Tag Archives: christmastime

BLOG – GIFT DAY 357 only for family

23 Dec

There are some things you only do for family.

And this Christmas, I am here to report, there are some things you only do for your nieces… when you are their uncle.

Specifically when you are Uncle Justin.

Yes, his toe nails are now painted blue and red, which is apparently “okay” because it represents the New England Patriots.

How manly you say?
Why, yes. Very manly.

Every little girl deserves an uncle who lets her paint his toe nails, and then teaches her how to make a paper airplane (that flies!) out of folding paper into all sorts of pointed shapes.

It’s these sort of memories that are priceless.
And truly the gift of Christmas.

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}
Jamie

P.S. You still have time to join us in The Card Crusade and help spread some cheer this year.You could win a FREE year’s worth of greeting cards from Green Ink Gallery!

{here’s to you and yours!}

BLOG – GIFT DAY 356 :: and we’re off!

22 Dec

The holidays are here!
Well…. at least our road trip has arrived.

We leave in a few hours for our drive north… not quite to the North Pole. But it will be Christmas where we go. (With two dogs in the car I might add…. oh the joy!)

Wherever you go… Here’s to your happy holiday memories.
The baking, the eating, the gifting, the opening of GIFTS!

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!”

May gifts of abundance find you wherever you are!

More tomorrow.
Lovemore {fearless}
Jamie

P.S. You still have time to join us in The Card Crusade and help spread some cheer this year.

You could win a FREE year’s worth of greeting cards from Green Ink Gallery!

{what is the best gift at christmastime?}

Day 353: 12 days of christmas :: i believe! i believe! i believe!

20 Dec

I sit here tonight ruminating on the word BELIEVE.
Tis the season I suppose. 

It is 5 days until Christmas — otherwise known as the season of believin’.

Primarily believing in faith:

…that a rather large man in a red, shiny suit will shimmy his way down the chimney.

…that an Elf has nothing better to do than sit on a shelf.

…that the world will not end on 12/21/12.

believe, the promise 365, jamie eslinger

Today as I stood in an excruciatingly long line at Traders Joe’s I became increasingly annoyed at how long it was taking to just check out already!

I looked at the check-out lane next to me and saw it was open.

Opportunity!

As I made my move a cart rolled in and took the free and open spot.

Phooey!

As the smoke poured out my ears I looked ahead in line to see what was a matter.  What could be the hold up?

Turns out it was a frail, elderly woman and her husband.

They were almost five feet tall (almost!) all hunched over and barely able to peer over the credit card swipe machine. The kind and patient woman who worked for Trader Joe’s sweetly talked to the elderly couple as they SLOWLY paid for their goods.

  • She asked them how long they lived in the area.
  • She asked them what they were doing for the holidays.
  • She asked them how long they had been married.

By the time they paid for their groceries, filled up their cart and wheeled away, I watched three people check out in the line next to me.

But I learned more about this little old couple in those ten minutes than I know about my own neighbors.

  • They have lived in Hanover for their entire lives. 
  • They are having their children home for the holidays. 
  • They have been married 50 years. 

Just watching this kind cashier soak in and celebrate this elderly couple’s life restored my faith in humanity.

It jettisoned my faith in a friendly neighborhood place to shop.

And reminded me how important it is to slow down and listen.

As I paid for my groceries the woman in line behind me smiled at our cashier and said, “Thank you for taking the time to take care of them, we will all be their age someday.”

She is so right.
We will all be there someday.

And that gives me even more reason to believe: 

In our neighbors.
In ourselves.
In our world.

And…

…that a rather large man in a red, shiny suit will shimmy his way down the chimney.

…that an Elf has nothing better to do than sit on a shelf.

…that the world will not end on 12/21/12.

Because every good action begins with a good reason.
Faith.
And love.

I believe.

Happy holidays.

Lovemore,
Jamie

_____________________________

My Gift To You

the promise daily, the promise 365

The Promise Daily is a little inspiration and a kick in the pants! (In the most loving way.)

Because you have goals — and I want to help you stick to them. All you have to do is sign up here.

The Promise Daily officially starts on January 1st, but you can sign up now.

My gift to you!

Day 352: 12 days of christmas :: present and presents

19 Dec

I just returned home from yoga class.
It was a little present I gave to myself during the hectic holiday ramp up of buying, wrapping, locating, returning for the right size presents.

After all, we are only 6 days until Christmas.

As soon as yoga class began, the instructor asked us to “be mindful to what you will be present for tonight.”

Here we are in the holiday season and there was that word again… present.

present, the promise 365, jamie eslinger

It made me stop and reflect on presents and being present…. and being present for presents.

Ever since my mother died there has been a black cloud over Christmas in my heart. She was the Queen of Christmas. Specifically, she was the queen of the BOWS that went around the wrapping that held the presents.

Nobody was allowed to smash a bow. Just placing the gifts under the tree was a challenging game of Tetris.

“Don’t smash a bow!” Mama Sling would yell from the kitchen as I hovered over the tree as if she had eyes in the back of her head.

(And, just for the record, I believe Mama Sling DID have EYES in the BACK of her head.)

With Mama Sling so went Christmas.

Gone were her stockpiles of gifts hidden in the back of her closet, just in case someone showed up at the house as a last minute surprise. Gone was the gigantic pile of gifts under the tree all neatly wrapped with bows the size of Texas.

Ever since Mama Sling died I have had to learn to relate presents with Christmas in a whole new way. I learned to accept the new rules of the my father’s house, that only the grandchildren would be given gifts at Christmastime. I had to accept the fact that my husband, at the time, believed gifts were a waste of money.

I had to accept that my definition of a present was not the same as others. I believe Christmas should come with gifts straight from the heart, no matter the size. It’s just the thought that counts. I blame Mama Sling, it’s all her doing.

And, tonight as I took in a deep breaths during yoga, being present for every single stretch and painful move, I smiled at how far I’ve come.

Not just because my life now revolves around a family that adores Christmas. And not just because Justin, my partner, is the World’s Best Giver of Gifts.

It’s because after all this time, I finally know that just being present is the most wonderful present of all.

Being present for friends.
Being present for family.
Holding the presence of those who are no longer here in my heart.

That’s the magic of Christmas — the very precious present.
Well, that, and some seriously gigantic bows that are not to be crushed.

Love you Mama Sling.
Your presence is felt.

Lovemore,
Jamie

________________________________
My Gift To You

the promise daily, the promise 365

The Promise Daily is a little inspiration and a kick in the pants! (In the most loving way.)

Because you have goals — and I want to help you stick to them. All you have to do is sign up here.

The Promise Daily officially starts on January 1st, but you can sign up now.

My gift to you!

Day 350: 12 days of christmas :: snow

17 Dec

It’s Lovemore Monday.

Today we awoke to snow.
It covers the ground as if someone laid out a magical blanket to prepare for the week ahead.

winter snow, thepromise365, jamie eslinger

And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
We are eight days from Christmas. 

This morning as I watched Justin scrape the ice off my car I couldn’t get a word out of my head.

Frost.

I watched in amazement as the snow fell off the windshield, as the ice shattered into thousands of pieces, as it all broke away and fell to the driveway below.

And then I began to sing: Frosty the Snowman.

There must have been some magic
in that Old silk hat they found.
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around.

O, Frosty the snowman
Was alive as he could be,
And the children say he could laugh
And play just the same as you and me.

I suppose that’s what makes snow so amazing and magical around Christmastime.
It doesn’t last forever.

Not the snow, cookies, giftwrap, candy canes or gingerbread houses.

Every year the snow melts, the cookies get gobbled up by Santa, the Elf on the Shelf flies away, the gifts are unwrapped and the tree comes down.

In the end only love remains.

The traditions, new and old. The good old times, the memories, and the timeless recipes that have been handed down through generations.

And that is even better than snow.

Just another reason why, on this Lovemore Monday….

I. Love. It.

Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Look at Frosty go.

Thumpetty thump thump,
Thumpety thump thump,
Over the hills of snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmuJDmjq-xQ

________________________________

My Gift To You

the promise daily, the promise 365

The Promise Daily is a little inspiration and a kick in the pants! (In the most loving way.)

Because you have goals — and I want to help you stick to them. All you have to do is sign up here.

The Promise Daily officially starts on January 1st, but you can sign up now.

My gift to you!

Day 339: i love lamp

6 Dec

My car says it is 25 degrees outside.
Even though it was a clear, blue, beautiful sky here today …it’s cold.

minot beach, the prommise 365, jamie eslinger

Now it’s dark and cold.
But we’re inside and warm (the heat was fixed yesterday!).

All is lit up outside too.

Down the street, every house has candles in the windows, lights on the porch, twinkling, blinking Christmas cheer from every corner of the block.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

As I drove back from the grocery store tonight, I looked at all the beautiful lights blinking back at me and thought of that old line from Anchorman: “I love lamp.”

Except for me, it’s “I love lights.”

How can this not be the most wonderful time of year?

I was recently told by someone that giving is not better than receiving. His point was that giving and receiving are equally wonderful. 50/50. Good/Good. Fun/Fun. Special/Special. Love/Love.

I agree.

Here’s to giving and receiving.
‘Tis the season.

Day 335: what’s your favorite holiday cookie?

2 Dec

I broke my two year streak last night.
I at a cookie.

Not just any cookie.

I ate Pam’s Chocolate Chip cookies.
They. Are. To. Die. For.

Pams_Cookies

Seriously. Two years ago I couldn’t stop eating Pam’s cookies. I would eat an entire plate of these chocolate chip cookies. They have some secret ingredient that Pam refuses to reveal (personally, I think it might be crack.)

This weekend I caved to the crave.

I ate Pam’s cookies!

But, I now have the self control to stop myself from gorging and devouring all the cookies on the plate.

In the past I would have boxed out everyone at the party to keep the platter all to myself and then licked it clean …with my tongue …right off the plate. I would have hid Pam’s cookies in my purse in order to take the sweet treats home and then gulped them down in secret.

What am I saying… I have done all of the above.

Pams_Cookies_2

But, I have now learned my lesson.

After giving up sweet treats and facing my sugar addiction last year during the first year of The Promise 365 I have learned about sugar boundaries.

I have learned many lessons about sugar actually.

The most important is this: the less “sweetness” I have in my life the more “sweets” I crave in my diet.

So I am proud to report that I ate not forty or twenty or twelve, but only three of Pam’s cookies tonight. Trust me, it’s progress. Believe me, they are worth it.

But my favorite, most crave-orite cookie is the crinkle — as in Chocolate Crinkle Cookie.

Why?  Because Mama Sling made these scrumptious delights at Christmastime.

And it is when I miss my mama most that I crave sweets.
Whenever I crave sugar, I really want a hug from Mama Sling.
When I pine for pie, I really want her kisses.
When I reach for chocolate, it is her laughter and that special brand of jolliness that I want to fill my life.

Knowing is half the battle.
I still limit my sugar intake and certainly don’t cave to every crave, but before I let loose and treat myself these days, I evaluate why I want it. Because there’s always a reason. 

So here’s my favorite cookie recipe. It’s not Pam’s but it’s pretty darn good.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe here

May your life be sweet and may you sugar responsibly. 

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