6 Holiday Girlfriend Traditions You Can Start This Year!

6 Holiday Girlfriend Traditions You Can Start This Year!

girlfriend holiday traditionsI know what I’m getting for Christmas from my girlfriend Terri.

I get it every year, and every year I love it! It’s a compilation CD of songs released from the radio station I listened to when I lived in Minnesota. (And that I still listen to online, because I like their music but more because I like feeling like I’m not that far away from my great MN friends.)

It’s our holiday girlfriend tradition – and I love that.

Often we have family traditions like going to the grandparent’s house or special meals together. We have worked parties and neighborhood open houses. They’re school concerts and church events. But do you have girlfriend holiday traditions?

The holidays, aka: hectic holidays, actually are the perfect time for girlfriend traditions. Sure, we’re all busy – we have girlfriend gifts to buy, wrap, give and more things on our To-Do list than we can check off – and that’s why it’s perfect to make time and make memories with your friends. We need that ‘excuse’ to stop and share time with a friend. It actually can de-stress us (as shared in this guest blog on saying no to holiday stress). And it makes the holidays much more enjoyable.

Here’re a few ideas for girlfriend holiday traditions. Please share yours!

  • 1 – Girlfriend Get-together – Sure the calendar is full of parties, but wouldn’t you rather be with your girlfriends?! Plan a happy hour or dinner out with your friends. If you’re lucky enough to have a few gourmet girlfriends, bring appetizers and desserts to someone’s home. I guarantee that within 15 minutes all your holiday stress will have gone down like that first glass of wine! (-:
  • 2 – Ornament Exchange – We just had our annual Book Club holiday party this week and I’d skip any party to attend it! We laughed until way too late on a ‘school night’ as we did our ‘ornament exchange.’ Each girlfriend brings a wrapped ornament and draws a number. #1 goes first and takes a gift and opens it. Then #2 can ‘steal’ her ornament or pick a gift to open. It continues around the room until we all have ornaments and have stolen quite a few from each other. It’s a scream – try it!
  • 3 – Fireside Chat – For the past three or four years, my girlfriends Allison, Joan and I meet on a Friday afternoon around the holidays to catch up on our lives. We, unfortunately, don’t get to see each other very often so it’s our way of staying in touch and sharing our lives with each other. It’s just a casual conversation but we cover the past year and what we’re looking forward to in the year to come.
  • 4 – Book Swap (or Gift Swap) – My friend Joan (yes, the Fireside Chat Joan) has an annual party early in January where she invites all her friends who love to read. We all bring the books we’ve read over the past year and swap them for new (to us) books. She serves coffee and pastries (or has it in a nearby neighborhood coffee shop) and we all spend a Saturday morning sharing books and fun conversations. You could also do this with your friends and exchange gifts you got but don’t really want! That’s much better than putting in the gift drawer and possibly re-gifting to the original gift giver!
  • 5 – Cookie Exchange – Another friend invites her girlfriends who love to bake together for an annual cookie exchange. If there are eight girlfriends, each is told to bring eight dozen cookies (bagged by the dozen). Then everyone leaves with dozens of wonderful treats for family and holiday festivities. (They also share the recipes.)
  • 6 – Concert or Event Tradition – This one is a wonderful ‘excuse’ to spend time together over the hectic holidays. What concert or event (or even getting together to watch a movie like Elf or Love Actually) can you and your friends do this year that you can continue in future years? Today, my girlfriends Anne and Jill (along with other friends/family) are going to our favorite holiday tradition/concert. (Over the Rhine is a local band, loved internationally, with the most beautiful music and concerts filled with kind conversations. They do a special ‘friends and family’ concert in an old, distressed, decommissioned Catholic church that is hauntingly beautiful with cherubs, peeling paint and fabulous stained-glass windows. While the music is generally secular, aside from a Christmas song or two, you leave the concert with the most peaceful, spiritual, wonderful holiday feeling. I love sharing this tradition with my friends!) What holiday event, concert or movie can you experience with your girlfriends this and in future years?

Happy Holidays Girlfriends! What are your girlfriend holiday traditions?

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 More Girlfriend Traditions:

 

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Thanksgiving Recipe for Gratitude and Friendship

Thanksgiving Recipe for Gratitude and Friendship

Gratitude Thanksgiving Quote WilderWe can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

Overbooked with a huge shopping list, cooking special Thanksgiving recipes and coordinating multiple family events a friend complained that Thanksgiving was her least favorite holiday. She may have been just saying that, but between the focus on ‘Pinterest-worthy’ recipes and Facebook photograph-able home decorating, along with the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, it does seem that no one talks about the sentiment of the day set aside for giving thanks.

H.U. Westermayer wrote: The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

That’s a powerful reminder that we as a rich nation and a blessed generation. Even with terrorist attacks, fear, politics and poverty, the mass population will gather around a Thanksgiving turkey (or whatever they enjoy) with friends and family. We’ll watch parades, dogs and football. We’ll consume too many calories and may even set our alarms for an ungodly hour to go on a Black Friday shopping spree.thanksgiving recipe for friendship

It’s easy to get lost in the hectic holidays. But, let’s focus on the real meaning of Thanksgiving – to GIVE THANKS. The real Thanksgiving Recipe for Friendship is:

  • A Generous Cup of Blessings
  • A Tablespoon of Reflection
  • A Handful of Memories Together
  • A Good Helping of Hugs and Laughter
  • A Pint of Time with Friends and Family
  • Mix with Love and Forgiveness.

More girlfriend inspiration on Thanksgiving: (check these out for great Thanksgiving quotes and videos to share!)

Lastly, this was a hilarious reminder to avoid some conversations to have a more peaceful, happy (and musical) Thanksgiving. Thanks Saturday Night Live for showing us how to get along with family who may say inappropriate or sensitive things:

Happy Thanksgiving Girlfriends!

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24 things only Best Friends Understand

24 things only Best Friends Understand

Things only best friends understand friendship quote by Girlfriendology24 things only Best Friends Understand

Best friends don’t necessarily have to talk every day. They don’t even need to talk for weeks. But when they do, it’s like they never stopped talking. ~Author Unknown

Do you and your Bestie have your own language? Do you and your BFF have funny ways of communicating that only you two ‘get?’ Does your Best Friend speak your language?

Girlfriend Crystal Collins and her BFF Monique not only have their own dialect, but they even have their own #hashtag! #MoCris And their own awesome girlfriend YouTube channel (hilarious!). Watch below for their fun friendship video and see if you and your Bestie share these …

24 things only Best Friends Understand

1. You have conversations that are impossible for other people to understand…too many stories, and too many inside jokes.
 
2. You also have your own language. The random grunts and strange acronyms couldn’t even be deciphered by Harvard linguists.
 
3. It’s normal to look at each other and know what the other is thinking.
 Dear Best Friend friendship quote
4. Finishing each other’s sentences is a normal thing.
 
5. Saying the same thing at the same time is also a normal thing.
 
6. People thinking that you and your girlfriend are crazy because you say the same thing at the same time is normal as well.
 
7. You totally get jealous of your BFF’s other friends.
 
8. She’s the only one that you can say “I’d help you bury the body” to, without getting “side eye.”
 
9. She’s the only one allowed to give you the side eye.
 
10. You frequently see other people acting crazy, and have a knowing look that happens between you two.
 
11. Your BFF’s crush is completely sacred and cannot be touched by anyone else.
 
12. You run point keeping others away from your BFF’s crush.
 
13. Your BFF’s crush is never good enough for her.Mocris girlfriends 4
 
14. But you’d still do anything to see your BFF happy with her crush.
 
15. You’ll also ruthlessly tease her about her crush on a regular basis.
 
16. You two have your own theme song.
 
17. You bicker like sisters but eventually get over it with a slice of chocolate cake or wine. There’s usually wine.
 
18. When the two of you make a room of people laugh, your theme song plays in both of your heads. P.S. It’s usually something along the lines of “Girls, we run the world!”
 
19. You already have the nursing home picked out where you know you both will end up.
 
20. You already know that the two of you will be the life of the party at the nursing home.
 
mocris girlfriends friendship21. You have stories that no one would believe, and declare constantly that you two should have your own reality show.
 
22. You’ll always have her back and defend her, even when you know she’s in the wrong.
 
23. You’re her biggest fan and will cheer her on louder than anyone else in the room.
 
24. You’d do anything for her because you love her unconditionally.
 
Be sure to check out more good stuff from Crystal Collins and her BFF on the Mocris Show.
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Do you and your BFF have your own language? How did you meet your Best Friends? Share below!

10 Tips for Traveling in Canada with Girlfriends – Canada for Women’s Travel

10 Tips for Traveling in Canada with Girlfriends – Canada for Women’s Travel

10-tips-for-traveling-in-canada-with-girlfriendsIf you’ve seen me in the past month, I’ve told you about a wonderful Girlfriend Trip I took to Canada. Now, even if you haven’t seen me, I have to share because it is a great girlfriend getaway and it’s not even that far away!

I live in the Midwest but only recently visited Canada. (Last year with my girlfriend Julie for a tradeshow near Vancouver – it’s was very cool! And this year for a trip to Toronto and Wine Country – Niagara-on-the-Lake.) I never thought a Canadian vacation would be closer than going to Atlanta! It is and it’s a perfect place for women to travel. (Which reminds me of this travel quote …)

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.

Ernest Hemingway
For this ‘Canadian Girlfriend Getaway‘ let’s introduce you to Canada and all the things you and your girlfriends need to know to make this international adventure your favorite girlfriend getaway!

10 Tips for Traveling in Canada with Girlfriends

girlfriend trip friendship quote 1. It’s not that far! Chicago is five hours from Windsor, Canada. Cleveland is four hours from Niagara-on-the-Lake (the BEST wine country I’ve been to!). Boston is five hours to Montreal. Really. Canada is our cool, friendly, beautiful neighbor and the perfect place for a girlfriend trip!
2. Grab your passport and GO! Yes, you need a passport. But, you never know when you want an exotic trip and need to have this. Get a passport. Get your BFFs to also. And GO!
3. Border-Crossing for BFFs. Don’t bring products you want to sell, strange plants or anything illegal. The rule is two bottles of wine per person. Stick to it. They have great wine in Canada! And, on the way back, you can bring your wine from the most amazing wine country – Niagara-on-the-Lake. The rule is two bottles each. But, tell the customs agent how many you’re bringing back and it MIGHT be an extra 30 cents/bottle. (We told our customs guy that we had 16 bottles of wine. He just handed us our passports and said, ‘Have a nice day!’)

4. The most beautiful money you’ve ever seen! Our dollars are dingy and boring compared to the beautiful bills in Canada. Use an ATM in Canada for money or stop at a Bank or AAA before you go. Your credit cards and debit cards should work in most places (they’ll convert the currency). And, no bothering with pennies. Canada got rid of those so you can carry less change and more of those beautiful bills! (Seriously! They have a hologram of the Queen and a clear designer strip in them!)

5. The Queen. Speaking of, Canada is part of the British Commonwealth. The influence of the Queen and royal family is all around! (It’s kinda cool – I didn’t realize it until I got there and saw all the royal references!) Watch for Queen, King and Prince streets, hotels and see how many framed pictures you can spot!

6. “It’s like we’re driving in 1980!” That’s what my girlfriend Julie said as we drove through Canada because our GPS and phones did not accept the international plan we’d arranged. You may need to make arrangements for your phone and/or GPS to work international. It’s not a big deal, your hotel probably has wifi, but just FYI. Also, it’s a BIG country so driving is advantageous and on the right side of the road (see warning below!) but there are taxis and mass transportation in larger cities.
7. Make the Translation. Speed limits are in kilometers and are generally slower than we drive in the U.S. Just ask my girlfriend 😉 She got a ticket from a very nice policeman. Sometimes they monitor car speeds by air, so take your time and enjoy the drive! Gas is in liters and is more expensive. Fill up your tank before crossing the border. Also, some of the highway signs will be in English and French. (A chance to pratiquer votre français – practice your French!) Electrical plugs were all fine and worked with our chargers/etc.
8. International, Multilingual and Ethnically Diverse. As Wikipedia says it: “Canada is a developed country and one of the wealthiest in the world, with the eighth highest per capita income globally, and the eighth highest ranking in the Human Development Index. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education, and stands among the world’s most educated countries.” English is the primary language (98% of the population speaks English) which makes it very easy to travel in this amazingly diverse and beautiful country.
9. Get to Know Our Neighbor. Quick: How many states does Canada have? RIGHT! It’s a trick question. Canada has ten provinces and three territories. Average winter and summer high temperatures across Canada vary from region to region – just plan ahead. There are tons of festivals and events all year long. (I saw info on upcoming Winter Winefests and was there during the Toronto Film Fest – there’s lots to do and see!) We’ll share more about shopping in Canada in upcoming girlfriend travel blog posts!
poutine10. Eat like a Canadian! POUTINE! Yes, try some of this Canadian goodness. It’s just fries, gravy, cheese (curds), and more – and taste better than you’d think! Sure, you’ll find McDonald’s and Wendy’s there, but go Canadian and try their chains/food. Have a Double-Double at Tim Horton’s. (Double cream, double sugar, awesome coffee!) The British influence means you can find fish and chips. And, since some areas are very multicultural (like Toronto), there’s authentic cuisine from all over the world.
So girlfriends, consider Canada for a girl’s getaway! It has all that a girlfriend trip requires: beautiful places, great food, shopping, Wine Country (Niagara-on-the-Lake), Niagara Falls (one side of it), really nice people and more! 

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7 Ways to Cheer Up a Girlfriend | Be a Better Friend

7 Ways to Cheer Up a Girlfriend | Be a Better Friend

Don’t you love when your friends are there for you? When they cheer you up when you need it?

7 ways to cheer up a friend, be a better friendWe all have great days when we want to shout happiness from a rooftop somewhere. We all have days that are neither wonderful nor terrible.  Sometimes we have days that are Just AwfulAs bad as it is when we have bad days, it is almost worse when a good friend has a bad day.  We feel for them and want to help—but often we don’t know what to do or how to help her.

There are all different kinds of days we’d rather not repeat.  Bad days range from the bad-hair-nail-chipped-spilled-the-coffee days to days when we get profoundly bad, unchangeable news.  How you help your BFF is going depend on the kind of “bad” day she’s having and on her personality (and yours).  Here are Seven Ways for cheering up a girlfriend on a bad day.

Pick up the phone

Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest. There are days when the phone feels like it weighs a thousand pounds.  Usually, it’s because we just don’t know what to say in the face of our friends troubles.  Remember—this isn’t a stranger, this is your friend. Pick up the phone and call.  I often find it useful to check with my friend to see what role she needs from me—is my job to help solve problems, to distract her and cheer her up, or just to listen.

Send a message

Tweet, text, email, Facebook message—how you contact your friend doesn’t matter.  What’s important is that you find a way to let her know you are thinking of her and sending her a virtual hug. (Here’s 25 text messages to cheer up a friend! And 25 MORE text messages to cheer up a friend – some with emoji’s 🙂

Or, rather than just send a message, why not send a link to a song?  Choose a song that brings back happy memories for the two of you.  Or send a song that makes people happy. (I have a friend who says it’s impossible to be sad when you listen to a Sousa march.)

Drop by to visit

Seeing a friendly face can sometimes make all the difference.  Stop by to show your friend that there are still smiles in the world.  Even if you only have five minutes (perhaps especially if you only have five minutes), that extra effort of showing up in person can make a huge impact. Be the supportive friend she really needs.Start your free trial now!

Help her take action

Sometimes we are so stuck on a bad day that even breathing seems practically impossible. Often the best role you can play is to help your friend find a way to move through the rest of the day by taking action. Small steps lead to big results.  So if your friend is overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning her entire home by the weekend, try to focus her on at least getting one room finished by the end of the day.

Take some of her burdens away

Lending a hand is a wonderful gift of friendship. Is your friend freaking out about picking up food and flowers on opposite sides of town at the same time? Why not offer to pick up the flowers for her. If she’s stressed about making and wrapping cookies for an event, why not spend some time in her kitchen helping and visiting.

Dance!

Crank up the tunes, grab your friend and start dancing. It’s amazing how your mood can improve when you move.  So ‘dance it out’ just like the gals on Grey’s Anatomy.

Just listen

Often the best thing we can do for a friend is simply to be there to listen.  Listen while she shares her day, listen as she works through her struggles, listen as she laments the twists and turns she’s facing.   Leave the judgment, leave the solutions, and just listen with empathy and friendship.

How do YOU help friends who are having a tough day, girlfriend?

[TWEET “7 Ways to Cheer Up a Girlfriend & Be a Better Friend”] Judi is our Girlfriendology Chief of Brilliant Ideas, blogger at DearKidLoveMom.com and fab mom to Rachel who helped her come up with these great ways to cheer up a friend.

 

 

More Girlfriend Inspiration on How to Be a Better Friend:

Gifts to Cheer Up a Friend:

Show your love, encouragement and support with these cheer up gifts for friends!Cheer up book girlfriend gift

Cheer Up Book – “A fun compendium of happy quotes that will help lift anyone out of the dumps

Hang in There Cheer UP Gift BasketHealthy and unique gift basket is full of nuts and seeds to help boost spirits naturally – Who knew? Or this Cheer Up Healthy Gift Basket – and in case of emergency, send her this AWESOME CHOCOLATE Gift Basket 🙂

FUN Cheer Up Wine Label Set – sure to bring a smile to her face!

Chicken Soup for the Girlfriend’s Soul: Celebrating the Friends Who Cheer Us Up, Cheer Us On and Make Our Lives Complete

Keep Hangin’ In There Care PackageFilled with indulgent treats, two plush monkey friends, and a puzzle book for pleasant distraction, this gift box is sure to make your friend grin as she squishes the smile right off the happy stress ball’s face:)

And, eCards full of encouragement and support! Like these …

Cheer up cards encouragement support eCards

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10 Girlfriend Traditions You Can Start Today – You’ll be Glad You Did!

10 Girlfriend Traditions You Can Start Today – You’ll be Glad You Did!

Girlfriend traditions, female friendshipHow often do you see your girlfriends? Not enough?! You need some Girlfriend Traditions!

The best way to remedy that is to start some girlfriend traditions (or several!) of getting your favorite female friends together on a regular basis so you stay in touch, make memories and have an excuse to laugh and share with your girlfriends!

We’ve got 10 Girlfriend Traditions you can start today!

(and welcome you to share more in the comments!) What girlfriend traditions do you have?

1. Book Club – For book (and/or wine) lovers! Our book club happens to be ‘no stress’ meaning “reading the book is optional, having fun with your girlfriends is not!” Get the girls (neighbors, friends, soccer moms, women from church) together and start a book club. (Here’s a great appetizer to take to book club!)

2. Dinner Club – Admit it, we all love to eat and drink together! Girlfriends, dinner, wine and just time together are all the ingredients for a great dinner club. Plan a theme, let everyone know what to bring (or make it all yourself), just set aside a night every month (or so) to break bread with your BFFs.

3. Birthday Club – My friend Carole has an awesome ‘Diva Group‘ (lower picture above). They celebrate their birthdays together. On birthdays ending in an ‘O’, they make it a HUGE celebration. The birthday ‘girl’ receives the number of gifts as is her birthday. Make your own birthday celebration tradition with your girlfriends. Just celebrate the day and the gift of their friendship.

4. Seasonal Shopping Fashion Friends – Which girlfriends are your source of fashion feedback and the girls with all the coolest clothes? Start a fashion friends tradition where you meet for lunch and look at fashion trend magazines. Then scout through the stores for the best deals on the latest fashions. Shopping is much more fun with friends!

5. Swap PartyLove her sense of style? Does she always recommend the best books? Have an annual or quarterly Swap party where you exchange books, fashion accessories, home decor elements – whatever works for your girlfriends. Just bring things together and trade them. It’s almost like shopping but without spending!

6. Volunteer TogetherBe a friend to your city and spend time with your girlfriends by volunteering together. Pet cats at a rescue center. Do construction on homes for Habitat Humanity. Make a family in need’s holidays happier. Whatever you decide to do to volunteer, it’s even better together!

7. Sending Thoughtful Cards – I love to get a sweet card from a girlfriend, don’t you? Why not be the one sending the cards and spreading the happiness? Make your tradition to send a card to your girlfriends on their birthdays and those in-between ‘just because days.’ You’ll make their days, guaranteed!

8. Chick Flick Club – Post the sign ‘No Boys Allowed!’ and invite the girls over for popcorn, snacks, and your favorite chick flick. Or, meet the girls at a theater and watched the latest fun film. Make it a monthly tradition or every time a good chick flick is released. Everyone can be the best supporting girlfriends! (Here’s our list of the top 100 Chick Flicks! And here’s more on having a great movie night with girlfriends!)

9. Brunch Bunch – At your favorite restaurant or trying a new place to dine every month, set a schedule of doing brunch with your fave BFFs. Get the coffee going along with the great stories and laughter! (Not up for brunch, plan a monthly lunch. Just find a good time for all the girls to get together!) (Here’s 5 Girlfriend Brunch Ideas!)

10. Girlfriend Get-aways – Maybe it’s an annual camping trip like my friend Anitra and her friends take, or a weekend away every fall to the outlet malls (like Colleen and friends do), or maybe it’s a little more luxurious or exotic. The destination is secondary. What’s important is that you get away with your girlfriends and enjoy time together. Make memories, take photos, laugh, enjoy. Life is too short not to plan a girlfriend trip!

10. Find time for a Friend – Whatever the tradition, set a schedule of finding time for your friends. Make it and them a priority. Wine time on the porch, coffee on the deck, dinner at a new restaurant or just walking together, find time for your friends. You’ll be so glad you did![Tweet “10 Girlfriend Traditions you should (& can!) start TODAY!”]

BONUS GIRLFRIEND TRADITIONS:

  • Holiday Traditions – from gift exchange to holiday concerts, girlfriends make the holidays even better!

 

A Free Resource Library of Great Girlfriend Advice?!

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^Girlfriend Gift Finder for:

  • Birthday Gifts for Women
  • Holiday Gifts - Christmas Gifts, Mother's Day Gifts, Valentine's Day Gifts
  • Cheer up Gifts, Sympathy Gifts, Just Because Gifts, Congrats, Housewarming, Hostess Gifts & More!

<------- What's NEW in the Free Resource Library?

  • 150 Friendship Quotes
  • 3 FREE eBooks - including Resumes & Cover Letters
  • 2 Inspirational Quote Coloring Book Pages
  • JUST ADDED: Tips to make Grocery Shopping Easier
  • Girlfriend Trip Beach Recommendations
  • Money-saving Tips & Sites
  • & more!!