co-write · Detour · Holiday · mini-post

(Trite) Holiday Blessing Challenge

One week until Christmas Day . . .

Am I the only one wondering where the hell this year went? Gah. Before we know it, we will be ringing in 2017! And as the clock strikes midnight on December 31, this New Years Baby will be another year older and (I’d like to think) a little wiser. 

This week, we decided to mix things up a little.  Instead of my standard Sunday (sometimes Monday) post, ErinEdits and I are collaborating on a first-ever mini (post)-series. And we are kicking it off today! 

So, stay tuned for minis throughout the next two weeks. 

Erin and I don’t live in the same town and we are at very different points in our lives facing some tough individual struggles. Although we may not always be able to relate to what the other is feeling, we know how we feel about each other. We are a support for each other, and we empathize.

Empathy is often thought of as feeling someone else’s pain. I often feel hers, but I also feel her joy

When we spend time together or collaborate or chat, it is certainly not always doom and gloom (hello, wine and sarcasm!). While there is a lot of dark and heavy, there is also light.

The light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes that tunnel seems very long, and the light seems very far away. But even in our darkest moments, we must choose to see it and sometimes be it, for ourselves or someone else.

Although it’s not easy by any means, Christmas is the perfect time to “see the light” or “light it up, up, up” . . . if you will. (“I’m on fi-yah!”)

In this week’s mini-series posts, we are choosing to see (and share with you) how each of the “trite” holiday blessings of joy, love, peace, and hope really do apply to our lives. 

And we challenge you to do the same.

Today, we choose JOY. (You should too, duh.) 


Joy as defined by Merriam-Webster is:

1a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight

1b : the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety (This may just be my new favorite word, btw.) 

2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss

3: a source or cause of delight

What better way to “choose joy” than to travel to the happiest place on earth (aka Walt Disney World) at (none other than) the most wonderful time of the year. 

No kids of our own, but we choose unadulting for six whole days, and we even agreed to matching shirts all.week.long. 

Waffle House is a joyous choice.
Unadult (in case you were wondering), as defined by Urban Dictionary, is:

1. an adult usually 18 to 25 (pshh…33) who is immature, wild or teenagerish. 

2. an adult that never grew up

Since our niece was old enough to talk, we’ve been invited to Disney. She is now six-years-old and has a little brother who is three. Have we been?

Nope. Excuse after excuse, and we have never made it on the 10+ magical trips they’ve taken. 

Until now. 

Of course, we decide to come when we are in the worst shape of our lives, walking 500 miles and taking 5000 pictures in summer heat the week before Christmas. However, I vow to take lots of ibuprofen, roll up my long sleeves (on my matching tee) and ‘say cheese’ a lot.

We are choosing joy this week (no matter what), and I know two kiddos (& fam) that are feeling pretty joyous too! 

NOTE: There is a very good chance of a big post on our UNADULTerated Disney experience in the near future. Just sayin.

For now, I’m off to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom. Wish me luck! 

 Joy to the World. . .


Happiness is the goal, right? We aim for it, we want to feel it, we know it and want more of it. But happiness is fleeting; it comes and goes just as its opposing emotions do. To me, joy is different. It is less of a choice and more of an experience, if that makes any sense.

Our sadness, pain, fear, anger, grief, exhaustion, or whatever . . . does not have to go away or be fully healed in order for us to find joy. 

Joy can be found in all things. 

I love words (duh!) and joy is such a powerful one. I love it even more paired with its favorite adjective.

Pure joy.

We see or hear those words and probably picture someone with their head back, eyes closed, and a huge smile on their face. This joyous person is probably experiencing a simple connection with another person, an animal, or with nature. It is a universal connotation that needs no further explanation.

Even when we can’t remember what happiness is, we know what joy is.

I am one of those layered (a nicer word than complicated) people. And in my current state of transition and flux, deciding how I am going to present myself to the world each day can be challenging. Despite being fiercely independent, I love and crave people. I want some sort of arena to participate in always. And I like to keep it real, but balanced. No one wants to only hear about the negative (although trust me, I have certainly overshared my troubles.) But no one wants little miss perfectly perfect all the time either, so it’s tricky. 

I often share small, funny, light moments even when I feel like I am barely hanging on. So am I ‘Fakey McFakerson‘? Am I putting on a show? I have actually been accused of this and felt completely perplexed as to why.

Of course not. Those moments, however few and far between, are real. They are the reasons; they are my joy. Joy can always be there, can always be seen, and can always be chosen. Even when the rest is a living nightmare.

I am not happy with a lot of things in my life right now. I am surviving, but struggling. I am tired and confused. My days often feel like battles. And my pain is raw. 

But there is joy beneath it all, and it rises to the surface in so many simple ways. 

A Fuller House marathon with my boys . . . sitting at my best friend’s kitchen island . . . Saturday night in Tiger Stadium . . . a good morning text from someone special . . .the perfect pair of boots on sale . . . a text from my oldest . . . boarding a plane to somewhere new . . .watching my baby asleep with our dog . . . floating in the ocean.

All moments of pure joy that I choose to see (and sometimes share.) I love seeing what brings other people joy, as well.

So, today I choose joy. I scroll through my Instagram, and I am reminded of all those moments I chose to share because they were just that good. And so many others I hold near and dear.

They are what matter; they are my joy amidst it all.

Currently I am attempting joy by pouring sand (and not the beach kind, unfortunately) into white paper bags so that we can join the rest of our neighborhood for the lighting of the Christmas luminaries. . . Brrrrr!!

Good luck on your joyous endeavors—

. . . Repeat, repeat the sounding joy. 

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One thought on “(Trite) Holiday Blessing Challenge

  1. Claire,
    I’m blessed to be Stephanie Daniel’s mom. I’m Rosie Scott and I have truly enjoyed your blogs. I love your honesty and your sense of humor in all this madness and things we struggle with. I look forward to reading your future blogs. They make me smile and laugh.



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