Loot from blogland? Unlike any other.

I know why you’re here. I really do.

But let me back up just abit though before I get into that.

This has been one of the leanest Christmas seasons ever for my son and I. I’m accustomed to having enough under the tree to not need the stand. But this year has been different.

I’ll admit, I’ve been apprehensive about this season. I don’t worry about doing without myself, but it’s my son I was feeling blue about. I promised him one gift under the tree this season. And although I prepped him well, it was with a heavy heart I proceeded through the motions of Christmas. This is the first year ever I didn’t require purchasing wrapping paper.

So, we began the Christmas season. For Christmas Eve, I decided I needed to hit a reset button badly. So we took in two local church services, very different from each other. The first was an amazing rock and roll rendition of all the traditional carols, a total powerhouse that had you bouncing on your feet, bellowing out all you had. Amazing. Truly.

We entered the second service which was a very homespun and delightful children’s program. Enjoyable mistakes throughout the service warmed your heart to the little ones performing their big productions. We left with smiles on our faces, goodie bags in our hands, filled with the warmth of well wishes from our friends.

I didn’t feel blue any longer. I felt the warmth of the spirit within and carried that to our next destination. My mom’s home.

Friendly banter, teasing, food and opening some presents with Mom is always comfortable and so very home. I especially enjoy blog talk with my sis in law for she follows my blog daily and I’m able to share this little passion with someone in real time.

Upon coming home, I knew what loomed ahead. I tucked my son into bed and head into the living room, placing his one gift under the tree. And sighed.

I closed my eyes, and relived the evening. I allowed the good times to come on in, and kicked out the dread.

 The next morning I woke up before my son. I wandered to the tree disappointed for my boy. With renewed enthusiasm for I’m not even sure what, I walked downstairs in search of… I don’t know. Something. A brainstorm. Anything.

I walked into a forgotten closet and BAM… I remembered a couple gifts I had stored away for a rainy day. I always meant to return them as they were overflow presents from a Christmas past, but never did. And here they were. Boy things. Perfect for my son!

As I placed the new gifts under the tree, I smiled. And with renewed enthusiasm, I grabbed for a shoe and did my annual sprinkling of the baking soda around the perimeter to create Santa’s snowy footprints, a tradition I could put away now due to my son’s age, but chose not to!

And then I smiled again. Big. My eyes wanderd to the gifts beside my son’s. There were a couple of packages from blogland that I couldn’t WAIT to rip open. For ME!

My son adored all the gifts he received and doesn’t appear to be blue at all. And has informed me what he got was better than chicken cordon bleu! LOL!! I am relieved!

As for me, as I opened what Missy and Polly sent my way, I felt such a pull towards what the magic of blogland does for me.

I come here because you get me. No where else do I receive the kudos and encouragement you offer within a passion that recedes so very deep within. And when I actually had the opportunity to touch carefully chosen items that were especially meant for me, I was very touched back.

We have a beautiful home, great friends and family and our health. We have each other and all the other stuff is simply icing on the cake. Nice to have it, but not crucial for survival by any means.

Learning to live in leaner times has actually had it’s rewards. I had the opportunity to teach my son that presents weren’t why we celebrated Christmas. And he reminded me we needed to sing Happy Birthday today. 🙂

But I will tell you. Being able to have a small voice on the net with you, sharing what’s inside, guiding, helping, learning, teaching, is an amazing gift in itself. No where else can one connect to so many with like minded passions and enthusiasm for our chosen hobbies.

You truly don’t need a whole lot of loot to have a wonderful Christmas. The simple things truly are the best. Rejoicing in what you have, loving those around you, accepting their love back, giving without expectations, believing. All those are gifts that no amount of money could ever provide.

And I’m here to simply say, thanks for getting me. And why I come here. And for being interested enough to stick around. And for those of you that went out of your way to shower a little something extra my way just because.

Thanks for helping make Christmas 2009 a season unlike any other to date. I get to share this day with hundreds of well wishers desiring all the same things I do. Our compassion for our passion.

And, for love and acceptance. The best loot of all.

Merry Christmas! And thank-you for just coming around to visit. 🙂

You know how sometimes you just wish you could hear some voices on the other end of our monitors? If you feel inclined, I’d  just love a small hello from you today in the comments. Kind of like, you were really here. 🙂

p.s. stay tuned for some new projects I’ll be creating with these incredible fabrics and trims from Make Mine Beautiful! Have you ever seen a collection so magificent?!? I love them, Polly!

p.s.s. thanks to The Little Green Bean for the little extras along with my beloved Espresso pillow I simply commented on one day that you simply HAD to send. Missy, you are a gem!

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  1. Merry Christmas! Those church services sound wonderful. Sometimes it’s those leaner Christmases that mean the most. Those are the ones that will be remembered long after the material presents are forgotten.

    Bless you and your son – enjoy your Christmas and may 2010 be filled with meaning and live well lived!

  2. Merry Christmas Donna and Cody, it was so nice to spend time with u 2 last night, have great Christmas Dinner tonight, and thanks for sharing your story!!

  3. Merry Christmas. What a beautiful & touching post. My husband makes fun of me because of how much I love blogging because he doesn’t understand…women need that connection with other women and blogging is a fantastic way to do it. I’ve gotten to know you through your blog and even though we’ve never met I feel like I’m visiting a friend when I visit your blog. Thank you. God bless you and take care.

  4. I’ve only been coming here a short time. But I like your attitude toward life and your knack for funky junk decor! I didn’t buy one single gift this year. I am a Meals On Wheels volunteer, and I see how grateful folks are for just a hot meal, a few kind words, and a smile. I would much rather “make stuff” than “buy stuff.” Merry Christmas to you and your boy.
    Brenda

  5. We were also very lean this year. We had a small amount of money to spend on each other- much smaller than Christmases past. And it was fine! We stuck to our budget, sang along with Christmas songs, watched A Christmas Carol, and talked about the real meaning of Christmas. We don’t need a lot – and we are grateful.

    I love what you had to say and you’re right, we do get each other here in blogland. No where else can I show a photo of a flea market find and have people get it. I feel like I have an incredible group of supportive friends around the world.

    Merry Christmas!

    xoxo
    Claudia

  6. We’re out here appreciating you and your blog every day. Your Christmas day today will only have more and more meaning as time goes on. Merry Christmas to you and your ‘lucky to have you’ son!! Sally

  7. I wanted to let you know ..thank you. I enjoy reading each and every one of your posts ~ they make me take a step back and think. Even though I am new to blogland I often wonder why…why I feel so connected, like I have known these people for years. You said it best …we get each other. Thanks so much for your inspiration…Merry Christmas to you and your son! ~ Stephanie

  8. This year was a lean one for us too…and I was feeling really bad after trying to fill the stockings with stuff that just didn’t fill them out like they have in the past. There weren’t tons of gifts under the tree either. I worried the kids would be disappointed…but again I realized that for them, it’s all magical!

    I was hoping you’d have received the giveaway I sent before now, but perhaps it got stuck somewhere in customs? Maybe this week 🙂 I stuck a little extra in there for you…

    Thanks for your honesty, your generosity, your wonderful heart. So glad you’re part of my life Donna.

  9. I sat here crying as I read your blog today. You’re creative and giving spirit is such a gift to me! While we may never meet or speak or hear one another’s voice (that is a shame!) I feel like I know you in my heart!

    Thank you.

    I’m so looking forward to seeing what you have in the works!

    I’m hoping to not be on the sidelines! I’d like to jump into all this creativeness. But if I don’t by way of blogging if you don’t mind I’ll just sit here and read and get inspired!

    Happy Christmas
    Kolein – New York

  10. Merry Christmas! I’m glad to hear that it ended up much better than you anticipated. I know that I tend to worry about disappointing our dear children as well. The thing I remember most about my oftentimes lean childhood is the love, not the presents I did, or didn’t, receive. Here’s to a new year filled with love and enough.

    Warmly,
    Anne

  11. I had tears in my eyes as I read your beautiful post. You have such a magical touch as you turn things into treasures. And you did it again with how you handled your Christmas. What could have been sorrow or disappointment was transformed with the two services and fresh eyes into an evening of beautiful. How wonderful you are for your son!

    Your message is so true – and gets to the real meaning of Christmas.

    Merry Christmas from Connecticut and wishing you many, many blessings in 2010!

  12. I wish I had found your site sooner than a week ago, but I just wanted to stop by and say Merry Christmas. Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m glad to “hear” that the day turned out well. We often don’t know how blessed the small things really are. Again, Merry Christmas, and thanks for continuing this great site!

  13. I read your blog daily, but never really comment. I do get it, and wish you the very best in the New Year. Thanks for all the stuff that I am really interested in that you either talk about or show pictures of. I love it.

  14. Lovely. And so well said. I felt like I found a blogland treasure when I found you a couple weeks ago. What fun it has been to read through your archives. I’m looking forward to all the posts to come!

  15. Merry Christmas Donna to you and your son! I am so touched by your post and I now understand why you waited until today to open your little gift from me. I think something must have told me to wrap them separately, and now I know why! I am so happy to be a part of your little blogging world and am truly inspired by the things you do every day! I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store! Take care Donna!

    Missy

  16. Merry Christmas. I’m winding down my night, and decided to check your blog before I go to bed. I’m so glad I did. Your gifts touch so many of us. Not only do you feel like we “get” you . . . but it’s nice to have someone on blogland that is posting and showing things that show me that you “get” me!

    Joy to you tonight!

  17. Donna,
    My dear bloggy friend. I have so enjoyed getting to know you! Your sweet comments mean so much to me! Your creativity truly inspires me. The gift of time you give us by hosting Sat. night special is truly appreciated. Happy Christmas and I hope you have an absolutely, positively, awesome New Year!!!!!
    Hugs, Lisa

  18. What a touching story Donna. Funny, but last night I reveled in blogland for quite some time, and I was able to read your other blog about your life with Cody. I read every page. Knowing what a great kid I’ve read him to be, and reading about the special bond between you two, I can only imagine that materials things could never mean as much to him as his mom. I feel certain that one day he’ll be telling his own kids about his special Christmas with you this year.

    I am so sorry that you are going through a difficult time right now. I hope that with your recent show in your home, things will start to turn around any day now. You have such a good heart and tenderness for others that I can’t imagine that a blessing isn’t on it’s way to you.

    Cherish this time with your son my friend. There’s a new year on the horizon, and it’s sure to bring better things for you.

    You’ll be in my prayers.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the box of goodies!

  19. Wow. You guys just blow me away. And made me cry. 🙂

    I just got home from a nice dinner at my sister’s. What a fabulous treat to come home to all these wonderful heartfelt comments.

    Thanks for taking the time to make someone you’ve never even met feel special. Couldn’t have come at a nicer time of year. 🙂

    Funky Junk Donna

  20. I am so glad to know that others cannot stay away from blogs even on a holiday. I so appreciate your honesty, your story and your ministry. Whether you realize it or not, you have a ministry to all of us who love your projects, your ideas, and your inspiration. Have a great night! God bless you!

  21. Merry Christmas my dear. What a touching and very real post. I often felt like an outsider with my passion for decorating until I found all of the blogs that pull my heartstrings just as much. It has built my confidence and allowed me to bloom and for that I thank you and everyone else.

    Here is to us all continuing creating, supporting, empowering and growing together in the coming year!

  22. donna… it was so nice to read your honest post. i’ve talked to a lot of people who have struggled this year with a lean Christmas… me included. i made a lot of gifts this year and i have to tell you that i was nervous watching people open the gifts. i was relieved to see that they liked them. but i think the best part was that when i told them months before that it would be a lean Christmas, everyone reassured me that they cared more about spending the time together.

    although it’s hard not being able to shower my loved ones with gifts, i’m grateful that the “leaness” helped us focus on what’s really important… Jesus and each other. :o)

    the church services sounded wonderful and your son just sounds like he’s an awesome human being! :o)

    blessings to you…
    nori

  23. I found your blog a month ago and I’ve gone back and read every post. I love your things but, most of all, I love your attitude and priorities.

    Very best wishes to you and your precious son.

  24. This is definitely a time to contemplate what the Lord has done in our lives and to re-evaluate our priorities. I recently read something that has stuck with me–which is saying a lot during this *time* in my life. There are seasons that ask questions and seasons that give answers. And the neat thing is that in Christ, we can be assured that they all have significance. We can know–really know–that ALL things work together for good!

    I have been where you are with your son, and I can tell you that the emotions run deep. I wish I were there to give you a hug and to tell you face to face that you have given a far greater gift this Christmas than you will ever realize. Your son is blessed to have a mom who sees past the obvious to find the hidden. That is quite clever! 😉

    You have embraced life and your situation and are making something beautiful and meaningful every day! I know we are new buddies, but I feel a closeness to you and am thankful for the outlet you have provided for me in blog world to connect with others.

    God, the Creator, has given each of us a desire and capacity to create. We are made in His image. How much more fun it has been to share this capacity with others in the community you have established at Funky Junk!

    You are blessed, my friend, and have in turn been a blessing to others. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    Love ya!

  25. Magnificent collection of fabric and trims indeed!

    Such a beautiful post and such a wonderful sentiment. That is why I keep coming back, why I enjoy my ‘me’ time on the net so much. My husband and kids are beginning to understand what I get from sharing my ‘hobby’ with my net friends, they will refer to certain changes around here and ask if I got the idea ‘from a blog friend’. Occasionally I will come across someone in real time who has an interest in the same things, but only in the blog world can I find those who instantly get it, who understand.

    You are obviously one very special mom and Cody is one very lucky young boy. The gifts you give him daily are priceless. Enjoy the rest of the holidays and wishing you great things in the fresh new year, my friend.

  26. Thank YOU for your regular gifts to me! Each time I read your carefully crafted posts of creativity, I am inspired!!!! I look forward to each one. So even though we’ve never met, I am indebted to you.

    I also share your faith. Each time I worship and thank Jesus, I get an “attitude adjustment” and a divine perspective on what’s important. We all know he’s working out his purposes in every detail of our lives, when we see it, and when we don’t.

    God bless,
    Martha

  27. hi donna! (nice and loud so it feels like i’m right there with you) i am new to your blog and am just loving it! your style and sensibilities are just my cup of tea, and i adore reading about all of your adventures. may you and your son always feel so blessed as you did this christmas,
    your friend, laurinda in california
    ps send me your address!

  28. What a wonderful post to read the day after Christmas! Your raw emotion and humble attitude is very refreshing and quite inspiring. From reading most of the comments above, you are in the company of many loved ones and definitely not alone. God bless and Happy 2010!

  29. Happy Holidays to you and your son….thank you so much for all the inspiring projects…I look forward to more!!!! Hugs~ Andrea

  30. Well, not only are you uber-talented in a ton of things, you’re a gifted writer as well! I just love your blog for so many different reasons, even though I may not always comment. Blessings to you and your son for a wonderful new year together!

    Cassie

  31. Your post was truly sweet and heartfelt! I remember those days with my mom, and believe me–the love she was always able to dish up every single day couldn’t compare to how many gifts I may or may not have had under the tree. The memories are what make the holidays. Not the things. 🙂

  32. I love your tradition of leaving Santa footprints! I’m glad you had a wonderful Christmas morning. I found some extra gifts I’ve stashed away too for our kids, which was a big help this year. Family time is what it’s all about though. Your son will always remember the traditions more than anything. Merry CHRISTmas!

  33. merry christmas!! blogland is great! it’s my “hobby” per say!!

    i adore your blog, and give you kuddos!!!!! that’s why i KEEP coming back!!
    we, too, sang happy birthday yesterday!!!!

    hope your new year is fantastic!

  34. Overwhelming. That is how I feel about your comments.

    The blue has officially left the building! 🙂 It’s a game playing day today so it’s time to clean up around the tree, boil up some turkey stock and play some games and giggle. 🙂

    Thanks all. You’re soooo awesome.

    FJ Donna

  35. Reposted for Rene:

    Yes, lean times teaches us what is really important, but we do worry about our kids and want them to have a “good” Christmas.

    Blogland does give us a connection unlike any other…a mutual respect for each other’s creative passions.

    Now I must get back to my family ;). Merry Christmas!

  36. I was a single mom to 3 daughters for many years and can certainly relate to wanting more for my children. But like your son I believe it was the time spent together that meant more than the gifts themselves. Just being together and getting something from a loved one that we knew spent their last dollar or looked all over for just the right thing. Love your blog. I always enjoy my visit.

  37. I’ve only “known” you a short time but I feel like I really get you. Your blog is a delight to read and I love how your character and humor come through.

    Merry Christmas to you and the boy. 🙂 Thank you for all that you do.

    Love,
    Jen

  38. You “get” me. It is really a treasure to have days where no one in your family understands you but then I come to your blog and you understand. I come here and don’t feel alone. That is the present that you give and I thank you for it.
    I can tell your son is one wonderful young man and that shows that his mom is one wonderful lady who taught him well.
    Enjoy the rest of his break from school and keep making all those – time filled memories- he’ll remember way more than any gift he has received wrapped in paper. The best gift is the gift you give him every day- your love wrapped around him.
    tammy

  39. Donna I enjoyed your entry- isn’t it wonderful the way our prayers are answered- things tucked away in closets long forgotten.

    We had not one wrapped gift under our tree. Gifts are one of my love languages and this would have been so disappointed a few years ago but it was a wonderful gift this year- no expectations- celebrating the real meaning of Christmas- bringing joy to others-

    blessings
    mary

  40. Thank you for sharing so candidly. We had a leaner Christmas than usual this year as well, but I noticed that none of us seemed to mind. It only reminded us that we already have a very full life and truly don’t have need of anything else.

    I’m so glad that you are in the blog world. I absolutely love your blog and learn so much here, including how to enjoy and have a good attitude on a lean holiday!

  41. Hello Donna,
    Now that I have started blogging, I actually feel bad for those that do not. We bloggers are a special breed and you are right, “we get it, we get you.”
    Your post tonight is so endearing.
    We just never know what is going on with others and through blogging we enrich one another’s lives by sharing the good and the bad.
    I’m so glad I found your blog.
    God Bless you and your son.

    hugs~~Sissie

  42. What an amazing post. I can understand lean times and although we had a great Christmas, it was due to generous parents, friends, and family. It was also due to some good thrifting and jackpot yardsales this summer. I wish you and your son the very best this holiday season.

  43. Love how you decorate on a budget.

    And how you made Christmas so special for your son.

    With just a few things.

    And a lot of love and thankfulness.

    Sweet dreams/

  44. Good Morning and Merry Christmas!

    This is one of the best posts I have read all year…thank you.

    Blessings to you and your Son. And, I like to think of the Blog~World as a gift that keeps on giving.

    Smiles ~ Ramona

  45. This message is kind of late, but brings the same sentiments as all the others. I also love what you do and feel that your son is so fortunate to have you to make his house a home (there is a BIG difference) filled with love and a caring mother. Enjoy your time with him… that’s what is so important.

    BIG HUGS

    ~Julie~

  46. So love what you wrote in this post. It was a tough year for our family as well. If you think about it Jesus’ birthday party was really quite simple…only 3 gifts. Being humble as you are is really what it’s about.

  47. I was touched by your blog this day. I’m late commenting but I read it to Marian (Miss Mustard Seed) – my daughter, on Christmas and meant to comment on it then. I started reading blogs because Marian had one and as a Mom – I wanted to encourage her. But I have to admit there are some talented people out there. A real group of people that share a common interest. They are generous with their ideas and are open to learn from each other. It has been really fun. I dare say that this year will be a year that both you and your son will cherish. I rejoiced with you when you found those extra gifts in the closet – truly His provision as He saw the tender heart of a Mom that loves her son. Well it is New Years Eve and I am just getting to commenting – but I have remembered you all week. May 2010 be filled with wonderful surprises. I look forward to what you and Miss Mustard Seed have up your sleeves :). Happy New Year. Marian’s Mom

  48. I’m so glad your Christmas was not too lean and that you enjoyed good times with your son and Mom. I’m sure he’ll remember this year for the love you showed him rather than the material gifts he got.
    Happy New Year!