Christmas Traditions: Simple Ways to Give with Joy

A few years back, my husband and I decided that every Christmas (and celebration) would include a card written to each other. I look forward to opening and reading the words Steve shares with each card he writes to me. It’s the greatest gift and we wanted to share the gift of a handwritten note with others.

On both sides of our family, we do a secret gift exchange. Steve shops for his two people and I shop for mine. We wrap them and put a card on top penned with words of affirmation, things we see in them and a prayer/hope for the new year. It’s a simple way to add even more intention and thought to their gift.

As much as I love receiving the gift of a card, I love writing them. Creating these simple, meaningful Christmas traditions slow us down and have us counting our blessings.

More tips for pretty, meaningful presents:
1. Write a card sharing words of affirmation, a hope or prayer for the new year or thanking them for their friendship. Download GWJ's free mini cards here.

2. Tie a keychain to the ribbon or wrap your favorite pencils. 

3. Tie an ornament to the ribbon. 

4. Wrap your gift in fabric (perfect for the crafter in your life).

5. Tape a photo to the gift. Find a photo of them with you and include a note on the back. 

Find these ideas and more here

with joy,


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Giving Back: Modeling Our Values

Jonnie on the left with his momma (and my son!)

Jonnie on the left with his momma (and my son!)

Last week, here in Denver, a nice afternoon rain shower turned into a hail storm. After the hail stopped, my kids and I headed out into the drizzling rain to run some errands. As we were getting into the car, I saw a man walking without an umbrella. I finished buckling in the kids and was about to start the car, but I couldn't ignore the voice inside telling me to offer him an umbrella. I did just that. I asked him if he would like an umbrella. He politely declined as he was close to home. 

I got into the car and started driving off and Zayda started a conversation with me. "Mom, I want to ask someone if they need my coat or my umbrella." I was reminded that hoping and wishing our kids grow up to be generous, kind and trustworthy (or any positive attribute) isn't enough. We must model it. Raising babies keeps me accountable to my selfishness at times. It helps me to keep my eyes up and my heart tuned in to the people around - friends, family and strangers alike. 

I am thankful for my business and the ways I can use it as a platform to influence, inspire and encourage joy in our own lives and in our communities. The past three months, I set aside a portion of everyone's purchases to make a contribution to Samaritans Purse, Heart Project in honor of a heart warrior, Jonnie. You can read his story here. It's full of heartache and incredible miracles. 

This summer, your purchases donated $220 to orphans with severe heart conditions. I believe in being the hands of feet - and I know you do too. Thank you for shopping give with joy this summer and being part of the good! 

What's next? The next three months, we will focus on vision care in honor of my daughter. You can read a little of her story here. And then, we will donate to an organization providing hearing aids, cochlear implants and care for children with hearing loss. My niece was diagnosed with CHARGE, so we will donate in honor of her mighty, amazing life!! 

Here's a little more about Giving Back with give with joy. 

with joy,


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