Saturday, December 14, 2013

the reason for the season

Every year about this time
I am reminded of one of the nicest things
 someone has ever done for me.
It was over a decade ago,
I had just gone through the big D
{and I don't mean Dallas}.
I was in the process of rebuilding my life,
living alone in a little carriage house apartment.
Needless to say when you're going through that process
the holidays aren't always the happiest time of the year.
One day there was a knock at my door.
I wasn't expecting anyone so I peeked out the window
and saw my girlfriend Shannon and her two year old son.
Now I've known Shannon since elementary school.
I know.
That's a LONNNNNGGGGGG time.
I open the door for them
and she had brought a little Christmas tree
and all the fixin's to decorate it.
I had not planned on decorating for the holidays.
Honestly I'd never been alone before.
I, like a lot of people,
{back in the olden days you know}
went straight from my parents house
to my now-ex's house.
I'd never been "on my own."
And yet here I was.
Again with no plans to celebrate any thing that year.
Except being alone :)
My friend Shan was not having it.
She came in with the tree and put her little guy to work.
She happily chatted away.
Stringing lights.
Hanging red ball ornaments.
Her son took stuff off the tree.
She'd put it back on with a laugh.
I balled.
Like a baby.
Because honestly I think it was the nicest thing
any body had ever done for me.
I know I'm loved but that was just pure and honest goodness.
The reason for the season.
Ok...another little story if you will.
So I have this friend Steve.
All my running peeps are giggling as they read this
because Steve is...
he's a riot.
And he's single.
He was married to another member of our running group
but when they split stuff up in the divorce
he got us.
Honestly I think got the better end of the deal.
Anyway last week I asked Steve if he had put his tree up yet.
He said he wasn't putting one up.
Actually his text read "I don't have kids.
I'm not putting up a tree."
Like Shannon I was not having it.
I texted some of my peeps.
Tree emergency I said.
Steve needs one.
Everybody dug through their holiday décor
and chipped in a few items.
I fought competed with an elderly lady for a tree at Whole Foods.
She kept eyeing the little table top trees I was perusing.
I'd pull one out of the line-up to look at it.
Then she'd circle it.
And critique it.
Out loud.
To me.
Like "No, this one is leaning.
Its not straight.
Why'd they cut the bottom wrong?
This side is flat."
You get the picture.
I was trying to be nice.
Let her pick first and all.
But after a while I decided to cut bait.
I knew Steve wouldn't care if his tree was "full" or not.
She turned her back for a minute.
I grabbed a tree and ran.
Later that day I picked up the ladies who could go
and we descended on Steve's house like a stealth CIA operation.
He was surprised to say the least.
We swooped in and decorated the tree...
We even put leftover ornaments in a bowl as a dining room centerpiece.
Steve was scratching his head over that one. want a bowl for what?
It looked great.
The tree was not enough though.
This sounds like I'm playing the dating game,
trying to set Steve up
but he's a good guy.
And a lawyer.
Just thought I'd throw that out there
in case any body knows a nice single lady.
Anyway through the years as we've run together
our group has become like a little family.
And as such you pick up on things.
Like the fact that Steve like clouds.
I know.
How sweet is that?
You may know I like clouds too.
 Steve and I and some of the girls
regularly exchange cloud pictures.
A few weeks ago I got to thinking...
I'd seen our friend Tarsy make DIY canvas prints
of pictures of her sons for her office wall...
do you know where I'm going with this?
A 50% coupon to aaron brothers
and this pack of canvas was mine for DIY'ing...
We all looked back through our texts and emails
for cloud pics then I waited for Shutterfly to have a sale on prints...

I painted the sides of the canvas first then used mod podge
on the front of the canvas and the back of the picture
to adhere them to the canvas.

Merry Christmas to Steve :)
{And to you as well.}
Whether you're gifting a handmade present
or something store bought
its the thought behind it that counts, right?
What about you...
Any good gifts you're giving away? 



  1. Nancy... sweet post and I love your stories. Your DIY looks great too! Have a great weekend.

  2. I love these stories so much! We are going through a different kind of transition with our move this year and we weren't going to decorate (up until this year, our home might as well have been the North Pole come mid-November...), but finally I caved and bought a little 3 footer from Whole Foods. It's amazing what a big change a little tree can make :) Merry Christmas!


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