Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giving it All Away

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime.
Enjoying the ambiance in the house.
I'm happy to say that I've slapped up the decor and haven't spend a dime - nor have I lost any sleep wondering how to decorate.
Same stuff goes in the same place every year.
It works for me, baby.

I'm sipping my new addiction.
Twinings Winter Spice tea.

There's no wrapping, there's no baking (I'll do a wee next week), there's no flurry, there's no hurry.
There's no stress, there's no mess.

Bada ba ba ba ....I'm lovin' it.

We just got some new light bulbs for our kitchen island.
Very hard to photograph.

They are the Edison Vintage bulbs by Feit.
They hang a wee bit too long out of the fixture me thinks, but maybe it's just that the other ones were  up higher.

Speaking of photographing - I'm laughing at most of these pics.
Law girls - I went to college for photography.
You'd never know it.
I know a good pic when I see one, I just don't take them anymore.
I aim and shoot haphazardly and hope that I don't have a reflection of Glenco picking his nose or scratching himself.
It's reduced to that.
For real.

my raggedy Charlie Brown Tree
I'm loving this new Christmas.
I'm loving waking up every morning and my first thought is
 'how can I recklessly give of myself today?'
I love thinking of kind things to do.

But it's got my heart all broken up.
There's so much need.
I bawled when I watched the news and found out people have been going to Kmarts and Walmarts and paying people's layaway accounts in full.
How cool is that?

I cry when I think of kids waking up on Christmas with nothing, not only that - perhaps a horrible family situation to boot.

In the past - I feel that Christmas was a 'look at me fest'
Look at my house!
Look at my cookies!
Look what great gifts I made!

There's nothing wrong with that - unless that's all it is.

My heart is stirring with more.
I want to start a Kindness Revolution.

Last night in bed, I bolted up and turned to Glen and said -
"Let's give it all away!"

There's something about having an empty bank account
 and a full heart that really makes me feel rich.


  1. Ah! I've said the same thing about giving it all away to my hubby and he just looks at me like I've gone mad! Your last statement is SOOO true! I actually feel more alive and richer because I am having to use my God-given talents, abilities and what's available to get through life because we sure don't have anything in the bank to buy our way through! It's liberating! I also think the people who are able to live the simple life are much happier... that's my goal... little by little... bit by bit.

    I love your attitude throughout this Christmas Season. With the new you it's the perfect time to make new, healthy Christmas traditions! I think you're well on your way to establishing some!

    I LOVE your decorations that you've just slapped up!

    I've never heard of Twinings Winter Spice tea. I will have to look for it. I've been drinking Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice. It's only out this time of year. Oh yea, good stuff!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Love this post!It breaks my heart to think of a kid not getting a present. I think a kindness revolution is a great thing to start! Also,if you decide to give it all away,I want that camper ornament!

  3. We have cut WAAAY back this year, too, Jayme. We adopted a family that would have no Christmas withoout us. What we are doing is making something for each other and the money we would have spent is going to that family.

    God bless you- your heart is in the right place~ xo Diana

    ps...I can STILL tell you are a photographer!;>)

  4. I think these hard times have a lot of people rethinking their Christmas habits. Our office has adopted a family ...a single mom who recently lost her job. She has four little ones at home. We set up boxes in the break room for each of the kids with their name and age on the box. Every day, there were new gifts in each box. We took up a collection to purchase a gift card for Mom so she'll have something for Christmas too. That little family will be joining us for the office Christmas party next week and the party is always a big feast they'll get a hearty meal too. This is what Christmas should be. Finding ways to help those around us everyday.

  5. OH MY GOSH! I LOVE YOU!!! I love that line.. lets give it all away!! LOVE IT! Lets, lets do it! May you have a Merry Christmas.. I know you already are though, I can tell.

  6. I think what you are doing for your birthday, blessing someone each AWESOME!!!

    There is a quiet peace in trusting the Lord for your daily provisions & making due with what you have on a slim to none bank account. In ways I find it's much like eating. When I eat to much I'm immediately anxious about when/what I will eat next....stressed by the extra the overabundance. Same with money what you will buy next to squelch this longing to be filled with Christ, with love, with acceptance, with whatever it may be & we fill it with this false band aid. That hurts even worse when we rip it back off. But then I'm not telling you anything oh wise one!

    My man surprised me with a new camera last night, so I didn't get much sleep (oops..not what it sounds like we have 2 under 3..hehe), so I hope I've at least made a bit of sense. :)

    'bout forgot..."I know a good picture when I see one, I just don't take them any more". You crack me up. I took photo in HS like that counts for any thing, but like you (I'm sure) it was dark room for goodness sakes.

  7. I said something similar to my man the other day, but my motivation was slightly different. I can't help but wonder about all the time and money we spend maintaining the things we think we need... if we could just get rid of all the superfluous, imagine all that extra time and cash we'd have for doing something many times more meaningful to help people in real need...

  8. So where did you go to school for photography? I have a dater who wants to major in photography...schools are slim pickins!

  9. I could never be rich. I'd feel too guilty and give as much as I could away. I just want enough to get by. My needs are very simple. I love the way you think, my friend!

  10. I love the feeling of this post, and it's great to think that there are so many people giving so much. Let's hope that we can maintain this throughout the year.

  11. i've never heard of twinings winter spice tea... i'm going to have to look into that. sounds tasty. i've heard the stories lately of the great people paying layway off for some fine folks. that is so sweet. i wish i could do more ... but wonder what would really help? love the decorations. (:

  12. Jayme- One of your 'good deeds' is inspiring your readers everyday! I feel so blessed to have found your blog!! You have a heart of gold! This is the first year we have not adopted a family for Christmas... times are just really hard now for us- my husband- only 41- has had 2 strokes since September and has not been able to go back to work-- and from what all his Doctors are saying -- sounds like he won't be returning anytime soon! :0( Our lives have really been turned upside down! Just thank God everyday Jayme for your health, your smile and your wit!! Give your blessings and thanks to God and he will make good use of you- he already has!!

  13. I love thee.

    I am having a splendid Christmas too.

    Thinking of ways to give around here!


  14. Enjoyed your've got a great thing with it! :-)

  15. I love the concept of not spending any money for Christmas, except to bake a few special things and I also love giving home-made gifts...thoughtful, unique and unforgettable, yet desirable hand-made gifts. As we get older, these kinds of gifts sure are more precious than the bottle of perfume.


  16. Love the decorations, Jayme. Second Christmas in our new home, and found I have 10 - count them! 10 boxes of Christmas decorations (including a Dickens Village)! I have put out fewer this year since our first year of marriage- well, 2nd- we didn't have ANY our first year! Decided I need to figure out how to handle my kid's Christmas ornaments- we have 3 and for years bought or made an ornament for each of them (plus ornaments from places we've lived, ornaments I fell in love with, etc). Most of them didn't make it on the tree this year. It's time to share them.
    A lot fewer gifts this year. The kids wanted to draw names, so we are giving only to our single family members (the ones who might not receive anything from anyone else) and our 2 grand babies, in addition to the names we drew. Feels weird to not give to all my kids, but helps them.
    We are rich. We all have jobs (one of my daughters is a stay at home mom, almost unheard of these days), homes, food to eat, and the ability to share with those who have less.
    Think I'll check at the store- on the way to pick up my husband at the airport at MIDNIGHT- for both Twinings Winter Spice tea and Celestial Seasonings Sugar Plum Spice tea- they both sound great.
    I'm glad I checked in with you- and the rest of you Ladies- I needed a Jayme fix :)

  17. Hi Jayme, I found form Marge and had a nice visit here. I enjoyed your photography. Congrats on the weight loss! Have a Merry Christmas!

  18. We have changed our lifestyle since coming here to France and feel all the better for it. Simple living is uncluttered living, and I agree with everything you say. And I think your photos are great!

  19. Love this post, love that people are going to walmart and kmart and paying off folks layaways! I will join your revolution if you start something up! I always try to do something nice for someone who needs it and doesn't expect it. This year it's a family out in Utah - husband has been cheating and left his family of 13 high and dry. Mom has no money to do christmas, so I sent a box of christmas to her.

    Every little thing helps. It can be handing the coupon coins at Big Y that you've earned back to the next person in line. Or bringing a plate of cookies are a hot meal to the elderly person who lives in the run down little house down the road. Or dropping off some hats and gloves to the homeless shelter downtown..

  20. I about cried when I read about the Kmart layaways too. Now that is the way to live-if you don't need it, and we really need so little, give it away. Sometimes, even if we do need it-give it away anyway.

  21. The more I have the more discontented I am. When I'm poor I live more simply and I am happier.

  22. I am with you. I spent not one cent on decorating except for Advent candles. I even decided to spend Christmas card money on water for those less fortunate. I trimmed the Christmas shopping as much as I could and I have thoroughly enjoyed this lovely, low stress season. It has opened up a lot more opportunity to reflect on our sweet Lord whose birth is what it's all about anyway.

  23. Winter Spice is yummy! Like getting a piece of cake...but no calories!

    I love your attitude...I shall carry it forward! Everything looks so lovely...cause it came from your heart!

  24. Again, you hit the nail on the head. I've been having a rough couple of days & this post is just what I needed. Thank you. I, too, decorate very little & have not bought one thing new this year. It's raining here in Arizona but the flowers will be beautiful. Merry Christmas.

  25. Jayme, my step sister was telling me the other day about some kids she was teaching in New Mexico that came from homes that had pizza boxes to cover the holes in their pitiful poor homes. Alot of the kids had never received a Christmas or birthday gift. Some had stapled cardboard to the bottom of their shoes so they could keep wearing them. The stories went on and on, it broke my heart, all I ask is that you keep them in your prayers, God knows who they are. I in the mean time will see if I can get more info as to helping them. Also, we lost my stepmom yesterday, keep the family in your prayers. Me

  26. You are such an inspiration my friend! This years Christmas theme at church is "going without" and what we can give up, without even noticing usually, and give to someone else. It's soooo much better to give than to receive!!!
    I must admit that I decorate to DEath!! But I get so much joy out of it...I just smile all day long!!! Which makes my family much happier, so maybe I do it for them too!!!
    We do share the adorable vintage trailer ornament.Now I'll think of you every time I look at it! Smile!
    Merry Christmas!

  27. I had a similar conversation with a few friends yesterday (while watching that pathetic Packer game, I might add). A little different twist...somewhat more about our purpose and living and then finding out that there could have been 'more'. Not material things but a more meaningful life. Doing things that truly make you happy. Not worrying about the money...however, I guess that is what life always boils down to. You know...the money. I love that you are into all of the kindness you can muster...I'm a little green actually. I always want to be kind, but somehow can't figure things out. I have to work that day...we have this or that event then....we just don't have the funds for it. I'm rambling, I know. But some days I just want to quit this thing I call a job and sit in my studio and create and blog and be happy. I'm happy, but not really, really happy. Makes no sense at all and I'm just going on and on. For some reason though, I think you might understand me.

  28. Your post and all of the comments give me hope that just maybe things are beginning to turn around in this country. We have made a sad spectacle of Christmas (and every other holiday for that matter). Love to hear that you are enjoying a peaceful season filled with gratitude for that which really counts (like Aaron's DAD getting him a cake!)Blessings!

  29. It's an awakening each Christmas when we realize what's going on all the time around us. Why is it that we notice more this time of year? Truth be told, few of us miss the change or dollar bills we drop into the Salvation Army buckets. We are truly blessed in the nation of plenty and when we see those around us that have so little, we can't help but want to give it all away. Daddy used to say and hand up rather than a hand out. Lots of ways to help, we just have to open our eyes and our hearts! I love your decorations and your photograpy, home.sweet.home.


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