Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Blessings & Kindred Hearts

When I was little my grandparents lived in New Mexico, so my brother and I anxiously awaited the Christmas package that would come in the mail. Stuffed inside were pre-wrapped presents with little surprises. Nothing huge and sometimes very small, but always sent with love, fondness, and thought. It's nice to know someone is thinking about you.

I came home today to an Amazon box sitting on my table that my husband had set for me to open. Great, thinks I, CoCo's Kindle cover finally came. I ignored it. Settled the kids in for a quick TV show so I could make supper without dodging them. I changed the frog's (yes we have a pet frog) aquarium and emptied the live crickets inside. I spent a few moments to myself in silence as I made hashbrowns and cooked venison links in the cast iron pan. Fine. Time to open the Amazon box.

The label caught my attention. Since when does Amazon hand write a label? The return address I didn't recognize--it was a business name. And then it hit me. THAT'S ERICA'S HUSBAND'S COMPANY! It's not from Amazon! It's from Erica!

Suddenly the sensation of being a child rushed through me. I tore into that box like a dog into a steak. Sure enough, inside, were two WRAPPED Christmas presents. There is nothing better than getting a gift in the mail (especially when gifts are one of your primary love languages), even better when someone took the time to WRAP it.

I unwrapped the presents and heaved a happy sigh. Erica MADE me a Christmas present. I love handmade gifts. They're so much better than Walmart. Maybe I appreciate them more because I can't for the life of me hand-make anything. But it was also the material. Coffee beans, and mugs, and words, and coffee ... love.

My new table runner was quilted with care and the place settings were four -- one for each of us. (They ARE place settings right? I mean, I didn't make up some new thing and they're really like mug holders or something?!)

But in reality, these are just things. You know, we can all get tied up in materialism at Christmas. In fact, we even hear messages on the radio, at church, and from devout friends, that Christmas isn't about gifts, but it's about the birth of our Savior.

I agree. But let me place my argument... Christmas is about symbolism. Gifts are a symbol of the greatest gift. The greatest gift, Jesus, represents love, salvation, blessing, and friendship. So to me, giving and receiving gifts is symbolic of the same.

Erica made me an apron earlier this year. It has cowboys and horses on it. What do you think that symbolizes? :) :) :) My FIRST NOVELLA, The Cowgirl's Lasso. When I wear it, I think of my dream, and then I smile. Because Erica cared enough to tie herself to my heart's dream (because she had the same one too), and her gift symbolizes that kindred spirit.

So while we try to avoid the materialistic hustle and bustle, don't negate the meaning behind gifts and the love and care we share. I love my table runner and my apron more than I do the dress I ordered form Old Navy this week (and am second guessing whether I really needed it). These items are symbolic of so many things but most of all . . . friendship.

Because friendship at Christmas, is what makes Christmas warm, inviting, and filled with special memories.

Thank you, Erica <3! :)

Do you have a special gift that symbolizes something unique to you that you cherish?


Professional coffee drinker, Jaime Jo Wright, resides in the hills of Wisconsin. She loves to write spirited turn-of-the-century romance, stained with suspense. Her day job finds her as a Director of Sales & Development. She’s wife to a rock climbing, bow-hunting Pre-K teacher, mom to a coffee-drinking little girl, and a little boy she fondly refers to as her mischievous “Peter Pan”. Jaime completes her persona by being an admitted social media junkie and coffee snob. She is a member of ACFW and has the best writing sisters EVER!

"The Cowgirl's Lasso", The Cowboy Bride's Novella Collection - Barbour Publishing - COMING MARCH 2016

"Gold Haven Heiress", California Gold Rush Romance Collection - Barbour Publishing - COMING AUGUST 2016

Visit Jaime's web site: jaimejowright.com

Email Jaime - jaimejowright at gmail dot com

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  1. I love your table runner. I crochet but cannot for the life of me quilt. Homemade gifts are very special to me as well. I remember one year my grandmother, who's been gone for over 35 years, crocheted me a pillow. She apologized and said she didn't have enough money to buy me anything. I told her what she made meant so much more to me. I still have that pillow and treasure it!

    1. You crochet so beautifully too!!!!! <3 Love the story of your pillow!!!

  2. Your table runner is awesome !!!! what a wonderful gift !! You are so right, hand made gifts are the best !!! I am trying to learn to quilt...I did make one from my dad's flannel shirts after he passed away and gave it to mom.. it was fun, but not hand quilted, hand tied !! I did go to Amish Country and saw their quilts...so I now want to learn, even if it is hand quilting. thanks for sharing your wonderful surprise. My favorite gift, mom crocheted a large granny square for Christmas to put on the table, so I am happy now. I do have afghans from her, but this is right out every Christmas.. she still makes me smile ... that is my treasure...

    1. What a wonderful treasure too, Rosemary!!! Those made by the hands who loved us the most!

  3. Interesting that you should post about this. I have been shopping online for all our kids and grandkids lately, and have several packages arriving this week. My husband & I arrived home at the same time yesterday to discover a box on the front porch. It is some of the items I had my step-sister make for me for the grandkids. However, inside along with all the items I ordered, there as an additional box - all wrapped up - with my name on it. It was a gift to me from my step-sister (see, they can be so nice and thoughtful!). She had made me a set of beautiful pillowcases. Made with love, the fabric print was cardinals in the winter. She knows I love cardinals. Yes, Jaime...gifts are symbolic of the love and friendship between the gift giver and the recipient. Gifts are even more precious when they are not expected and a complete surprise. This time of year we usually expect to get a gift. But, when a gift comes when not expected and from someone you wouldn't think would give you a gift, the gift becomes a treasure. Enjoy gifting and receiving. It warms the heart.

  4. I adore this so much. I just fall to pieces over home made things. And when they are surprises? Oh mylanta, my heart melts. I have an old soul and love that kind of thing. Thanks for sharing this, Jaime! It makes me smile.

  5. Aww. How sweet. This is a heartwarming post!

  6. :) I'm so glad you liked it! When I saw the fabric and pattern at the quilt store, it just said, "Jaime!"


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