Thanks to the movies, all the advertisements and just the overall essence of something magical happening during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, my realities have fallen short of my expectations… which I assume most peoples have. But there was one Christmas when I was a child, probably around the age of 8 that I’ll never forget because I knew there would be no magic.


We lived on the cut off between DeBeque and Mesa, Colorado a mile and half back from the road on 80 acres in a house that my parents built. Oh, and yes, I did have to walk miles in the snow to get to school, once.  We had a two-seater outhouse, no running water, no electricity and definitely no money.


It was going to be a year without Santa, but my mom kept our spirits bright, decorating the tree from top to bottom with so much tinsel you couldn’t see any of the tree. She would always help to put life in perspective, saying “It could be worse, there are people who don’t have a place to call home.”

the glistening of tinsel

Knowing we wouldn’t have anything that year gave me a sense of relief. There was no potential for disappointment as the years past. Previously I’d asked Santa for the Ms. Pac-Man table top arcade two years in a row, finally to get it and feeling for a second Santa really was real I was beside myself with joy. Then sadly finding myself underwhelmed with it in a days time, I couldn’t believe I wanted it for so long just to have something that only the “lucky” kids got. I felt a different kind of disappointment, reality.  My ideals of fulfillment I’d get from this one toy became replaced with a sense of guilt for wanting an object to be the source of my joy.  I’d built it up for so long, gave it a power over my happiness and then to be so displeased with the reality, made me not want for things as I once did. You could say that was a gift in itself! Ok, I digress.


I was eight, living out on the cut off, it was Christmas Eve and we’d gone to town to load up our old 500 gallon metal water tank that was always in the back of our truck.  Driving down the little hill to get to the house I stare out the window into the sea of glistening sage brush and silence.  With the house in sight, something unfamiliar appeared, a large brown box sitting on our front door step. I think my mom was out the door and on the porch before the truck even came to stop. She squealed with delight realizing it was food, clothes and most of all the true meaning of Christmas; to give without wanting and to receive with gratitude!

Thankful for a home

Laying on the top of everything were the most beautiful white lace up REAL roller skates, and they were meant for me! Realizing they were used, I was in awe that anyone would give away something so nice to a stranger.  I said so long to the strap on metal skates, and hello to rollin in style!  For a few years I stuffed socks in the front of toes so they’d fit until I grew into them, years later when I finally outgrew them, I never outgrew the feeling of appreciation every time I saw them. Now that is the magic of Christmas!

The card our friends gave us this year

I’m happy to share that the magic of Christmas is still out there. This Christmas we were given two 1 hour massage gift cards left between the screen and our front door with a written note on the card saying, “you need to take care of yourself too, please enjoy this gift from us.”   We know who, but that fact that they did and they don’t know us very well…. we’re beyond grateful. Such a wonderful surprise! It’s something we both really needed and wouldn’t have gotten for ourselves.  I squealed with delight! We don’t even have their phone numbers! I  cant wait to catch them in passing to give them both the biggest hugs and make sure they know how much we appreciate their kindness.


The other wonderful news to share is that I’ve become an Independent Provider and the official caretaker of my dad.  With that being said I am now obligated to protect his privacy as I am contracted with the Department of Social and Health Services. Although it is realized about the personal nature of our relationship, I’m still held to the same standard as all of the contracted providers so no more photos or stories shall be shared.  Hopefully you’ll still find my posts interesting and worthy of reading.  Thanks for understanding.

A white Christmas

So now we are days from a new year and I go into it with no expectations, not even of the kiss at midnight… mainly because we’ll probably already be asleep, ha.  But I know that with the promise of tomorrow there will also be love, and I have faith that without expectations, yet full of hope, my cup runneth over.


May the New Year be your best yet,

and you be your best you!

My Christmas mailbox full of candy for customers





Find treasures thought my journeys to re-home on eBay

4 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Shawna… I always appreciate your stories, no matter the topic. And the last sentence of your post really touched me. Thank you for the years of wonderful friendship and the many, many more to come. Love you guys!

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