Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Shopping---but the True Meaning of the Season!

This will be a very unusual Christmas for my husband and I this year. We have already packed up all our Christmas decorations in preparation for our move, so we will not be decorating at all. No tree, no presents, no home baked goods as my mixer and much of my baking supplies are also packed.  Even our favorite Christmas music CD's and movie DVD's are safely in boxes. My only decorations will be all the Christmas cards I receive from family and friends, a candle I will light for each week in advent, and perhaps a fresh pine wreath I'll place on our front door as well as ...


..... my beautiful scarlet pink Christmas cactus which is already blooming on my wondowsill so beautifully!


I'm not even shopping for gifts at my local mall this year, as I am cyber shopping instead, and having my gifts sent directly to my family.  I have become quite addicted to the Zulily website, which my daughter introduced to me recently.  It has amazing daily deals for moms, babies and kids - up to 90% off! You have to sign up to see what great products and brands are featured everyday, and when you do you'll receive an e-mail with the new sales of the day. In full disclosure, if you sign up and shop at Zulily through this link I will receive a $20 credit when your order ships.  Warning: If you have children, or grandchildren, you will be very tempted by the adorable and very affordable, clothes Zulily offers, as well as womens' accessories and household items. Today I stocked up on beautiful Laura Ashley closet storage accessories for my new home. I also like that many of the manufacturers Zulily profiles are "made in America" companies. They also ship internationally--check out their web site for further information.


I also applaud the "Made in America" campaign being run by ABC News!  As they say, if every American spent just $64 dollars on an American-made good this holiday season, the result would be 200,00 new jobs! If you click here you can see their interactive map with a coast to coast list of products being made in every state. I believe California leads, but New York also has a wonderful selection.  How does your state rank?   Why not chose a gift for a loved one from your home state this Christmas?

Of course, the true meaning of Christmas is not shopping, gifts, Christmas trees, decorations, or elaborately baked goods and desserts.  It is important to keep the real reason for the season in our hearts.

I saw this video on Betsy of the blog Joyful Reflections facebook page this morning and it made me cry, as it ended so beautifully with my favorite Christmas hymn. Direct link here.  I hope that you take a few minutes of your busy day to watch it and be uplifted by it.



Wouldn't it be wonderful if this happened in every mall this season?

One more thing that touched my heart ... many of you may have seen this photo in the news the past few days.  In case you haven't you must hear this story as it is another perfect example of what Christmas is all about:

 
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these
brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." ~ Matthew 25:40

It was posted to the NYPD facebook page with this caption:

"Jennifer Foster of Florence, AZ was visiting Times Square with her husband Nov. 14 when they saw a shoeless man asking for change. She writes, “Right when I was about to approach, one of your officers came up behind him. The officer said, ‘I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather. Let’s put them on and take care of you.’ The officer squatted down on the ground and proceeded to put onsocks and the new boots on this man. The officer expected NOTHING in return and did not know I was watching."

The officer is named Larry DePrimo--More can be read about him on this NY Times link.   I hope it will inspire all of us to do an act of kindness for someone in need.  What better way to prepare Christmas this year? 

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

I'm adding this post to the following blog events:
Pink Saturday
Think On These Things
Seasonal Sundays
Spiritual Sunday


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45 comments:

Susie said...

Pat, I love the story of the cop and the homeless man. It's heart warming to know there are kind people in our world. I wish you a great Christmas season , even if you can't have all your own things out. xoxoxox, Susie

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Pat, I know this Christmas will not be one you are used to, as your home is packed away, ready for a new and wonderful life. But this change will allow you to be closer to your family and grandchildren and that is so exciting. This is one Christmas, and not a Christmas you will remember with sadness, as it is the year that you made a huge change in your life and it sounds to me as if you will have a wonderful future, I hope it will not be too long before you sell your house and move. Thank you for telling us about Officer Larry DiPrimo he is an inspiration to us all. Have a lovely weekend, Best Wishes Daphne

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

The story of the police officer and the homeless man is very touching. Perfect example of the true meaning of Christmas.

I know you must be looking forward to living closer to your family and grandchildren Pat. Think of what exciting Christmases lie ahead for you and your husband. Don't worry about not having your decorations this year. They'll be even more special next year.
Sam

BEAR's Mom said...

thanks for the flash mob link...i loved it. i saw the policeman give the boots to the homeless man on the news last night.
even though everything is packed, you still have JESUS in your heart, and that's CHRISTMAS!!!

Old Kitty said...

Awwwww your Christmas cactus is beautiful!! I wish mine would bloom so!!

Now you see, I do like singing here (beautiful choral singing is always so heart warming!) but the idea of flash mobbing really scares me having been caught out in one a few years ago - gave me a heart attack when suddenly there was a boom! And music belted out of nowhere and this man started dancing next to me and I ran inside a shop!and stayed in there not knowing what was going on!

But oh the best is that wonderful police officer! What a good good good man!! Now his act of kindness made me cry! And the thought of this poor man without any shoes while it was bitter cold. How sad!!

I know I come across as a philistine when it comes to gadgetry but I'm so glad the woman was there to record and preserve this beautiful moment. I hope to try my very best to take Officer DePrimo's lead and keep to the true meaning of Christmas!

Have a great weekend Pat! Take care
x

pam said...

Hmmm, I wonder how God will speak to you this year as you don't do all the normal fun Christmas things. I bought a Christmas cactus and it promptly lost all of its flowers and buds when I got it home. hmmmm. Someone shared that video on my FB page...beautiful. Someday I want to be part of one of those. Its so nice to see nice stories about police officers...they can get such bad press...their good deeds unseen. precious

Pamela Gordon said...

Hi Pat. Nice post today. I like the idea of buying locally made products. It's difficult to find "Made in Canada" on labels here too. I saw a man walking in Times Square and I could hear this flapping sound as he passed. I looked down and saw that it was the soles of his shoes flapping. They were barely held on with the laces and his socks were showing. Thanks for sharing this good deed by the police officer.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a lovely story. It made me stop and think, Pat.

And so did your info about buying American. I have been buying on eBay and etsy, and now I will take a look at the other from ABC. Thanks for the links.

Love to you and yours...

XO,

Sheila

Riet said...

What a wonderful story about the officer and the homeless man. Wheat a good man an d so right in the Christmas spirit. But I hope all year long we all will be s kind, not only at Christmas. Have a nice weekend.

Barbara F. said...

I am going to visit Zulily's site right away, listen to the video (I am already in a weepy mood since yesterday), and I had a similar Christmas like yours when I moved 12/31/92 into a new home. Bare bones but it was exciting. All the best to you and Vinnie, xo

Roz P. said...

I, too, was so moved by the random act of kindness of the NYPD officer towards the man without shoes on the street. If only everyone cared like that each and every day! What a great post, Pat! We haven't decorated our house in two years because of our travels to family outside of our area. Didn't miss all the fuss for a wink! Merry Christmas Pat!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

P.S. That's one of my favorite hymns. and we sang it our renewal of vows ceremony for our 25th anniversary several years ago. This made me cry. What a great idea!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

I think your gorgeous cactus is all you need as a reminder of the season. How beautiful it is! Best of everything on your move and I hope it goes as smooth as silk! Our Christmas will be a bit different this year too but a good one I think. xoxo

Vee said...

Oh that was very special...I was totally there with the escalator guys and then to have the holy family show up...and that little fellow just at the end taking an extra peek...beautiful...

That cactus is going to give mine a complex...yes, I'm seriously thinking of showing it a picture. Course, it is an Easter cactus blooming in November, but still!

I'm simply shocked by your not leaving out a few wee things for the holidays. Guess you'll be depending on Pandora! =D

Yes, I did see the story about the police officer and was blessed to see his ministering heart.

eileeninmd said...

Pat, your cactus is beautiful. I will go and check out the website link. Love the video and the song. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

LV said...

A truly awesome presentation. My Christmas cactus is trying bloom as as well. I started my holiday spirit in the right way. I will be doing a post on it soon. I visited a nursing home.

myletterstoemily said...

both of your stories brought me to tears.
thank you!

Antiques And Teacups said...

Thanks so much for posting the flash mob at the mall...have reposted it all over the place! Made me cry....
Ruth

ellen b. said...

This will be a different Christmas to remember for you and hubby. I'm glad you will have the true meaning of Christmas in your hearts. Love that story of the N.Y. officers compassionate heart. Beautiful.
Blessings...

Sarah said...

Pat, this is a beautiful story. I've shared it with several friends.
I know this Christmas will be very different for you, but just think how much fun next Christmas will be in your new home with another grand. ;-)

Vickie said...

Hi Pat - thanks for your visit! Somebody sent me the link to both these stories on Facebook today. Amazing, both of them.

Wow, a really different Christmas for you, but you're wise to leave all things packed and just do what's necessary. Next year, you can do a bang-up job on Christmas!

Nellie said...

Pat, I'm sending along wishes for a happy week-end to you. There are many ways we can experience the Christmas season, and you have included some of those in this blog.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home/From Harvest To Table said...

Yes, I saw the news about the officer...wonderful!

Thank you for the link to that video in the mall. Oh Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song.
Hugs,
Penny

Michelle said...

That policeman is really exhibiting what Christmas is all about. I feel your pain in not decorating. My husband and I were in much the same situation many years ago. Strange not to have the season in your home!

Valerie said...

Best wishes on your move! Sometimes simple is nice for a change...you'll really cherish your decorations next year! Love the cactus!!!!

diane b said...

You sure have found a ay to celebrate Christmas without decorations. The Carols made my spine tingle. Are you going to Colorado for Christmas?

Betsy Adams said...

Glad you enjoyed that video... That is what Christmas is all about...

I saw the video of the NYPD cop helping that homeless man. That was AWESOME also...

Yes--there is alot to celebrate for sure this time of year, with joy and peace all around us... Who needs decorations to get in the Christmas Spirit??????

Hugs,
Betsy

Chubskulit Rose said...

Pretty Pink! Have a great weekend.

I read that story to online, very touching!

Crystal Air Pink

Pondside said...

Sometimes the leanest (in whichever way you define 'lean') Christmas is the most memorable. I know that the true meaning of the season is in your heart, and soon the move will be behind you and you'll be celebrating for the rest of your life with your precious grandchildren.

Cathy said...

Merry Christmas Pat. You are handling your transition well. Thank you for the shopping link. I will visit that site today.

The woman who took the picture of the police officer helping the homeless man works for the Maricopa Police Dept here in Arizona. I`m so glad she was at that very place, at that time to share the kindness of that Officer.

Thank you for a great post Pat!

Lily Hydrangea said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful post Pat!
I cried too when I watched the flash mob. I can't wait to share it w/friends & family.
Happy Christmas season to you & yours!

Jenny said...

The true meaning for sure!

Next year you can really go to town!

I'm trying to buy all my Christmas gifts handmade this year...Etsy has been a bit dangerous!

Ola said...

my cactus is not blooming yet, I don;t also feel myself Christmas atmosphere!:(

Blog about life and travelling
Blog about cooking

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Beautiful Christmas cactus!

Enjoy your last Christmas in NYC, Pat!

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, Our Christmas decorations are in boxes but we are leaving very soon for a river cruise in Europe. We won't be home until after Christmas. I miss decorating so much but I am not going to all that work this year. Your reason is a lot different than mine. I have been wondering if the couple that came back to look at your home came to anything. I'm still praying your home will be sold before you leave.

The homeless man story is so moving. There are wonderful people in our world that we never hear about. Thanks for sharing.

Wishing you happy days ahead.
Love, Jeanne

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Your Christmas cactus is beautiful, so full with blooms! My cacti are still babies but I hope they can grow up to be as lovely as your own.
Happy Pink Saturday! :)

PS: I am so happy to see this story about the NYPD officer and his tenderness for the homeless man, now gone viral on the internet. Kindness deserves recognition, especially in today's world. ♥

Happy@Home said...

Your post really touched my heart today, Pat. Filled with great information for making our world a better place. I have been making an effort to purchase USA made products. When I was growing up my dad worked at Ford. He couldn't understand why anybody would buy a foreign car. Around here most of the cars seem to be foreign. Makes me wonder ...
I'm off to check out your links and watch the video. That is after I get a tissue. Have a feeling I will need it :).

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

What a beautiful Christmas cactus. That alone is d├ęcor enough!

I saw the story of the NYPD officer on the evening news the other night...and was so touched. I'm glad that once in awhile the put a good news story in amongst all the bad.

MrsP said...

The thought of celebrating Christmas without lights or tree or decorations is very compelling. I hope circumstances allow that in my house some day. I can see the Christ child, bringing His own sweet light, already!

Debbie said...

Best wishes on your move. Being near to family is precious. I am hosting a giveaway on Dining With Debbie during the month of Merry, Marry Munchies. There are two giveaways, actually: (1) $50 gift certificate to my favorite jeweler, robinsonlane.com and (2) a signed copy of Kat Robinson's new book, Arkansas Pie: A Slice of the Natural State. I would love for you to enter and win one of these. Be sure to enter through rafflecopter. http://diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com/2012/11/2012-merry-merry-munchies-3-baked.htm

bohemiannie! art said...

Thank you for such an informative and wonderful post. I think you'll have a very Merry Christmas without all the trappings.

Charlotte said...

We do most of our shopping online now but hadn't heard of the one you suggested. Will have to check it out. I hope you have a very merry Christmas. I have the feeling you will.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Sara said...

Beautifully said, Pat; thank you for sharing. I loved that Shop American site and was proud to see that my town in California has fishing rods to contribute to the list . . . and the video link was certainly powerful. Yes, I had tears too.

Blessings to you and yours for Christmas.

Pamela said...

Your Christmas cactus is beautiful! Mine is so much smaller and only one bloom so far. Maybe someday it will look like yours!

It's it a blessing that we can still celebrate Christmas without all the decorations, music and mall trips?

Lorrie Orr said...

I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face while watching the video. Wouldn't it be wonderful if such beauty happened everywhere this year? And the story of the police officer giving shoes is so moving.
Thanks be to God.