Tag Archives: christmas

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 359 :: joy is unexpected gifts

25 Dec


{joy}  

Another Christmas is in the books! And this year came with a surprise, unexpected gift under the tree. It was a box, a regular square shaped box wrapped in bright paper. But what was inside was truly unexpected.

You see Justin and I agreed we wouldn’t exchange gifts this year because our greatest and most expensive gift to each other this year was moving across the country. Instead, we put our resources into gifts for our family far and wide and on the other side of the country for Christmas presents.

But Justin didn’t listen. Typical. He gave me a gift anyway.

Truth be told, I gave him one too but to justify it I made sure the gift (Red Sox Tickets) could be used by both of us.

When the box landed in my lap, the last gift of the Christmas 2018 to be opened under our tree, I had no idea what it could be. It wasn’t heavy but it wasn’t light. It was a square box but when I opened it there was a bunch of tissue paper. 

As I pulled at the tissue paper, one by one, I discovered an old metal speaker from an outdoor drive in. It’s not just any speaker, it’s one from the drive in we used to frequent in high school for date nights and a few makeout sessions. 

One night at the Motor-Vu Drive-In Justin and I fell asleep during the late showing of some movie I don’t remember the name of. When I awoke it was 2:00 AM and the parking lot was empty. I shook Justin awake in the driver’s seat. It was just the two of us teenagers sitting in his Chevy Blazer with sleepy eyes. We awoke to more than the fact that it was past our curfew. I was pretty sure my parents were going to ground me (or worse) when I got home.

Justin scurried to start up the Blazer’s engine and hit the gas so we could make our breakaway. Just as we peeled away I realized the speaker was still on my passenger side window. The tires spun, the speaker wire snapped and the big, old, heavy metal speaker fell in my lap. 

I looked at Justin in horror and screamed, “What do I do with this?” holding the clunky metal speaker in my hand. 

He panicked and said, “Throw it out the window!” So I did. And we sped away. 

Justin dropped me off at my house and then hightailed it to his. As I crept up the steps and opened the door I knew I was going to be in trouble. Not just any kind of trouble but out-too-late-with-a-boy kind of trouble. 

As I tiptoed down the hallway, I heard my mother’s voice call from her bedroom. I knew I was in for it and I squirmed in my skin as I answered her call. But when I made it back to her bedside, after she scolded me in a hushed whisper for being out too late, she asked the most important question a mother could ever ask: “Did you have fun?” 

I have told this story so many times, so many ways to so many people. It was the unexpected night for two little souls in love. It was an unexpected response from my Mama Sling. And today, on a day that we were not supposed to exchange gifts, Justin gave me the most unexpected gift I could ever imagine. 

A speaker from the Motor-Vu Drive-In from Twin Falls, Idaho. A drive-in that is currently being torn down to make way for a new storage facility. A storage facility that is owned by the same one that Justin stored all his belongings in for the last nine years while we galavanted around the country on numerous adventures. That storage unit was just emptied out this fall as we moved its contents all the way across the country. 

Lost are the days of drive-in movies. And long are the nights where we would worry about our curfew. But this little metal speaker holds a memory and a moment in my life that was unexpected and absolutely priceless…and full of joy.

So much joy for a boy that I have always loved, and a man that still knows how to hold my heart and surprise me in ways I never see coming. 

So tonight, my joy is unexpected gifts and the memories that come with them.


More tomorrow… 
Lovemore,
Jamie

{joyful}
#lovemore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 358 :: joy is christmas eve

24 Dec

{joy}  

There may not be a more joyous day than Christmas Eve. The anticipation of what is to come and the spirit of love and memories filling the air.

And, then there is the grocery store which was a total nightmare today. But alas, we are tucked in and waiting for our takeout Chinese food. ‘Tis the season!

If there is something JOY has taught me this year it is to not wait for one day of the year to feel joyful and bright. Joy has reminded me to go after that which brings joy every day of the year. It is in the everyday moments that we build up reserves of joy that last through the year. 

So here’s to JOY today, tomorrow and every single day.

There is always so much to be joyful for.​

More tomorrow… 

Lovemore,
Jamie

{joyful}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 326 :: joy is a rest

25 Nov

{sunday, sunday} 

Sundays are for rest, rejuvenation, and around here, football. Today, it was a special day reserved for a little shopping and tree decorating and some Patriots. All very Christmas-y things for me.

But, last night I broke an ornament. So, today I bought a new one. It isn’t a replacement, really, it’s a substitution. It’s new. It’s shiny. I love it. Just like the old one.

The new ornament is a heart with angel wings in gold. It reminds me to focus on the joy of what we have, what we have lost and all the things that we have yet to know that we cannot possibly guess right now. 

And that is a lesson in joy. Sometimes, joy is just being with the now, right now. 
 

Today was a Sunday, which in so many ways is the place between the old and the new. 
And, right now, I’m trying to hold onto the joy of the weekend now before it too slips away into the new now.

Joy is a moment in time.

More tomorrow… 
Lovemore,
Jamie

{joyful}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 357 :: christmas kindness

23 Dec
{counting}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Tonight I baked. Again.

This time it was a sweet cake recipe from my alkaline cookbook:

But the really sweet part was sharing the baking process with Justin.  And laughing in the kitchen while trying a new recipe. Who knows how it will turn out?

The best part is figuring it out together.
And sharing….that is what counts most.
How kind.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{share}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 353 :: christmas kindness

21 Dec
{wrap it up}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

We wrapped Christmas gifts tonight. As I was folding and cutting and taping paper I was also showing off a bit. I am a bit of a paper wrapper snob.

It goes way back to my junior high days when my youth group would wrap Christmas gifts in the local mall as a fundraiser. We wrapped the presents so everyone could take home perfectly wrapped gifts. They paid us money – and it raised funds for our initiatives. Win. Win.

I learned all the tricks of the trade in that booth. How to size up paper to match a box. How to fix a box when you ran out of paper. How to crease the corners and tie a bow to add that extra pizzazz.

So tonight, while wrapping gifts for our loved ones, I realized how KIND it is to fold paper for someone else. Really, it’s just as beautiful to wrap something up in a surprise box with all the love and perfectly creased corners, as it is to open up a gift from someone else.

‘Tis the season!
May your season be wrapped in kindness too.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{paper}
#lovemore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 351 :: christmas kindness

19 Dec
{secret}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, laaaaaaa!

I received a Secret Sister email today. It asked for me to send a secret gift to a stranger. I immediately had a chain letter flashback from 1982. And just like then, it seems to be a silly little drill in getting people to give and get things from strangers. All hype. No hope. And probably pointless.

But, I decided to do it anyway. Why not!?

‘Tis the season. It’s also kind. And I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than to give a surprise gift to a stranger.

It is Christmas Kindness, after all.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{surprise}
#lovemore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 351 :: christmas kindness

18 Dec
{rock star}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Last night, after spending days upon days in bed, I finally surfaced. I crawled out of that protective cocoon and faced the light of day. And the fact that I ran out of Gilmore Girls episodes…

Amidst it all, I also felt something new… Aches. All. Over. My body, bless its heart and soul, was done with being sick but still had some healing to do. I could barely move my shoulders with all the aches and pains and finally asked Justin if we had a heating pad… or something that could act like a heating pad. He’s good at finding things so whenever I need something I have learned to ask. To put Justin on the task.

He thought about it for a while and then, just when I thought he had forgotten he walked outside. In the mud and rain mind you. When he returned inside he had his hands full of rocks.

“What are those for?” I asked.
“For your back. I’m going to heat them up, like a hot rock massage.” He replied matter of factly.

Oh… My…  Love… he had me at hot rock massage. My most favorite spa treatment in the world. But could we do it at home?

Turns out, the answer is yes! Justin washed and heated the rocks and then placed them on my back. And then heated them up again for a second round. They weren’t perfect like the rocks I have had in spas … but it was perfectly timed.

It was so gloriously relaxing.
And he is so amazingly kind. A rock star in my book.

It’s times like these when I realize that for all the KINDNESS I have been trying to infuse into my life and others this year, all I really needed to do was open my eyes. Sometimes being kind is remembering to ask for help.

Because the helpers will show up.
Sometimes with rocks in their hands.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{ask}
#lovemore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 347 :: christmas kindness

14 Dec
{resting}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Tonight it seems, my body has one thing in mind for me… to rest. That’s what it wants, so that’s what it gets!

And, I couldn’t think of anything more kind… well, except watching season 7 of Gilmore Girls… good thing I can do both at once!

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{resting}
#lovemore

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 345 :: christmas kindness

12 Dec
{sharing}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

I lost my wallet this weekend. Somewhere in Seattle.

I have no idea where. I know when I last saw it and when I had it in my hands. But when I went to pay for my Chinese food, after eating a full meal in a sit-down restaurant, just after they delivered the fortune cookie, I opened up my purse and there was NO wallet.

I thought I left it in my doctor’s office, because it was the last time I had my wallet. The office was closed so I was told to wait until Monday for them to check the office.

Then I thought maybe I lost it in my car, like it had fallen out somewhere. It wasn’t anywhere to be found.

Sunday morning I woke up to fraudulent charges on one of my credit cards — at a 7 Eleven of all places! It was enough to confirm what I was afraid of… the wallet was stolen. Or swiped. Or picked up somewhere on my path that day.

After canceling all my bank cards and researching how to get a replacement driver’s license and trying to take account of all that was actually in my wallet (gift cards, cash, store rewards cards) I realized something….

Maybe the person that found/swiped/picked up or somehow discovered my wallet needed it more than I did.  Maybe they needed that gift card to JC Penny’s for a Christmas gift. Maybe they needed that wad of Canadian dollars for a trip across the border. Maybe it made their day or changed their life.

Luckily, I am able to replace everything in the wallet with the same or something better.

So maybe… just maybe… it landed exactly where it needed to be with who needed it most. And maybe, seeing it all from that point of view is a way of sharing the holiday spirit.

Maybe, that is Christmas Kindness. As my fortune cookie said, “The gift is in the thought.”

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{sharing}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 344 ::christmas kindness

11 Dec
{receiving}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Today I was on the other side of kindness….

I received an early Christmas gift. It was a bundle of yarn to crochet. I have not “crocheted” (is that a word?) since I was a little girl. My Mama Sling taught me how to hold the yarn and weave it together in a gentle way that eventually created a scarf.

My scarf was crooked with wobbly holes. But I loved it. I loved it so much I gave that scarf to my friend Kari for her birthday. We were maybe in second grade and I’m sure the “gift” looked just as wobbly as my little fingers as they mimicked my mothers weaving magic.

But it was the thought that counted the most. And that brings me to this:  Sometimes the best part of kindness is receiving.

Being open to gifts and the love that comes with it might just be one of the secrets of Christmas.

And now…. I crochet!

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{receive}
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