the holiday blues demands we take courage by the horns and ask for some help. This can come in many ways. You can flat out ask for help. Or guidance with a challenge. Don’t forget prayer and meditation. Hire some help. Whether it’s someone to clean your house, do some of your shopping, or cater a meal. Maybe it’s time to find a therapist or hire a coach. Maybe it’s the simple companionship of baking cookies with a friend.

12. Allow Yourself to Receive

Sometimes, we get nervous about what others are gifting us, whether it’s a physical gift, their time, or their love. Allow yourself to receive, darling. Breathe. Open your heart. Remind yourself that you are worthy of love and affection. That it’s OK to be happy.  Remind yourself that it’s ok to be happy. Remind yourself that you deserve to be in love with your life

13. Shake the Holiday Blues by Giving Yourself Permission to Break From Tradition

It’s easy to feel we “should” do certain things for each holiday. Just because you’ve always done something, doesn’t mean you have to. Grant yourself permission to break from those old traditions and create new ones. And, maybe even opt-out of the holidays and capture the deeper spiritual experiences you’ve been seeking.

Don’t let the pace of the holidays get to you, darling. And remember, you are always at choice. You can choose to capture any essence of the holiday spirit in your own way.

When you find some concrete tools that help chase away the holiday blues. Even just a little. Remember them. Because, now, you know what little tips and tricks help you shift your mood. These can be brought into the new year to help you begin dealing with all the things that make you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Setting you up to finally love your life again.

Is there anything better than brunch during the holiday season? Or having a breakfast that will cook overnight while you sleep? So you can have something hot and easy without being in the kitchen? That's one of the thing I love about using the crock pot for this breakfast casserole.

Before you go to bed on a night before a big day, prep this casserole and when you get it, it will be perfect and ready.

Spray the crock of your crockpot with PAM.

Brown a pound of sausage. You can use pork or turkey sausage - mild or spicy. Drain any grease off of the sausage. In your crock pot, put a package of frozen hash browns (I prefer the diced potatoes over shredded). Then add your cooked sausage. In  a separate bowl, mix one full dozen of eggs with one cup of milk. Add a little bit of seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic. Pour over sausage and potatoes and stir well.

If you desire some veggies, add them with the sausage. Great additions would be chopped bell peppers and/or onions.

Now, on top of the egg mixture, add 2 pounds of cheese - either diced into small chunks or shredded. I like using a block of sharp cheddar as well as a block of Colby jack cheese.

Turn your crock pot on low and cook for 8 hours.

When you get up in the morning, stir well.  Turn crock pot to WARM and serve with joy.

Volume 8 -Issue 26

December 22, 2018

Love Notes Published Every-Other-Saturday
Thank you, darling for the precious in-box space! 

See something you'd love to share?  I'd be honored if you forwarded this along to a friend.

About Debra

Debra Smouse is a writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle who is on a mission to help people create a daily life that is loving and nourishing.

A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams. Connect with her on social media:
Instagram | Facebook Twitter.

PS - this is the photo we used on Christmas Cards this year.  Happy Holidays!

Unbelievable Difference

Working with Deb for just a few months has made an unbelievable difference in my life.

With her encouragement, I made major progress on clearing the clutter in my physical life as well as in my emotional life, which paved the way toward creating a new vision for the life I want to live now.

Deb has an easy conversational style, rational down-to earth wisdom, and a warm sense of humor.

She got right to the heart of the things holding me back from living my best life, and has given me sound principles and practices I can carry forward into the future.

For the first time in a long time I feel excited about my life, and I have Deb to thank for that!

-Becca Rowan, Author

Clear Clutter

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that you cannot welcome new things into your life if you don’t release some of the old stuff. You need to begin to purge things from your life.

Join me for 30 Days of Fall Cleaning and Clearing Clutter beginning Sunday, January 06, 2019

Just in time to get your home in order before the holidays!

You Won't Be Sorry

But the rest, the rest being with Deb’s counsel, has been an interesting, innovating, expanding chapter in my life as a woman, a spouse, a creative artist. My spouse and I have always had what I considered an excellent life together – I did not anticipate an even better and the more intimate relationship that we now find ourselves living into every day.

I’m no slouch in the confidence category but Deb has helped me face those teeny cracks of vulnerability that I sheltered, having helped me prosper mentally and physically at this stage of my life. My creative aspirations are blooming with no end in sight – LOTS more growth ahead for me.

I highly recommend a course with Deb or what she might call a non-course – that’s the arrangement we have now. Personal coaching on a regular basis – touching base on one’s own hiccups, one’s own dimension of daily life, whether it’s exercise, creative habits and/or reaching the next plateau or higher in all of the newness that still continues to unfold for me.

I highly recommend Deb’s methods and courses! You won’t be sorry you signed on with Deb as your super-person sidekick!

Dianna Woolley, Artist

Also in the Blog

And whether you are typically organized or struggle keeping your house in shape? When life is busier, like at the holidays, it’s harder to keep clutter under control.

Click here to read==> How to Declutter a Room in One Day so You Can Chill Out and Relax

A Joy

Working with Debra is a joy.

She inspires me, she supports me, and she gives me direction so I can identify my needs and my wants. But she doesn’t stop there. Not only does she assist me in laying the foundation, but she gives me the tools to actually achieve the life I desire. This is an ongoing process, not a quick fix. And it takes practice.

If I veer off my intended path, Debra has given me the structure, along with the tools to get back on track. Since working with Debra, my life flows more smoothly, I know where I’m heading and I know how to get there.

I feel better about myself and my life. I look forward to each day as an adventure!

–Susan Mushkin

A Year of Support & Accountability

My most popular coaching package as it allows us to spend 12 months together. We build trust and get to know each other intimately.

This allows you go go as wide - or deep - as your stage of life demands.

You choose the number of sessions that fit your lifestyle (and budget) and we’ll create an amazing year together for a life you love.

Learn More or Email me for a complimentary chat to see if we are a good fit.


Your advice has always been spot on…….from helping me see how important it is to be thankful for my blessings to helping me remove physical and emotional clutter from my life. I am actually the most grateful for the times when you have spoken the truth in love and been honest with me when I wanted to continue to delude myself. Without those wise words, I would have continued to lie to myself and not had the breakthroughs I have experienced.

I’m not all I want to be yet but I would have ever found my path had I not met and worked with you. Thank you for your efforts in helping me find my life. I am forever in your debt.

~Basil Human, Engineer, Chief Operating Officer, Writer

Over at YourTango

If you’re ready to reclaim that connection with your spouse, learn how to increase your sex drive, and get your sex life back on track — no matter how long your dry spell has been and no matter how old you may be — you can get your sex life back on track as a married couple.

Read ==> 5 Ways To Start Having More Sex In Your Marriage
Copyright © 2018 Debra Smouse - Create a Life You Love, All rights reserved.

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