Sunday Share: No to Holiday Stress

The middle of December approaches like a surprise snowstorm.

The time between November thru January may accentuate what is missing from the season, like losing a loved one, dwindling finances, or poor health.

On top of that, the holiday expectations to be ‘jolly and light’ or have the perfect decorations or bake elaborate cookies and meals are added stress.

This is my two cents, but when I’m feeling stressed, I stop whatever I’m doing and sit with my feelings. I give them room. Not all day, but an allotted time. Sometimes it’s five minutes, others it’s twenty minutes.

Holding space for your feelings validates their importance. And it gives you time to balance it with a way to fill the empty. A method that doesn’t sink you any lower.

A few actions I’ve thought about countering stress are assembled in this poem, my attempt at a Christmas tree.

Christmas List

Give a hug
Forgive yourself
Be kind, be gentle
Give a soft answer
Seek to understand
Encourage someone
Express your gratitude
Seek out a forgotten friend
Have a cup of hot chocolate
Eat a Christmas cookie or two
Take pleasure in nature's beauty

I received a few Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of my novel, The Garden of Second Chances. Subscribers to my newsletter had a chance at a drawing. A random generator chose the name.

Subscriber Danielle B. won a copy of the novel. Thank you to the several subscribers who entered. I’ll let you know when I have a giveaway on Goodreads.

My monthly newsletter will go out on December 17th instead of December 24th. Also, the last Sunday is Christmas, so I’m forgoing the Sunday Share post until January.


Sunday Share: National Cookie Day

I hope you’re all doing well and taking a breather for at least part of your day.

Today is National Cookie Day. It’s also National Cabernet Franc and National Sock Day. But let’s stick to cookies.

I am not a baker. My family knows this, but every December, my grown daughter, says, “Let’s bake Christmas cookies,” as if we have a tradition.

We do not.

A roll of sugar cookie dough, sliced and decorated, is my evergreen suggestion.

She scrolls through Instagram cookie photos and holds up her phone. The expertly taken photo displays an array of decorated Santas, gingerbread people, and stars.

My perennial response is, “Go for it; I’ll help.”

“I’ll find a super easy one, okay?” she says.

Maybe this year, we’ll actually bake cookies from scratch.

Photo by Nikolett Emmert on

A cookie poem:

does my fortune cookie know

“An old love will come back to you,”
said my fortune on the table,
but does my fortune cookie know
that I’m emotionally unstable?

“Learn Chinese- Expensive.”
that’s the word my cookie taught
but does my fortune cookie know
I had to sell all I had bought?

“Lucky number 41”
the first number that was listed
the exact amount left in my wallet
now isn’t that twisted?

“Lucky number 5”
the number of deaths I faced,
does my fortune cookie know
they’ll never be erased?

“Lucky number 12”
the 12th glass I am drinking,
does my fortune cookie know
the drunk thoughts I am thinking?

“An old love will come back to you,”
that’s what my fortune said,
but does my fortune cookie know
my only love is dead?

Victoria Ruth

Newsletter News:

My ninety-five-year-old mother and I took an ocean cruise together. The shift in our mother-daughter relationship was a subject in the November newsletter.

Subscribers to my newsletter have a chance at a giveaway for an Advanced Reading Copy of my YA novel, The Garden of Second Chances. I’ll mail the book to the winner in the USA.

You still have time to subscribe. The giveaway ends on December 8, 2023.