Do you ever wonder what Childfree Life really looks and feels like?

Sure, there are the party days of your 20s & 30s (which we both crushed by the way!) but what happens when things start to "slow down" at 50?

Is fun still a priority? Does the worry about the elder years increase or decrease? Does regret set in or fade into oblivion? Is building community with new childfree friends possible?

We share answers and insights to all of this PLUS, wecover topics that matter to all of us- health and wellness, relationships, investments, career, travel and lots more!


We deserve to enjoy the Holiday Season! As childfree people, we have been conditioned to believe that the Holidays are “for the kids”. With all the pronatalism in media and social media during this season, it can be easy for childfree people to brush off the Holidays or feel a bit lost during this time.
In this episode, Rick and I discuss the joy of the Holiday Season and the importance of childfree traditions. We share some of our own and a few that we want to start incorporating as of this year.

We appreciate the quiet time, the ability to choose what we want to do and the space for adult fun. We also share a list of Holiday Fun ideas that you can do for the Holidays! 
We hope that this episode motivates you to join in and start your own childfree traditions.


Rick: [00:00:00] And here we go. 

Veronica: Hello. How are you? I'm great. Uh 

Rick: oh. I've mixed emotions today. Oh 

Veronica: boy, does it involve me? 

Rick: No, I usually, it doesn't. Okay, good. Um, there are a lot of negative comments that we get, but I'll just be specific about one. Yeah. Which I'm sure you're familiar with, which is why do you talk about something that you don't have?

Right. We've got, we've gotten that, right? Yes. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna address this just now. Which is weird. Yeah. It's a weird thing, but you know, people talk a lot about their lifestyle and, and, you know, it's just a strange comment to, that I see come up a lot. So I'm going to say it's just this one time and I'm not going to address it again.

Okay. Okay. For me, I don't want to speak for the other half of the Child Free Connection being that you, but I will say this. Okay. Okay. Okay. I recognize through this [00:01:00] experience and starting the Child Free Connection that this having A child bringing another human being into this world is the biggest decision you will make in your life.

That isn't even arguably anymore. It is the biggest decision. And there's so much information and, uh, you know, pronatalism around having children. Right. Yes. And there isn't a lot, aside from the child-free community that discusses it. It's much, I would say that if it was a percentage that discusses what DIS discusses being child-free.

Okay. And I would say that, you know, 98% of the stuff that's out there is about kids and we represent as a child-free community, all of us, probably 2%. Would you say that's somewhat accurate? Or do you think it's more than that? 

Veronica: Um, I mean, I don't think it's much more than that. Right. I think it's probably like, I mean, if you take the overall, uh, I, I would think you're [00:02:00] probably right.

It's probably around two and 5 percent or something. 

Rick: Chat GPT this because I'm sure my numbers are wrong. This is just me off the top of my head, making a point. So because We're in the minority in this, we, it is a necessity for me to discuss it because there are people that want to know what this life is about and us being older, I'm about to turn 52, you're 47, and it's important that we can share our older experiences about what this life might look like for those who are considering it that are younger.

And that's what I really see our purpose being. And, yeah. To me, you need to be vocal about that or else it's just going to live in a vacuum. So that's why I choose to talk about something that I quote unquote, don't have, and it annoys me and it's just something I had to get off my chest this morning. Do you, do you have any thoughts on this?

Yeah. I 

Veronica: mean, I hear this all the time. I've heard it all and don't forget, I've heard [00:03:00] this for, you know, My entire life all these types of comments But as far as your point to people saying why are you talking about something that you don't have I agree with you It's a very annoying question But it's also just another reminder to me of the level of ignorance that people have Surrounding this choice and this lifestyle because that comment is saying to us that we are solely focused on talking about kids and the and and and Not having them, rather than talking about a child free life, which is different.

Do you know what I mean? It is different. And that's what we talk about, like, in our, um, community. We talk about it in our podcast here. That our life, we're not... Focus on children. We're not constantly thinking about kids when we are thinking about children and kids. It's because we're in. We're showing gratitude in some way, but it's not like we're thinking and talking about like, [00:04:00] oh, kids, kids, kids.

What if this? What if that we are 

Rick: shining a light on a path that is less lit? Yeah, of course. 

Veronica: In, in, in the world of course. I mean that's just necessary because people just can so easily put this path under this like doom and gloom umbrella that seems to be really scary and very, um, this foreign land for some people that they're just scared of exploring even though they feel pulled towards it.

So yeah, we absolutely are shining a light on that. And you and I are. Such a clear example of people who individually, uh, realized that they did not want to have children and then came together and decided to live a child free life. Yeah. 

Rick: And shout out to all the other, uh, child free people in general that are listening, that are vocal, that are interested in this because it isn't, it's the most important decision you're going to make.

So therefore I feel like there needs to be dialogue. And social discussion around it. That's why I talk about seed. Look, I'm getting worked up again [00:05:00] and I never get this worked up over comments of all things. So I'm just gonna, I'm gonna let it go, but I do want to throw this out there and I'm sure this brought up a lot.

I don't know if we've ever talked about it, but what if we were to go on to a. Parents account and say, why do you have to post pictures of your kids? No one cares about them, but you. Oh, yeah, 

Veronica: of course. I mean, we've talked about that so many different times and it's such a 

Rick: if you were to do that, like if you were to post that.

Veronica: Yeah. I mean, the way I look at it is. The way that, you know, moms come at us or just parents or dads is, is the way I look at that is why are you coming to us scrolling through and commenting? Like, I can tell you I do not follow or even if something comes up parent wise, like tips of how to parent or I don't.

Go look at it to see what's annoying me about that account. I do [00:06:00] hit on like if someone's like, um, there's a couple accounts I've seen that are really funny about parenting because they show like the behind the scenes and they're constantly just sharing like what a nightmare it is. And I just find those to be funny and entertaining.

But I don't know why someone who is super into parenthood Coming to our account and even commenting and diving into the topic when it's not for them, it's not about them. It's not here to service them in any way. And, um. That's almost causing your own, like, riling yourself up on your 

Rick: own. Yeah, so my question is this, and we're going to get into it, we're not, we're not talking about this the whole podcast.

Let me ask you this, like, why is that? Like, you know, why is that, that it's, it's frowned upon, as opposed to, when I look at, You know, Instagram, and I see something that's kids, I might not be interested in, so I'll move on, but I certainly don't feel the need to stop and [00:07:00] comment, you know, in a negative way.

So why is there such a difference? Well, the 

Veronica: difference is because our lifestyle to some parents, not all, because as we know, some are very supportive, but they feel attacked by their choice, right? They feel like we choose this. We enjoy this. We love this. So your lifestyle sucks and you made a terrible decision and whatever you're doing over there we want nothing to do with and they're taking it personally.

They're not understanding that we're saying like be you, do you, have as many kids as you want, all that. They're just seeing it as they're doing life wrong or they made a bad decision and it starts to Feel very personal and very attacked to them. So that's why that happens. Yeah. 

Rick: And I know there's also religious overtones there too, which is even a whole different conversation.

Yeah. Mm-Hmm. , you know, about just in general, [00:08:00] procreating and all that crap. All right. All right. I'm gonna let it go. We'll move on. It's just, I had to get it off my chest. I'm not gonna talk about that again. I'm not gonna, you know. Yeah. No negative comments usually don't bother me, by the way. I'm usually like, whatever.

Veronica: Right, right. And we also have gotten thousands and thousands and thousands, so it's. just at this point, it just rolls off the back. Although we do share some of the comments that really stand out to us. Um, but for the most part, yeah, we just move on at this point. Yeah. And I'm 

Rick: going to also, you know, talk about the fact of how grateful right now, because I was just talking to some friends that have kids and one of my friends described it as, I don't even see them as my child.

I mean, of course they are, but I look at them as. Uh, this is my responsibility. It's almost like this, you know, I have to provide, I have to do things to make sure that this person is on the right track. I, there's just so much stress and worry. And I was thinking about it and I was like, Oh my. God, I'm so [00:09:00] happy.

I'm not in that position because I just, for me, I wouldn't be good at it, you know, you know, I might, I might be, 

Veronica: you wouldn't, you don't want to do it. Right. You have no desire. You have a lack of desire to do it. So it's different. Right. And I think every parent, although it doesn't happen, should feel that sense of responsibility.

Like, wow, this is a huge responsibility. Um, yeah. I created a human, I'm trying to raise a good person, and I have to provide for them, and I have to make sure they're well taken care of. All the things, that whole list, they should feel that way, because I think that's what children deserve. But it makes us...

Because we have a lack of desire, it's not something that we can connect with because we just don't wish to do it. But yeah, yeah, I understand. I mean, I get stories from my friends all the time. Sometimes not even during the holidays, but after, because I usually get to talk to them after they, um, and you know, they'll fill me in on all the, the chaos, um.

[00:10:00] But, um, yeah, it's a completely, completely different lifestyle, especially during the holidays, which is what we're going to talk about today. And I really want to focus on that. But one more thing before we get into it, because I think it's important. And I think that some people out there will maybe benefit from us sharing this, that right now in our relationship, and we've mentioned it before that we've had like a, uh, a rocky year with our relationship, but that we're Really working on it and things are getting better, but we have, you know, good days, bad days, all that stuff.

And currently we've decided to be in a ceasefire. 

Rick: Oh, you're bringing that up. No, I'm happy. We said we would just, we're always open on this podcast. 

Veronica: You 

Rick: can ask us anything and we'll talk about anything. Yeah, no, no. That is a very 

Veronica: good thing. We're not trying to get couple of the year award in any way. Um, if anything, I think that.

We work on our relationship so much, and I'm happy to share because it's like [00:11:00] one tidbit helps someone like describe 

Rick: what a ceasefire is for us. We set some parameters around our ceasefire. I mean, you know, generally what that means, obviously, but like, okay, so 

Veronica: a ceasefire for us is obviously when two people are stressed, irritated, frustrated, uh.

angry, annoyed, any of these things. What we do and not everybody does this, but I have a feeling a lot do is because a we're in an interim small space and we do a lot of work together and. We're just around each other a lot. We take all those feelings out on each other, and we're not very nice. Yes. Would you agree?

Rick: Would you agree so far? I would agree. And I'll just add that, you know, the ceasefire, the ceasefire entails us really throwing a lot of positivity towards the other person, a lot of understanding, kindness, letting things fall off your back, roll off [00:12:00] your back, so to speak. You know, just, just kind of just to move it forward in a peaceful manner.

Cause it's such a better place to live. 

Veronica: Cause it's to change the mood. It's a change, the overall vibe of our day. Yeah. 

Rick: And it's not easy. I mean, there's so many external factors out there when you're in a relationship or if it's a friendship or whatever it happens to be, it just 

Veronica: doesn't have parent, parent fire with 

Rick: family in today's world.

There's just so many external factors that are bombarding us on a. Daily basis, you know, I mean, it's there's financial stress. There's health stress. There's friends and family. There's so much. There's the world issues. We, you know, we'll do a whole podcast on the world issues and you know, we posted something today about that, but I just think that.

When you have all these things that are hitting you and then you compound that with your internal frustrations and issues within a relationship, whatever that might be, it's it can explode. It can get, it's very hard to manage. It takes a lot of energy. Yeah, 

Veronica: it's, I just think it's, it's [00:13:00] just. It's going to happen at some point and with all those factors put in place and with being on top of each other, but the good news is we've been doing the ceasefire.

It's going really well and it's just a matter of being really mindful about what words are coming out of your mouth and what you're saying and being able to identify, Oh, I'm really cranky right now. Maybe now is not the perfect time to tell you to, let's say, do something, right? Because it's probably going to not come off that great.

And maybe I don't even have the strength to translate it into kindness. So I can just choose to not say anything at the moment, you know? So all of that is happening. It seems to be working. We highly recommend it. If you have any questions on it, just let us know, uh, put it in the comments or just DM us or reach out to us.


Rick: And the great thing about the ceasefire, I just want to add is that as it goes along, your emotions start to lower because you don't have all this stuff built up, just kind of [00:14:00] letting things go. Yes. So 

Veronica: it's calming, 

Rick: calming as it gets better and better. You almost don't want the ceasefire to end. But at some point, we have to address the things that are Based That we need to address in our relationship, as would anyone else, you know, and, and we just need to be in a better head space.

So that's the purpose of the CSRS, but yes, we can move on. It's just, um, it's nice to also as a child free person to have the time to spend to figure 

Veronica: this out. 

Rick: If you have responsibilities and I call children responsibilities now, um, if you have responsibilities running around, you know, it's hard to like sit down and say, Hey, do you want to?

Create this thing called a ceasefire where we don't do it and you go through it. It's like, and then, you know, it's just hard to manage with kids. So I'm grateful in that sense. Um, but let's, let's, let's jump into what we're discussing today. I'm really excited about this and where, yeah. And where it kind of, uh, spawned from this whole light.

this discussion today. Why don't you set it up for us? Yeah. 

Veronica: So, [00:15:00] um, today we really wanted to focus on being child free during the holidays because I mean, you can just not ignore it during this time. It's in your face. The holiday season is upon us. And we had received a DM from someone, um, talking about how as child free people, it can be.

It's easier to say to yourself, you know, I have a lot going on and I'm not in the mood and I'm just going to skip the holidays this year and how to avoid that because you're not being pushed to do it for the kids, right? Yeah. So that was generally, so I talked to you about that and we started having a.

Conversation, maybe like one or two sentences. And then we said, wait, let's talk about it during the podcast. Yeah. So that's what really got us going because I had said to you, [00:16:00] you know what? If I was in the mindset where I was, let's say August, for example, now I don't, I wouldn't really be in the holiday spirit and I wouldn't want to do anything.

Now it's a little different. Mine was very health related too, but still. You can easily push it off because you don't have to go see Santa with the kids. You don't have to do whatever traditions you celebrate. You don't have to make sure the house is decorated. So you do have the option to bypass it.

However, in today's podcast, we want to talk about how not to do that. How it's really important that we do celebrate holidays. Although we don't have kids because there's so many amazing ways to do it and we want to you and we want to encourage you to start building your own traditions. 

Rick: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, I just want to add, you're right.

It is easy to kick the can down the road, so to speak, when it comes to [00:17:00] doing anything that involves, you know, effort for children. You know what I mean? Like, because if you're, if, if you're a parent, you're going to do a lot of things for the kids and those usually revolve around holidays and others.

Events during the year, like you said, it's very easy to just say, I'm not going to do it this year because I don't have to, because it's only for me or for it's my partner or for my friends or whatever it happens to be. So I'm going to, I'm going to opt out. And, and I think that what we really discussed and I'm excited to talk about this today is how, if you can push yourself to really implement and execute on these traditions throughout the year, because it doesn't always have to be around this time of year, it can be around other holidays or other events throughout the year, push yourself.

You're creating important memories that are crucial to your happiness, in my opinion, at least for me. I'll speak for me. 

Veronica: Yeah, definitely. And there's also so much pronatalism around holidays and children, right? So then we get conditioned from day one to say like, well, if you're going to... [00:18:00] Celebrate the holidays.

Of course, it's the entire family with all the kids running around and we get that messaging in our heads from day one. So then when you become an adult and whether you're single or in a couple, it almost seems like, oh, I don't really have to do this thing because it involves kids. I don't have them. So I don't have the responsibility.

But this also comes back to our idea of fun and how having. Fun as a child free person is super, super, super important. 

Rick: So important. Yeah. And that's, that's new for me because, you know, I've talked about this, I think it was on our last podcast, but you know, my idea of fun and really what I just. I created for myself.

It's my fault. Is that fun for me was going out, having drinks, partying and letting off steam on the weekends. The old fashioned way with just alcohol and you weren't 

Veronica: the only one. You weren't the only one. I'm saying for many of us that were going out. No, there's nothing [00:19:00] 

Rick: wrong with that, but I was taking it to extreme.

To the point where it was like, which, which, which, you know, I've admitted I'm, I'm an alcoholic, I'm recovering and I'm almost five years sober. Very proud of that. But ultimately, um, you know, that's all I knew is fun. So when I stopped drinking, like having to reset my, a lot of things in my life, eliminating such a big part of it, which is, which was alcohol for me, um, I had to reinvent how I had fun and I didn't know what to do.

And there was a lot of stagnation and confusion. So I ended up just not doing anything and sitting and watching Netflix or whatever, just the lazy, easy thing. And then when you came into my life and we started doing a lot, a lot of things, cause you're a very social person, yes. And you love activities.

You know, I was hesitant at first and I started saying yes and yes more. And, and naturally I just have had such a great. You've just changed my life. So thank you. And, and, you know, and it's, [00:20:00] it's fun and I'm rambling, but I think my point is clear, which is, you have to really put forth the effort. 

Veronica: You do.

And I just want to mention that because it's making me think of it when we went up to Mohawk mountain, which is in upstate New York, which is one of our favorite places. We've been there for all the seasons are great, but we, right when we started dating, we went there for. The end of the year, and that was your 1st time up there.

You were a city guy who never left the city. Um, so you hadn't really gone upstate and gone hiking and just doing all the things. And we went up there and I think that. At the time you were thinking like we're going to go up there and like eat and drink and relax. And I had and don't get me wrong. I love to do all of that.

But I had his own like an activity schedule because there's so many activities during the day. And you were, and you 

Rick: really showed up and it was [00:21:00] like, hi, I'm Ronald. I'm be your guide for the weekend. And I'm like, guide. What is, what are you talking about? What 

Veronica: are we doing? Remember like, we, even, like I made you take like a tour of the home 'cause it's like this old home with all this history.

Rick: Listen, so you loved it, but I loved, loved it. But that was my first introduction to really like, you know, explore, exploring, 

Veronica: go away. Like learn about where you are. Yeah. All that. Exactly. Asking all the questions and Yeah. Anyway, we were, she reminded me of that trip and you were just like, you know, I was like, oh, okay, we're gonna go back.

We're gonna change and then we're gonna go. Snowshoeing and you would be 

Rick: like, it was everything. It was snowshoeing, it was, uh, a history of the, the, the, the resort ice skating. I mean, I remember you woke up the second day and we have to, and you were like, hurry up, we have to get ready. We have a rock scramble.

And I'm just like a rock scramble on top of everything we've done already. Like, I mean, I came home exhausted, but I had a lot of fun , and you know what's great? Is that created memories, right? If we were to just go up there and sit by the campfire and then lay in bed and watch Netflix. I mean, yeah, that would [00:22:00] have been relaxing and fun in its own right, but like it doesn't right.

It doesn't. We wouldn't be having this conversation. Yeah. Yeah. So same story. Actually, it's about creating these memories. And that was my biggest lesson that I've learned. 

Veronica: And also stepping out of your comfort zone, which is what you did, um, that trip and you've done since. So it's really good. But I also want to address before we get into like.

Ideas and like what we can do what we do. I do want to address the Very clear what I call snapshot moments uh Which is those moments that you see families you see a parent and a child and these like lovely Settings that could just be like a snapshot of this beautiful experience so the holidays are the are just like Oozing snapshot moments, right?

Rick: Literally, you know, those postcards you get with the whole family that are like, happy holidays from the Johnson's, you know what I mean? And it's just like a picture of them all wearing matching sweaters. It's [00:23:00] like, Oh, okay. 

Veronica: So, so it's right. So you start getting those. And then on social media, you're seeing the family photo.

You know, like you said, everyone's dressed impeccably, people are by the tree, or maybe it's a vacation photo with all the family members, because I also noticed that people aren't just doing, you know, winter photos, they're doing like their best photo of the year, or maybe you're getting like a, a compilation of their best moments of the year.

Whatever it is, you can't escape it. You can't escape it at all. So, Oh. 

Rick: Yeah, I would just love to see, it would be hilarious if you just sent out a real picture of what it's really like during the craziness of the holiday season, and it isn't like perfectly set up, it's just like spaghetti in the air, like, it's just like complete chaos, and just, that would be, that would be real and hilarious, I'm just throwing it out there, I'm sure it's been done.

Veronica: Yeah, I actually do have seen a couple of accounts that are hysterical about the chaos of parenthood, but, But yeah, it's also good to [00:24:00] look at right like it's kind of a fun game. I used to play it. Um, you know, when I was just kind of sort of still doubting myself. I'm not sure why now, but I understand why.

Actually, I shouldn't say that. I understand perfectly why doubting yourself about having kids. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So look at these kind of photos. It's sort of fun thinking about because you get so caught up in this magical moment that You, your mind does not go into, okay, what did it take to put this together?

Right? Let's say it's the whole family at dinner, the decorations, everyone's dressed perfectly and all that. And if you just take a look at that photo and think to yourself, like, okay, there was. There was some prep, right? There was a lot of grocery store, uh, visits. There was, you had to go shopping for the clothes.

So there was a lot of that. You know, trying to dress children. Maybe not if they're older, but you definitely had a lot of that. Who put up the decorations? What was that day [00:25:00] like? When everybody wanted to put up a certain ornament and then the other person's fighting that they don't. So it's just kind of fun to think about All the behind the scenes that happened, uh, previous to that moment.

And a lot of parents, like, love having kids, so they, like, love every second of that. But because we have a lack of desire, that, you know, spending an entire month to all come to that photo or that video, to us, is... We're going to pass on it, right? It's not the ideal way that we like to spend our time. Yeah.

Anyway. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. 

Rick: No, I was just gonna say, you know, it just brought to mind that when I see those pictures and of course you see the interior of the house, but also the exterior of the house, like all of the lights and how crazy it is, and I'm going to bring up a serious point here because I've.

Maybe I'm just really poor at time management, but I don't understand how I, I have trouble shuffling three things in a day. I can't [00:26:00] imagine having kids and putting up, you know, the gifts, the interior decorations, but getting on a ladder and like decorating your entire house. And I love that people do it.

I mean, it's fun to drive by, you know, it's great, but I just don't think I could do it. So my guess is, is do you just find it? Like when you have kids, like, how do you manage all that? 

Veronica: Like, I just love it. Either people love it or people have enough money that they can pay for it. Do you think they do it all in one 

Rick: day?

I guess it's just rinse and repeat, right? They just, they're used to doing it. It's like, it's time to do it. Do it every 

Veronica: year. And then there's like so many people you can pay. I have friends that just pay like, uh, people to come and decorate and do the lights and all of that, but. Yeah, so there's an option too, but yeah, anyway, so I just want everybody to be mindful of these holiday snapshot moments that are in your face because the conditioning, the conditioning continues to be like, oh, this is a kid holiday, right?

Like, for example, like, I love Halloween, and it's seen as such a kid holiday still, but I think I [00:27:00] love Halloween, not because of when I was a kid, Halloween was so great or I have so much, no, I love Halloween as an adult, me and my friends for like 12 years had a Halloween party every year, and it was so fun, it was something that everyone looked forward to, I love going to pumpkin farms when the kids aren't there, I love the maze, I love just, I have so much fun at them with adults, and It's hard to, even this year, I had told, you know, asked a few people, like, or would they be interested and they're like, Oh, isn't that just for kids, right?

So there's just still this, it's just for kids mindset. So we want to get out of that mindset. We want to have fun. We want to 

Rick: somewhat stay in the mindset of the fact that we can be childlike and enjoy these things as 

Veronica: kids. As adults, we're choosing. To live our lives in a particular way, right? And it has, and we choose to have that, um, [00:28:00] child spirit inside of us and to have fun and to be silly.

I mean, you're one of the silliest people I've ever met. For 

Rick: better or for worse. Sometimes I'm annoyingly silly. And you're 

Veronica: ridiculous. Sometimes very annoying. But, um... which you enjoy. But, um, yeah, we just sort of decide to live this way now. Not because we're trying to relive our childhood, but because we want to be this way now, right?

Like, let's have some fun and let's figure out how to do it. And when we don't have fun for a stretch of time, we've talked about this before, we do notice that we get in like this weird rut. Right. Especially when we're working really hard and just focusing on work, we get in a rut and we're not having any fun and that really affects 

Rick: us.

Yeah. I mean, it happened a couple of years ago. I don't remember, but there was a year where we didn't. Hang up the [00:29:00] Christmas lights, the few that we have, we have a little Charlie Brown Christmas tree and, you know, and we didn't hang anything up and we're just like, oh, let's not do it this year. And I remember we had that post conversation in January, like.

I'm really bummed we didn't do that. I felt like we just didn't even, we just missed this Christmas. You know what I mean? I mean, we still exchanged gifts and we did some stuff, but like we didn't go into the full holiday spirit and we never made that mistake. Again, case in point of what we're trying to try to talk about, which is tradition in general.

And again, I want to reemphasize this can be traditions throughout the year, cause we did discuss that, you know, creating these events, these things that you do throughout the year that you really stick to that you can fit into your schedule. Yeah, 

Veronica: and also we celebrate Christmas. So we'll be referring to that because that's the examples that we have.

But obviously this is for yeah, however you celebrate the holiday. I'm going to say, um, okay. So first we want to share some little mini traditions that we have and that we're trying to [00:30:00] make an effort. This is why we, when we started this conversation, we, we thought to ourselves, like, we really need to add to our traditions.

And actually the last couple of years we've been traveling during the holidays. So we haven't been home to really think about this because we're on a beach, you know, so my family Which is a fabulous tradition by the way My family's in Florida so if we go there to spend the holidays with them, like where we spend a lot of time on the beach So, love it, great, but that hasn't, so we haven't been in this like You know, chilly Christmas vibe and a while being home, being 

Rick: home like, Hey, we got to make a Christmas 

Veronica: here at home.

Exactly. Exactly. So, um, why don't you start by sharing one of our little traditions? Well, one 

Rick: thing we do, um, For New Year's Eve, I'm going to fast forward here, um, is that I love the puzzle, like we came up with a tradition a couple of years ago, we didn't do it last year, but, um, putting, [00:31:00] we start a puzzle like around one o'clock that day.

And the whole goal is to finish the puzzle before the new year. 

Veronica: Right. So it's like two as passing by 50 pieces. Yeah. And as you're passing by, you're doing it. And you can do this throughout the day. Maybe you're getting ready, maybe you're having a drink, maybe you're having a hot chocolate. Yeah. And you know, whenever you're by, wherever the puzzle is, work on the puzzle.

But like you said, the goal is to get it done before midnight and the pressure 

Rick: that that is looming. Yeah. Like you almost are like, oh, I want to go do something, but let me just get like five pieces in place because Yeah. I have to, I have to time this out 'cause it's about finishing it before New Year's Eve.

Exactly. Not to make New Year's Eve. Pressure field. I mean, it's fun pressure, 

Veronica: right? Actually, this is a perfect activity because we spent New Year's Eve with my mom, which we do a lot too. And if you spend New Year's Eve with either a parent or a grandparent and you don't, you're, you know, you're just like, Oh, I don't know what to do.

Like a puzzle is a great way to get everybody involved in it. Cause my mom was involved in it too. And you know, there's not any. sort of age [00:32:00] barrier there or language barrier. My mom speaks Spanish, so you and her do figure out how to communicate, but it is a little hard. So this was like the perfect way, the perfect activity for people to get 

Rick: involved.

It's communal for sure. And it is relaxing. I mean, I remember we were just kind of like, so, but there's a lot of pressure and fun pressure. And there's 

Veronica: a goal and there is, uh, you know, a time. So it's gamified cause you have all these. So anyway, so that's a tradition. Um, That also great example for what you were talking about earlier if you're not in the stage of your life where you're going out and getting crazy and drinking and doing all of that and you're sitting home either with friends or by yourself or FaceTiming with people or you're in a couple, whatever it is, there's these like at home options as well.

Yeah, for sure. So, the other tradition that we do is really random, has nothing to do with Christmas, but we love Dirty Dancing, and Rick liked [00:33:00] it, right, but when we, like, I love that movie so much. I remember the day I saw it, it's a classic, it's an 80s classic, I love to dance, and Going there for the summer would be like my biggest dream ever and just taking dance lessons and I just loved it so much so when we started dating we started to talk about the movie and then like we'd started watching it together and We got the script which we've mentioned before Fourth 

Rick: Street in New York City 

Veronica: Like we were like doing scenes from it just really ridiculous where I was maybe you're Johnny blah blah blah I So anyway, so we ended up watching it around Christmas and I think it was Christmas Eve and then we just love the movie.

We like pause it, we talk about it, we know the words, I know the dance moves. So it becomes like this whole thing throughout the year. So we decided that, um, a great [00:34:00] time to see it would be around Christmas, whether it's Christmas Eve or the day before as our. You know, Christmas movie in addition to others.

But yeah, so that's just a random thing that we do because the movie means a lot to us. We have a lot of fun watching it and it's just become a holiday tradition. 

Rick: Yeah, I'm excited to watch it. One year we watched it. Um, I think it wasn't around Christmas, but we watched it at, you remember outdoor? They had an outdoor movie.

And you wore a t shirt that said I carried a watermelon, which is a very famous, it was a very famous line in that movie, for those who have seen it. Yeah, exactly. But yeah, no, it is, it's a fun tradition. We're going to implement that. I'm looking forward to it. I haven't seen it in a year. Yeah. So it'll be 

Veronica: good.

Yeah, exactly. So, um, the other thing that we really enjoy is, uh, buying Eddie a gift or gifts. 100%. So buying gifts for your pets, uh, I'm sure that a lot of you do [00:35:00] this. Um, some of you may not, but for those who do, please let us know either in the comments or just, you know, DM us or message us. But it, we have so much fun watching, giving Eddie his present on Christmas morning and then like just watching him like try to open it with his mouth and you know, like.

swinging his toy around. And he knows it's for him, which is even great. And he knows it's for him. And it just, like, makes us so happy because we love him so much and we like giving him stuff. And, um, I don't know, that's just something that we do even when we haven't gotten presents some years because we're just like, let's just not, whatever, I'd rather save the money to do this vacation next year or whatever.

So. But we still get him a present like he always wins and he always gets a present from everyone. He gets a present from everyone in the family And it's just really funny. Yeah, so that's something that we love to do 

Rick: My favorite part of christmas. Yeah [00:36:00] Yeah 

Veronica: um So another thing I was thinking which we don't do And not that I necessarily want to go through this process, but I thought that it might be fun You know, we're not going to probably mail them out because that's just going to take so long, but to to do a child free photo, you know, like the ones that we get from our friends and the mail of the whole family.

Um, and I think that oftentimes, because I've talked to child free people about this, you're like, well, I'm not going to send it out because, um, I don't have kids. And that's what really people are seeing every year because they want to see how the kids have changed, you know, year by year. But. In the last few years, I have seen some great examples of people sending out, um, their holiday card that don't include kids, whether they're single, it's amazing, uh, whether they're a couple, whether they have dogs, a dog, other pets, them and their pigs, you know, and [00:37:00] I really love it.

I think that nothing should stop you if you're, Really into the idea of taking a photo with whoever you consider your family. It might even be with yourself and Take this photo and then send it out, you know as a holiday I I really think that's really great and I hear one. I think that we should take one this year I know me and you we're not gonna like get Addresses and stamps to a digital postcard.


Rick: we'll jib jab it. That's a, it's a postcard app, but you know, and also, you know, you're, you're right. That's a great idea. I didn't even think about that. And, you know, just throw in, like, if it's me, you and Eddie, or if it's you and your friends or whatever. Right. From my family to yours. Happy holidays, you know, and just really, you know, I think that's important to say, like, this is my family unit.

This is what it looks like. And it's just as similar and just as important as yours. Right, exactly. Sorry, I'm still coming [00:38:00] off of the beginning of this podcast. 

Veronica: Yeah, no, I think that's really important to claim, you know, for many reasons. And, uh, and I encourage, Our child free community to go ahead and do that, um, especially the child free single people because it annoys me so much because they get it on both sides, right?

Why don't you have kids? When are you going to meet someone? Or when you commit? It just drives me insane. Um, so I think it's a really great way to also be like, this is. This is me. This is my life. I, I appreciate it. I love it. I wanted to be this way. Happy holidays. Right. So anyway, that's something that I've been thinking of and I meant to tell you and I think we should definitely do.

Um, what do you think? Should we commit to a photo? A holiday photo? I'm committed. All 

Rick: right, perfect. I'm in. Perfect. You know, my new answer is yes now to everything. Yes, I 

Veronica: like new Rick. I like new Rick. 

Rick: Yeah, there's a holiday party happening at in this building. Uh, it's just for the whole building. [00:39:00] And I usually don't go to those things.

And she's just like, shall I RSVP for you? And you always ask me, you know, because you respect the fact that Yeah. Sometimes I don't want to do stuff and I appreciate that. And I was like, yes. And I went to the Halloween one. I had a good time. So I'm going to this one, putting myself out there, which is, which is fun.

It really is. And I love that one part of this conversation too, because these traditions can be fun and other things you do throughout the year can also be fun. But again, I say this for me, at least you got to put forth a lot of effort. It doesn't come easy. 

Veronica: Yeah, exactly. And that's one thing that I have so much.

Um, I get so much joy and fulfillment from this community, which is why and now you're really getting into it. And which is why we built the child free connection membership community so that people can come together in community because it has just been such an impactful part of my life to be in community.

And whenever I can be, especially in hours where it's just Like minded people around the world that [00:40:00] can have this conversation that we're having right now. It just really lights me up and I hope to continue to do that. So I do it in this building too. I, I like knowing who's in it. I like having friends in the building.

I like doing activities with people in the building. So I'm glad that you're coming. And um, And yeah, definitely to that point, you know, 

Rick: I urge everyone listening or watching, you know, you know, identify those happy triggers. I call them happy triggers. Like for you, like if you're in a bad mood, I know I just have to say Buenos Aires cafe, go get you some empanadas and it just changes your world around.

I'm serious. That's what you say. That's like a. That's my go to for you, but that's a happy trigger in 

Veronica: general, but that's one of my favorites. 

Rick: I 

Veronica: see you light up. If you walked in without telling me, I would be really excited, 

Rick: but that's a happy trigger that I do for you. But I also focus on the ones I do for myself.

And I urge other people to do that too, throughout the year to just create these, uh, things that, that really kind of light you up as you, as you, as you 

Veronica: said. Yeah, absolutely. [00:41:00] So I wanted to talk about a few more, um, things and I actually wrote them down so I wouldn't forget of either ideas to do or to create new traditions perhaps.

So you could do it every year and I wanted to run them by you and see what 

Rick: you thought. Let's run them by the audience too. Let's see what, yeah, I mean we should, this is great. 

Veronica: Okay, so the first thing is to decorate your place, right? And I think it's just fun to put lights up, right? Like it's just, even if it's, it seems overwhelming, um, just, you know, buy some string lights, like in your, in your whatever and put whatever is easy for you, but I think decorating can be an easy tradition to keep up whatever you're doing.

Um, we have for right now, because we've been moving so much, we have a little tiny tree. And we love it so much. We can decorate it. We'll post it when we finish [00:42:00] it. It literally takes like, what, 20 minutes to put everything up? 

Rick: Yeah, we've had it for eight years. Yeah. 

Veronica: So, um, it's adorable. It really doesn't take a lot of time.

We're done putting up our little things and 20 minutes and it makes us so happy. Like it immediately changes our mood into a holiday energy, you 

Rick: know, growing up celebrating Christmas for me personally, it just brings back nostalgia. Like when I'm sitting there and we're watching TV at night and the Christmas tree's on, it just gives us that, you know, nostalgic, you know, holiday spirit.

And, and I think, uh, it, yeah, when you don't do it, you really miss it. 

Veronica: Yeah, exactly. So what else? So let's do it. Okay, so decorate. Um, volunteer. And I know that a lot of people say this and then they don't do it, but volunteering in any capacity is definitely a feel good experience. Um, I have volunteered quite a bit throughout the years, but one thing that we do [00:43:00] every year is a, um, toy drive.

And I think this is the first time we're doing it in this building and I think they do it through Amazon. Which, um, I don't know if you read it yet, but, which is something that I'm, I'm a little bummed about because I actually like shopping for the toy drive gift. It brings me. Me too. It brings me, right?

And it brings me a lot of, it's actually quite fun because first of all, I'm never in the toy section or in the kid section. So, You can almost, you feel almost that, that like aunt that gets to spoil their niece or their nephew. And it's so hard for me not to want to go further because they're very clear on like, you know, a medium sized shirt, like, you know, they, you have like a list from the kids or what their needs are.

But, um, you know, I ended up like wanting to like add more to the thing and it's really just. A fun experience for me and it doesn't mean that I wish I had children so I could do this for [00:44:00] them Or any of those things it just means that it's a fun thing to do And it's also like someone's benefiting from it.

Yeah and 

Rick: volunteer forever. Whatever you want, you know, I mean, there's a 

Veronica: million things And there's things throughout like if there's a holiday event, um, for example, um Our local ballet theater is doing the Nutcracker and they need volunteers. I was just talking to someone in the building about it. They need volunteers to see people, to grab the tickets, you know, things like that, so that could be fun because you get to watch the show and you know, help people just get to their point.

It sounds like a 

Rick: great one for you. That's a good one for you. I can't stand the nutcracker. I'm sorry. What are they going to be? I love that for you.

Veronica: Anyway, so that was just an example. So I think volunteering or joking, but 

Rick: yeah, 

Veronica: things out there to do [00:45:00] so many like feel good things to do. Um, so that's, that's another thing. Okay. Um, another tradition is to plan your perfect day, be it Christmas Eve, Christmas, whatever you celebrate, from beginning to end.

And it means that there's some thought involved, right? Like what is your absolute favorite thing to do for the day? So I was thinking about us, for example, like we have a very specific croissant that we love and a very specific bakery. We have a very specific coffee place that we love. We have, um, Uh, walks that we do, that we like very much.

We have outdoor areas that are, um, have fireplaces and are heated, that we love very much. So we could actually take all your favorite things and create your perfect day. And I think that would be really fun. And then you can have that tradition of doing that every year. I mean, who wouldn't want, who 

Rick: wouldn't want to do that?

You can, you don't, you don't have to do that during the holidays. That could be like mid year. Yes. Like your [00:46:00] mid year perfect day. 

Veronica: Of course. You could do that anytime. But I think like. doing your holiday version of it. You know, let's say you wake up, you, maybe your favorite coffee, your, you make it at home and you, instead of doing, you know, whatever it is you're doing, you watch a Christmas movie in the morning with your coffee, you know?

So all your favorite things, but holiday themed around, I think could be really fun. I'm 

Rick: in, I'm in on that. All right. These are great. I feel so negligent. I didn't come with anything. 

Veronica: Of course watch a holiday movie. So we talked about Dirty Dancing, but holiday movies are a lot of fun. And sometimes, this, this is only recent for me because I've kind of been that person like, oh my god, another cheesy holiday movie, but I'm into them now.

Rick: What type of holiday movies? There's a big difference. No, like Are you getting into like the cartoon ones? Which some of them are good. There are some classics like The Grinch and stuff like 

Veronica: that. I'm Remember I don't remember the name. But remember we watched a movie last year Like Rom Com? Like a Rom [00:47:00] Com and he, like, I don't even remember.

The plot exactly, but we both watched it and then you were like, that was really good. Yeah, it's like a couple and they were out. I can't remember. But, um, so I'm starting to love these cheesy holiday movies and I feel like now they have so many. Yeah. Right. 

Rick: It's like they just line up. They have a whole category 

Veronica: now.

Right. Exactly. So being able to sit down, watch a movie, make some hot chocolate, make yourself a hot toddy, whatever you want. I think it's really fun. Another one is, uh, to walk through places with Christmas lights. And that is super festive. We actually just saw one of our favorite places here in Austin put up all their lights recently.

And we actually went during the day, so we didn't get like the full experience. But we should go there, you know, in the next day or two. And, um, you know, just have a hot chocolate or something. But it is... It's just so [00:48:00] fun to 

Rick: do. And I'm in. I mean, are you surprised? Isn't it so nice? Like everything you're saying.

I'm like, I'm going, I'm going to do this. This is like the new Rick. I'm really, I'm really proud of myself. I'm really patting myself on the back today. Oh my God. All right. What else? What else we got? 

Veronica: So, um, another one is to take a vacation or a road trip. So yes, 

Rick: this one takes no twisting my arm, by the way, this one is the best, 

Veronica: right?

So, I think that, and this could, again, go the full spectrum, go through like an extravagant vacation or take a road trip, right? And then also, although the prices go way up for everything, it is so much better when you're buying a ticket for one or for two. Yeah, no. I mean, my friends have told me how much they spend, one of my best friends has four kids, and the amount of dollars just for the tickets.

Like 5, 000 just on travel. Yeah, it's insane. 

Rick: Yeah, it's insane. [00:49:00] Take advantage of that. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of that for sure. And the great thing about that, it's a great way to end the year because it's twofold. It's a, it's a win win in the sense that a, you're going on, you're getting out of your environment.

You're going out and enjoying yourself in a new place, whether that a beach or a mountain lodge or whatever it happens to be. And then the win is, is you get back usually after new years and you get to start fresh back in your house. And you're not like, You know, just sitting here and just going through the holidays and then starting your new year in the same place.

It's like a great way to break it up, I think, at the end of the year. So I like that one the most, I think, out of all of them. And that's the one, ironically, we're not doing this year. Not ironically, but you know what I mean. Yeah, 

Veronica: I know what you mean. Yeah. Uh, there's just a lot going on this next year. So yeah, we just can't leave 

Rick: at the moment.

We're gonna make the best of it. And we're gonna do a short getaway, to your point. 

Veronica: Yes, we are. And I'm excited about that. Um, the next thing is to [00:50:00] fully unplug, and that to me sounds really, really nice. Oh, sorry. 

Rick: What do you mean scary? I'm just saying it's hard. It's hard these days. Not just scrolling Instagram.

I've been unplugging on that. But just unplug, you mean from social media? Are you talking about unplugging from like everything? Is that 

Veronica: scary? Freaking 

Rick: you out? Wait, it is scaring me if you're talking to me like unplugging from, you know, sports scores and like TV. For a day. Yes. Oh, for one day. Yeah, what are you talking about?

Like, like for the whole holiday season, she's, 

Veronica: Oh, okay. All right. Day traditions, right? We're talking about traditions, pick a day. It doesn't have to be Christmas Eve or Christmas day, or it could be the first Friday of, you know, the first day of December or the first Friday in December, whatever it is, and just unplug.

Yes. No [00:51:00] sports, no stocks, no. Families, no, um, extend the family. Yeah. Um, and see. What that feels like for you, right? And I'm not, I know you're probably like freaking out. I can't make it through the day, but I don't mean that you can't watch a movie at the end of the day. Of course I'm talking about devices, right?

Like phones, watches, iPads, laptops. I love this. 

Rick: It's a good one. It's healthy for your brain for sure. I mean, you know, we're inundated. 

Veronica: So in our community, we do these challenges every week. I remember that we did the challenge. To not look at your phone in the morning for three days, I think it was three 

Rick: days.


Veronica: for three days, everybody just gave us feedback on like how their experience was. And we gave our own too. And it was challenging. It was challenging for most people. And then some people had to not do it the next day because they forgot they had to be in an early [00:52:00] meeting. So then they had to Try to do it again the next day.

I mean, it just wasn't easy, but the general overall feedback was that it was nice. And that felt really, really good. The overall 

Rick: feedback was nice. And I'll equate being able to unplug, you know, as much as you can, you know, Um, for 24 hour periods, I would say is equivalent to, you know, how you fast for a day just to give your digestion a break.

I feel like by unplugging, you're doing that to your brain. You're giving your brain. Like a relief for just one day where it's like, yes, the stimuli of everything coming at you is just like, okay, it's healthy. So yeah, I'd love to try it. It's going to be challenging for me for sure. And it'll be easier for you.

But yeah, 

Veronica: um, random acts of kindness is a good one because the holidays tend to get very gifty and very, you know, it's about. What people look like and what they're buying for themselves and what trip they're on and all that. So random acts of [00:53:00] kindness are really fun. I think for the holiday season and I would like for you and I to figure that out and to do that 

Rick: this morning.

I'm not joking. Yeah, I don't know if this counts. Okay. So I was getting coffee at the downstairs coffee spot. I go there every morning to get my morning coffee. And, uh, they were late to show up and it was, um, there was just one woman behind the counter and she was trying to put everything away, but there was this huge, like, uh, Yeti cooler of ice and water that she uses to fill up the water pitchers and stuff.

And she was trying to lift it off the cart. I jumped over the counter and I said, I can help you. Well, I first asked if I could jump on the counter. I said, do you need help with that? And she said, Oh, I'd love help with it. So I jumped over the counter and I, and I lifted it up and I put it in the, it was very heavy by the way.

She definitely needed help. And, uh, it was like a two person job. So, and, um, we, you know, I put it in where she needed [00:54:00] it. And, um, yeah, I was like, you know, that counts, right? I mean, of course, 

Veronica: yeah, that counts. You could have just kept like moving, you know, just kept looking at your phone and ignoring the fact that she's struggling for sure.

Rick: Yeah, that one came naturally. But yeah, I think, you know, you're right. Look for those moments where you can just, they don't have to go out being like, okay, I'm going to do some random acts today. 

Veronica: That's what, well, yeah, of course. Uh, but I think we should. I want to do like a specific. Random act of kindness, whether I mean, I can't think of, I mean, there's.

There's always like the ones of like pay for the food of the person like if you're in a drive thru or all that or anything like that, but I want us to come up with something and do it together. And again, it doesn't have to be anything grandiose. It just has to bring a smile to someone's face. Whatever that can be.

Whatever that is. Maybe we 

Rick: should document it. Post it. Prove it. No, just have fun. Like, we're on a mission to do random acts behind us, and we're going to set some examples, and if you'd like to [00:55:00] do it, this is something, share some ideas. Well, I was thinking one, but you were thinking acts? Like, yeah. Like, let's go, like, let's go out there like on a mission to be like, let's go help a bunch of people.

This is, like, going to be a thing. All right. I don't want it to sound so self serving for our social media. That's awful. That's not the point. Look at us. So, apologies. But I'm just saying people might need some examples. I mean, if I was sitting at home listening to this, 

Veronica: I might not know. I'm trying to give like fun examples and I can't think of one right now that wouldn't be like the usual, like, you know, help a homeless person across the street.

Exactly. Right. We'll think of new ones. So we'll brainstorm some and we'll share it with y'all for sure. Um, and I think that was about it. Uh, so what did you think of those so far? 

Rick: I think they're great. I think it's a, I think that everyone owes it to themselves to do all these things. So 

Veronica: those are the ones I thought of.

And obviously there's a million more, um, going out for a holiday dinner and [00:56:00] doing all the things. But I think it's really important, like we said in the beginning to just. Find the, your inner child and have them come out and play and enjoy this time of year. And remember that snapshot moments are just snapshot moments.

Remember that this is a lifestyle you chose because this is right for you. And, uh, this includes how you personally celebrate the holidays and you should feel proud and excited. Um, and grateful to be able to celebrate it as a child 

Rick: food person. Yeah. And share your traditions. If you already have a bunch of traditions that are in place, please share them in the comments.

If you're watching this on YouTube or on our social, you can send us some, some, some ideas. We'll share those as well for those who may be struggling to come up with some creating their own traditions for sure. And um, yeah. And really identify your happy triggers and your fun and really put forth the effort and take it from me.

I mean, I had to go through this process and I'm so [00:57:00] grateful for it. it to really, um, you know, to, to, to spoil yourself, especially around the holidays. So yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm in, and it 

Veronica: sounds like, and have a good mindset and try to be, um, good to ourselves. So that's our commitment for the holidays. We hope that, uh, that is your commitment as well.

Um, yeah. And that's it. So fun. This was a fun conversation to have. It 

Rick: was, but yeah, it was a great conversation and we will see you next time. Bye.