About the Author

Raya Reaves is the Founder and Finance Coach of City Girl Savings, LLC. She teaches women how to create and stick to realistic budget plans to reach their financial goals. Raya resides in Austin, Texas, with her boyfriend and two Yorkie dogs.

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  1. Beautiful story!✨🎄✨
    How have my holiday traditions changed?
    My Dad passed away one year on Christmas Eve. Talk about bittersweet! It took a couple years for me to climb out of my deep pit of grief. The Christmas season was his favorite time of year. What did it for me, was the holiday music he loved. Instead of sadness, I decided it was also a reason to celebrate his life. What’s changed, besides the traditional tunes that include Nat King Cole and Mahalia Jackson, are the Christmas albums of Luther Vandross. I especially love the album, This Is Christmas. I was heartbroken when he passed away. Fortunately, his music lives on. 🎁

    I have learned that sadness can also be balanced with joy. ☯️

    Happy Holidays! Christmas 💙🙏🏽💙

    • I’m so sorry for your loss but I absolutely love to hear that you choose joy over grief (when you can, as I know it’s not always that simple). Keep those traditions alive and you’ll keep your joy alive! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Your memories mirror mine a lot. Things have changed so much. I’m not happy. I really don’t want to be here anymore….

        • Donna, I’m concerned that you said you “really don’t want to be here anymore” and that “you’re at your wits end.”
          Where is “here”
          and what are you reallysaying?
          I encourage you to hold on as I am praying for you as I await your response, Donna.

  3. I appreciated your post. Lately, I’ve begun intentionally using music to lift my spirits. We live in a high-stress complicated world. Not only during holiday seasons but when a thought crosses my mind that’s connected to a loved one I’ve lost. It feels like their passing was only yesterday. In the case of my third child, my son Terence “TJ”, we lost him at twenty-seven months and twenty-four days. Parents will understand that the twenty-four days are important, too. Every day he lived was a blessing! TJ would have been 43 this year. Now for Christmas 2022, I will again honor him whenever the sadness, loss, and grief bubble up by making music a source of comfort.

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