I love this time of the year. Children are excited, parents are shopping, towns are decorating, houses are lit. There is a feeling of joy in the air, but it’s not from what I just listed. The joy comes from the hearts and actions of people I know (and some I don’t).
Let me explain...Our local food pantry runs on shelves of donated food and those shelves are decently filled. At Christmas time, those shelves are overflowing! I used to give a $5 bill to my children when they were young and let them buy food at a local discount food store for those same shelves. They were asked to buy things that they would want to see on their plates for dinner. They had a blast! And today, one of them is volunteering regularly at the weekly soup kitchen offered through the pantry. This gives me JOY.
Another example…On our street there are quite a few elderly residents. This year
I work in a school. This month I have seen boxes set out for a food drive, a children’s gifts drive and a winter coat drive. Those boxes have had to be emptied every day as they were overflowing with donations. My own office coordinated the food drive, and there were families who donated CASES of canned foods at a time. That gives me JOY.
I took my grandkids Christmas shopping at the mall over the weekend. There were Christmas trees all over the place with tags on which were written names of children and an item they wished to receive for Christmas. Each of my grandkids took a tag and with a little ($$) help from Grandma, they had a blast choosing “the perfect” gift for that needy child. Their eyes lit up when we took them back to the tree, all wrapped up in colored paper and love. That gives me JOY.
There are just so many examples of the JOY that people give and receive at this time of the year. And in writing this post, I have just figured out what my 2014 resolution will be. I am going to (try to) offer a Random Act of Kindness every day next year. Now granted, it could be as small as sharing a smile with a stranger, but if I can get that stranger to smile back, my mission would be successful! Because giving joy to others is what gives me JOY.
So you’ll never guess which carol is my favorite Christmas song. Wait for it…JOY to the World!! Hahahahaha!
Now on to my project. I had a naked white 8 inch chipboard snowflake in my Christmas craft stash for YEARS! Today I decided to make a snowflake wreath. I colored a Crafter's Companion stamp from a set called "Christmas Magic" from the Winter Tales collection. Doesn't it look like she is dancing for joy?! After framing it with cardstock, I popped it onto the center of my 'flake and let the embellishments fly! Once I (thought) I was done, I wasn't satisfied with it. It needed some backing of a sort, so I shuffled through my box of lace and trim and found the perfect (to me) piece to go around my "wreath." I finished it off with a piece of metallic twine from which to hang my decoration.
I am entering my project in the Crafters Companion Monthly Challenge blog, whose theme is to use ribbon, twine or thread. They are offering a $30/30# prize to a winner.
I also have entered my decoration in the Path of Positivity Challenge blog, whose challenge this month is JOY. Entries for this challenge will be accepted until January 5: