DressemberDay4_You’re as cuddly as a cactus, Mr. Grinch.

Lyric of the Day: And her heart is full and hollow, like a cactus tree.

While she’s so busy being free. 

Joni Mitchell “Cactus Tree”

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Dressember Day #4

Dress by Zara

Vest by Morro

Necklace by Aldo

Boots by Ecco

I visited the cute little Inland Empire town of Temecula today for a work event. It’s nice to see a little town celebrate Christmas in a big way. Every street seemed to scream “Merry Christmas y’all”. Some people have a white Christmas building snowmen and some have a desert Christmas decorating a cactus with Christmas lights. But the beautiful thing about Christmas is the common spirit of joy & giving. It’s a universal thing that we all feel called to do from a deep place in our souls. And sometimes, the best gift you can give is your voice.

Joni Mitchell is one of my favorite artists of all time. I have yet to hear a song as beautiful as Both Sides Now and the timeless quality of Big Yellow Taxi is heard in every heart on the streets of New York City. Although she’s a truly beloved legend for her literal voice, my love for her is because of her true voice– the one that speaks from her heart. The one that stood up for women in a time that it wasn’t popular. The one that walked away from an industry when it began destroying her soul. The one who wrote the words of the lyric of the day– “her heart is full and hollow, like a cactus tree. While she’s so busy being free.”

Dressember more than anything has reminded me how much I value freedom for women everywhere. This season is a busy time for everyone, this Dressember challenge has challenged me more than ever to be “busy” for things that matter”. In our day and age “busy” is the new four-letter-word. We’d like to do ___ but we’re so busy. And unfortunately we never seem to be busy with the things that matter, it’s always the other things we blame for keeping us from the real things. But I think it’s time for a change. I want to be busy for freedom. I want to be busy for kindness. I want to be busy for hope. I want to be too busy helping my elderly neighbor put up her christmas lights to go catch the latest sale. I want to be too busy on the phone with a friend to watch another Hallmark movie (although I love them.) It will take a shift in priorities, but it’s something I’m too passionate about to put on the back burner. Kindness should not have to wait until we buy our Christmas presents. Freedom should not have to wait, the time for freedom for women from slavery is now. The time for freedom for all women from everything that binds us from living lives of meaning and purpose is now. Freedom from the bondage of shame, self-hatred, oppression, objectification. Free to be individuals. And what better time than Christmas to celebrate who we are, and our inherent value as Daughters– in whom there is no flaw.

This Christmas, let’s invest in what truly matters. The gifts that keep on giving. If freedom is something you value and believe in, it is an investment you will not regret.

Support International Justice Mission here: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraise?fcid=372170

DressemberDay3_ With Candy Canes & Silver Lanes Aglow

Lyric of the day:

With Candy Canes & Silver Lanes Aglow… It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

By Meredith Wilson

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Dressember Day #3

Dress by Papaya

Boots by Steve Madden

I love old references in Christmas songs. The ones that make you question “what actually is figgy pudding?” and “who are Currier and Ives?” and doing the research to see what Christmas looked like fifty years ago and the meaning behind these references.

In Meredith Wilson’s, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”, a black friday favorite to be sure that carries a subliminal message somewhere along the lines of “GET THOSE GIFTS BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DOES BECAUSE IT’S NOVEMBER 1 AND YOU’RE ALREADY LATE”, the lyrics of the first verse go:

“Take a look at the Five and Ten. Glistening once again.

With Candy Canes and Silver Lanes Aglow” 

If you’re anything like me you may be wondering, what exactly is a “Five and Ten”. And if you’re anything like me and live in L.A. you’re probably thinking the glistening refers to the traffic when you are merging on the 5 freeway from the 10 #trafficjoke haha. So I did some research, and the 5 and 10 is in reference to the 1950s version of the Dollar Tree, also known as the “Nickel & Dime” store, these stores would sell items for, 5 and 10 cents. Such a steal right?! Those bargain shopping baby boomers…

This lyric shows quite a contrast between the current world we live in and the one they were living in back then. A world where there was joy in simplicity, the decorations at the corner “5 & 10” were enough . Candy Canes. Silver Lanes. The simple pleasures of the season are what brought joy, reminded them of the love of family and friends and ultimately were the icing on top of the cake of Christmas, it seems they had their priorities straight in contrast to our twisted modern day and age where if you’re not buying your toddler the new iPhone 6s(plus, minus, multiply…etc. etc.), you don’t love them enough. Or you may be missing the hype and not really experiencing the “reason for the season” like the rest of our consumer culture.

I paid exactly ten dollars for the dress I wore today for the Dressember Challenge Day #3 (could have bought it at the 5 & 10 back then 😉 And it was ironic today that the lyric that stood out to me was one that spoke to what exactly  makes this season special. What does it mean to “look” like Christmas? One of the reasons I embarked on this challenge because I wanted to add meaning to this month in a way I never had before. This is my favorite holiday and I have always enjoyed every part of it… but is that what Christmas is about? Enjoying family, friends, decorations, food? That’s all a part of what makes this season so special and I think we should most certainly embrace it. But if the true reason for the season is celebrating Christ’s love for us and that He humbled Himself to be born in a manger and grow up to die for every wrong thing you and I have ever done, this season has to be less about buying and more about being there for each other. This season can’t solely be about individual enjoyment. It has to be more about being the kind of people that we would want others to be for us. We must have a giving heart, make our focus on people not on things and allow the “things” to be seen only as an additional blessing we are fortunate enough to have help facilitate the sharing of the ultimate gift of Love we’ve received and are called to share, paying it forward this season and always.

They don’t call this the “season of giving” for no reason. Yesterday was “Giving Tuesday”, and if you feel so inclined to partner with me this Christmas in ending modern day slavery– find it in your heart to give. If you don’t feel called in this way, I support you to find a cause you’re passionate about and give this season. Donate your old clothes to the Salvation Army. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or a food bank.  Even if it’s not monetary. Even a 5 or 10 will make a world of difference… 5 minutes of your time for a friend who’s struggling, 10 minutes talking to an elderly loved one far away. If you look for ways to give, then it will truly begin to look a lot more like Christmas.