Wednesday, December 11, 2013

JOY, Part 2: The Joy of Christmas


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 Chicago has seen a fair amount of snow three times already.  After every snowfall, my neighbors “extend” their property lines to include the walk and driveways of their elderly neighbors who don’t hire a snow removal service.  One of those kindly snow-blowers is my own hubby.  That gives me JOY.
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: 
  • This month, prizes will be the following:
    • Ten digital images from Creative Bug Digitals, for the person out of the top seven who receives the most votes during voting week.
    • Three digital images from Ike's World  for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
    • Three images from Fresh Brewed Designs, this month's guest sponsor, for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
    • One digital designer paper from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
    • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

4 comments:

Holly Young said...

This is so cute! Pat you just continue to amaze me with your projects. I love all of the little embellishments and jewels. The little image in the middle depicts the JOY you feel perfectly!

Desire Fourie said...

Christmas time is definitely a joyous time. This is so perfect for our JOY theme this month. Thanks for sharing your talent with us and good luck.
Hugs
Desíre
{Path of Positivity DT Member}
{Doing Life – my personal blog}

nwilliams6 said...

What a great project. Super story too. Loved reading it. Hugz!

Path of Positivity said...

Whoops I also forget to mention in my last comment how much I enjoyed your bright joy filled art project.

Now for this post...
How wonderful that you brought up in your children the sense of community and taught them about the importance of giving to charities such as food shelters. It truly say a lot about your character, especially given that one of your children has made volunteering there, part of their schedule. As you state, the holidays are the one time of the year when we see more people reaching out and doing something to bring joy to a stranger. Now if it were only possible that EVERYONE could continue to do so throughout the rest of the year. That is one wish I'd love to see come true.

Your snowflake turned out beautiful and I'm so glad you got to share it on our Pathway during the JOY challenge.

Hugs,
Lisa