Celebrating the Holidays and Random Acts of Kindness

It’s that time of year again when we try to hold on to our traditions and ignore the noise that gets louder every year pushing us to be consumers.

This year families all over had to plan their Thanksgiving dinner around working as the sales started on Thanksgiving instead of waiting for Friday. Can’t we give families one day to be together?

 

This year, as every year, we visited a store the day before Thanksgiving that has a huge holiday display of trees done in themes.  My kids look at some of the merchandise to get ideas for people still on their gift list but we rarely purchase anything on this day.

Everyone has their favorite display, mine usually has a nature theme to it and this year was no different.

We stop for dinner on the way home for a quiet bite to eat as it’s an hour and a half drive each way and the little ones get hungry.  There are two days out of the year I eat out, The day before Thanksgiving and my son’s birthday. Eating out isn’t something I enjoy any more than that.

Thanksgiving is a quiet day spent at my son’s house.  We have a delicious dinner, watch some football and play with the children.  After dinner, right before I head home the children get to decorate the tree.

My granddaughter is a pro at this but Little Guy stole the show. He was so excited the adults just sat back and laughed at his antics. He squealed. He jumped up and down. He even danced to a song he made up about trimming the tree.

There’s nothing better than experiencing the holidays through the eyes of a child.

That alone would be enough to be grateful for, but I received a surprise package, two actually, from a friend.

The first contained a beautiful doll, a toy for Little Guy and lots and lots of patterns for me.

These are just some of the patterns in the package.  Can you see the brooch on the far left?  There were three brooch kits in the  package, two have already been claimed by my granddaughter, who wants a cat stitched in one, and her mother.

There were three needlepoint kits in the package which were so me and will be the perfect addition to a wall I haven’t known what to do with in my kitchen.  I knew immediately this was what I had been waiting for and got to work on one of them right off.

I hadn’t done a needlepoint kit before. It was fun and quick to stitch, it still needs backstitching around the petals but you can see how vibrant the colors are. That blue, my favorite color, really pops.

There was also a kit to make a sewing notion box. Immediately, I thought of my granddaughter whom I bought a small sewing machine.  I’ll finish this off with some really cute fabric and fill it with all the little bits that she can use.

The following day I received the second package filled with children’s books. Here’s just a few of them.

 

There was a book called Walter the Farting Dog, which instantly became Little Guy’s new favorite. What else would you expect from a little boy. 🙂

Receiving is difficult for me. I think we learn as children how to accept gifts, as a child I didn’t have that opportunity but I’m learning.  I can easily give gifts and realize to give I must learn how to receive.

My friend mentioned at one point falling in love with a cross stitch pattern but her eyes prevent her from stitching. I offered to stitch it for her.  It’s a beautiful and pleasant pattern to work on. I haven’t gotten very far but this is what I have after two weeks.

 

How do you prepare for Christmas? Have you received a random act of kindness?

 

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28 comments

  1. Wow, Lois! You made short work of that needlepoint kit. I never got the hang of needlepoint. I too, understand how difficult it is to receive. But I’m learning to do it graciously. It’s delightful to see your grandchildren enjoying all the books and the toys. You do such beautiful hand work. And the grandkids getting so excited about trimming the tree tickles me to no end. I do enjoy meals out more than I should. I just don’t have the energy to cook as much as I did, I usually make at least two meals from what I order. We are doing no shopping around here. No one needs anything. Have a wonderfilled weekend. Giant hugs.

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    • I still haven’t gotten back to the back stitching on it, I will soon enough as it’s going to be a long winter. sigh

      I have a little story that will tickle you and I hope bring a smile. Last night the two little ones spent the night with me, we had a wonderful time, anyway mom showed up to take them home and Little Guy took off upstairs to play because he didn’t want to go home. We called him to come down a few times while mom loaded the car with their things. Finally, I spotted the Rainbow Fish book you sent and called up to him that I had a book for him we didn’t read yet. He ran down the stairs hopped on my lap and had me read the entire book. While I read mom got his shoes and socks on and when the book came to an end he told me Rainbow Fish was a good friend to share then kissed and hugged me and walked out the door to go. How many kids can be bribed with books? 🙂

      My thing with eating out comes from several places. Being “stingy” with money I can’t enjoy the meal knowing how many meals I could have made with the money for just one. But I prefer to eat at home where we can openly have a discussion and not wonder if we are being eavesdropped on. Lastly, one side effect of my disability is that I have trouble swallowing. I never know when I might start choking and draw unwanted attention. My family knows to wait me out before jumping to help but strangers not so much.

      If you enjoy eating out then do it. If it means you have one less chore that wears you out even better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right, Lois. I do like the story of your grandson and the Rainbow Fish book. 😉 Eating out is something I do less and less often as the food is not always as good for us as it appears. I too prefer cooking for myself but not so much for others with different requirements. I do understand about eating out when you have a condition that can make you feel uncomfortable. It’s fun on occasion but as much as I don’t like to cook, I prefer mine to many others. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Anon. It may be awhile as I am swamped in patterns. I recently picked up two I started about 12 years ago and decided to put a little time into each during the week to finally finish them. Some sort of rotation of projects should keep me from becoming bored with just one and get more done. I’ve hesitated to show too many as I haven’t wanted to bore anyone.

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  2. You know, I used to love doing needle point. I can’t do counter cross stitch but I think I could still do needle point. Thanks for sparking that idea! Of course, God knows, I don’t really need ANOTHER craft, but still … 🙂

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  3. Ia that outdoor theme display in your house Lois? It is pretty amazing wherever it is! You know as Christmas here arrives at Mid Summer which comes complete with heat, tourists, road works, end of year celebrations as well as ‘Christmas’ life gets pretty chaotic even if you don’t throw in the mad shopping. I make most gifts I give so I tend to start preparing, making and stashing away from the middle of the year. I do like giving randomly throughout the year however – it makes me happy! I’ve also had to learn how to receive – I think we women aren’t raised to be receivers – we are taught to be givers and doers. An accident in 1999 changed that for me. I had to allow help, I learnt to accept gratefully and that seems to have rolled over into all kinds of receiving. I’m getting better at enjoying life as I get older I think 🙂 That was a delightful couple of gifts from your friend who seemed to know exactly what would make you happy – isn’t that the best kind of friend to have! I think when we know we are loved, that is the very best gift!! ❤

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    • Oh no!! We visit a store every year just before Thanksgiving (as the day after the lines are hours long) to view the trees. I’m very simple in my holiday decorating. A few handmade ornaments along one wall, my version of a mantle display and a few touches of red, such as a crocheted blanket draped over the couch. I enjoy viewing the displays but have no patience to set all that up, nor do I care to box and store a lot waiting for a few weeks out of the year.

      I wish we could do away with Christmas gift giving and just give throughout the year like you do. I’ve always thought a gift given just because it reminded me of that person means a whole lot more than a gift given because the calendar says we should.

      I was so stubborn about receiving gifts and even help of any kind for years. I should sit down and write about how I finally learned to accept help and how it changed my life. One day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I share your plea for no shopping on Thanksgiving. It never ceases to amaze me that people who are fortunate enough to get to work a M-F 9-5 schedule are simply blind to the experience of those who don’t share that privilege. It used to make me crazy when working at the music school. I suppose the general public can be forgiven for thinking that my job was a non-stop party – I mean I guess it speaks well of the organization that people who patronized it were having so much fun that they simply assumed that the workers were as well. But what really pushed my buttons were the board members who would suggest things like 7am breakfast meetings. Um… what part of “I have to work until 10:30pm” do you not understand?

    Anyhow, enough ranting. Your needlepoint looks beautiful, as do all of the Christmas trees. I had to chuckle at the farting dogs book… I think this is a male thing – and one that, I fear, they do not seem to outgrow. At the ripe old age of 70, CatMan still finds unending humor in my cat’s periodic digestive issues. Smoky’s “fart cannon” is infamous around here!

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    • It really bothers me that we expect stores to be open 24/7 regardless of holidays etc. I chock my reaction up to the fact that when I was young stores weren’t open all night and were closed on the holidays, that and that we didn’t run to the store every day for little things like we do today. My neighbor gets bored and will walk to the store up to four times a day and buy one thing each time, nothing necessary, just to have something to do I can’t imagine that.

      Yes, boys and their farting jokes. My grandfather still joked about it right up to his passing at 88. The one I remember most was him asking if we saw the rat that just ran past and made that sound. 🙂

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  5. So many beautiful kits. I wouldn’t know where to start, but you will probably finish them all so the starting point doesn’t matter so much. It must have been so fun to see the excitement over the tree from your grandson. It’s so nice that his parents let the kids decorate. It’s hard for some parents to see the “imperfection” of a kid decorated tree.

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    • I am so blessed to have received these lovely kits to add to my collection. They will all get done at some point but while it will take time it will be a pleasure to have them especially with the long winter and being stuck at home

      As for the tree, their mother had a very hard time not redecorating it after the children went to bed. She’s a wonderful mother and I’m so proud she’s a part of our family.

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  6. We celebrate Christmas with one part of the family next weekend so we have to get in the spirit early. We buy one gift for an adult and play a funny game to see who gets what. I put together a bag of things from local stores for my gift, locally made products and lemons from our lemon tree. Last night our town had a big celebration with a free dynamite beach music Christmas concert and a boat parade on the harbor. It was wonderful! We went to the woods and cut a bunch of greens and holly berries and I’ve been placing them around the house this morning. I love bringing the outdoors indoors for Christmas.

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    • How wonderful to be able to enjoy outdoor festivities without freezing for the holidays, 🙂

      The person who receives your gift will be one lucky person, I’d be thrilled with just the fresh lemons. I keep trying to cut back on the number on my gift list but I never seem to succeed. Enjoy your Christmas if I don’t get a chance to talk with you again.

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  7. Seeing Christmas through the eyes of children is a wonderful gift! I admire anyone who can do needlepoint and any form of crafting (I’m hopeless). I’m sweltering – I think I shall never, ever get used to Christmas in the sun, no matter how long I live in a hot climate. It’s one day I’d be delighted to have Winter. I love childrens’ books, and the ones you received look beautiful, what a treat! Thanks for all the great pics and sharing your fun Thanksgiving with us all Lois!

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    • Hi Clare, how are you other than sweltering. I was never a fan of the cold but the older I get the less I can tolerate it and would gladly trade you for some sun and warmth for Christmas

      the children, both family and friends, keep me young and remind me to look at the world with more wonder and joy.

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  8. Dear Lois, love the needle point, and such a wonderful time for all the family.
    Have a great Christmas my friend.. Enjoy your family time..
    And I will see you in the New Year..
    Love and Hugs
    Sue xxx ❤

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  9. Lois, this is a bit late, but I so enjoyed your post. The ‘bribe with a book’ story was wonderful! It would have worked on me (might still work, actually)! I love cross-stitch and needlepoint, but haven’t done much of either. Too many interests and not enough thyme. lol in my storage from Edmonton are three kits of the same pillow (I did begin one while there, then we moved . . .) It’s a frame with several layers that looks like a window with a branch of a peach or orange tree poking through. The blossoms and the fruit and the leaves are so lovely, I couldn’t resist. I rarely do more than one of anything (even socks and sleeves are made at the same time(, but I thought they would look so pretty on my (still imaginary) chesterfield.

    I like seeing your kits and will never be bored, so share away!

    I agree with you and Pauline about how women often have trouble receiving. I met a woman some years ago who said her Mum was the giving sort; if you admired anything in her home, she gave it to you! But she wouldn’t accept anything from anyone. One day her daughter told her she was angry with her and her Mum asked why. The daughter told her that she was robbing others of the joy she herself experienced when giving. Her Mum was quiet for a long while. I don’t remember if she said anything at the time, but her behaviour changed from then on.

    Big hugs to you. ~ Linne

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    • Linne, I can still be bribed with a book, I’m glad the love of books has been passed down. I can’t imagine a life without books yet I am the only one of my siblings that reads and they don’t understand what I get out of books.

      Your pillow sounds lovely, too bad you don’t have at least one with you.

      Your friend’s mum reminded me of myself but in a different context. I may have to tell that story one day but it involved my inability to accept help until I was confronted by my son.

      I hope you are staying warm and are enjoying the New Year, Linne.

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