'Tis the season

Christmases long long ago

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Well, the last few are all from the same Christmas -- I was in 2nd grade when I got that guitar! I remember watching "Santa" unload the goodies from the attic right outside my bedroom door, and seeing the guitar from my bed -- I was supposed to be sleeping, of course.

For the past many years, until last year, our family has drawn names to exchange gifts -- oftentimes handmade, always heartfelt. Things were different last year and we gave in a different way. And things will be different from now on.

We talked at Thanksgiving about some other things we could do, such as adopting a family but, though we all live in Wisconsin, we're all from different areas and thought perhaps some would prefer to give in their own communities or have something else altogether in mind.

Like me! I decided to give the gift of sheep and support the Knitter's Review 2011 Heifer International fundraiser with the money I'd have otherwise spent on a gift (or the yarn for the gift). It's perfect, with all of my girls knitting in earnest this year, and because my sisters have all knit, and my mom taught me, and there's that great old picture of my grandma holding a lamb on the farm. I think the KR registry will still be up for a bit.

What I really want to tell you about, though, is my mother's brilliant idea! I just love it. She decided to give every time she passes a Red Kettle this season -- sometimes it's only whatever change she can find in her purse, sometimes it's a dollar, sometimes a fiver, sometimes it's a few different bills. It's always with purpose and intention and she knows she's going to do it, so is prepared and it's not an annoyance like it sometimes can be when you're trying to get in or out of the store and your arms are loaded with milk, powdered sugar, chocolate, and bacon. Or some other stuff. Anyway, I think it's just brilliant. Go Mom!

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Boy, it sure felt like Friday today... one more day and then a few extra days off next week for Christmas Vacation!!




We stopped exchanging with Dale's brothers and sister a years back, too. We use to buy for everyone and then we started doing a Yankee Swap after Christmas Dinner but a couple of years ago I made the point that none of us NEED anything and wouldn't it be better to make a charitable donation instead? Everyone loved the idea so that's what we do now. I bought food for the food pantry at work and I know my SIL took tags off the tree at Town Hall for Christmas gifts for needy families. This is so much better!


We do that too! Each adult family member chooses a charity and we donate in their honor. Some pick the same one each year while others change as their focus changes. I love it.


The red Kettle is such an easy way to give as it's always near by. It's also my favorite way to give a little during the Holidays. Heifer is a great choice, as is the local food bank. The grocery store has small bags you can buy and they give the food, or money. Giving is easy and fun (if you want it to be!). God bless us everyone!!!


*Love* the photos! And the charity idea is a wonderful one - I've been trying to plan ahead for the red kettles this year too :^)


Good for your mom! I have been trying to do that, too.


I always love your older pics like this. We couldn't afford many pictures when I was around that age (at roughly the same time), so it is a little flashback of my youth. Thanks for sharing.


I think our mother's must have shopped at the same stores . . . because I had some of those very same outfit! What fun!

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