I am so terribly tempted to pat myself on the back and praise myself for being oh, so very brilliant sometimes. But I can’t take the credit here, because it belongs to all you wonderful friends who accepted the invitation to join in and share so generously!
I can’t tell you how blessed I have felt reading all the awesome comments left on this blog surrounding the Christmas calendar giveaway. I have truly been touched and inspired. And I hope from the bottom of my heart that sharing your stories and hearing from others has been touching for you, too. This is what I call a quality giveaway… where in sharing with each other we can learn and grow together.
A little side note first…
I’ve been so absorbed reading your comments that I actually forgot to put our own Advent calendar up. As we sat down to breakfast this morning and an excited Alexia pointed out it was Dec. 1 and she couldn’t wait to see what goodies might be awaiting her and her brother starting today… I literally kicked myself, because I completely forgot to prepare the calendar! Fortunately, her dad did some scrambling around this morning so that by the time they get back from school they will find their calendar ready and waiting for them. Sheesh!
So back to the giveway and all your lovely comments…
I did face a truly serious problem. How to choose, how to choose, when each and every comment truly deserved a prize? I guess this is the reason why other blogs use a random generator. I, however, would still rather respond from the heart. To do so, I have had to expand the gift-giving to six calendars instead of the two offered originally. Why? Well because the bottom line for me surrounding the Christmas celebrations is the time spent with children. In my own family I have found that this is a time where so many traditions and memories are created, which I also saw reflected in all your comments. So five of these calendars have been awarded because you specifically mentioned the children in your lives with whom you will be celebrating the season. You are:
Pauline Moll, Marina Genovesi, Terri Drake, Carol Yonts, and Donna Lockwood.
These calendars are for you to share with those special, special children. Additionally, thank you so much for sharing some beautiful (and amazing) stories.
I also decided to award a sixth calendar to Angela Dirtl for a very simple -and very selfish- reason. Besides being my namesake (big grin!) her description of the way in which her family celebrates the Advent and Christmas season transported me back to my own childhood. Although there is no German heritage in my family, my brothers and I studied at the German school here in Quito. And it is there where we were taught to make Advent wreaths and paper ornaments for the tree. Both my music and German language teachers would invite different groups to their houses for Advent celebrations, where I was exposed to the German baking that then became part of my own tradition. Christmas would not be Christmas for me without Lebkuchen and Stollen. And all this baking obviously has to be accompanied by German Christmas carols. So thank you, Angela, for taking me back to my childhood.
I also wanted to mention how thrilled I was that several of you wrote in your native languages. Thrilled because you felt free to do so and even more so because I actually understood it all! 🙂
To all of you, I cannot express enough how much your sharing has meant to me. The giveaway has ended, but please fell free to keep those stories coming! What a wonderful, wonderful way to kick off the season. Thank you, THANK YOU!