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Christmas Cans


It's been a bit of a different Christmas here this year.  Less of everything including decorations, gifts and baking. Even the weather has decide to take a break from the norm this year, and I told you earlier that Frosty had to cancel. Some things though have to stay the same.  That's the cans. One year my son gave me a can filled with lots of little gifts that were so thoughtful and useful.  Most were local items that he found shopping in the town he lives in, Gloucester Massachusetts.  It is one of the few towns that still supports a local downtown shopping area with every kind of shop imaginable, many run by local folks selling their talents.  That first year, I was so excited as I unwrapped the contents of that can.  Each item was so personally selected.  I knew that a lot of thought went into his choices, from the jams, homemade candies to little books that I would love. A heart shaped paper weight, incense for my meditation table.  Even a jar of sand from the local beach to burn my incense in and  vases for flowers.  Not only did I love it, but so do everyone else. From that one can, a new tradition was started. Everyone now has a can and it is the gift that we all look forward to the most.  Tiny things tucked into tissue paper, pencils and crayons for the boys. A deck of Old Maid or Go Fish. Hearts for those who need one this year, cleaning supplies, body lotions and always books in each can. Each can also always has a hand-made card or envelope with a note for time spent. A gift that we give for an outing someplace during the year.  Just for the giver and recipent to enjoy together.  So we gave up hanging stockings and now we do cans.  Chris now does one for both me and his Dad and I do one for everyone else, sometimes I even tucked in a few bucks just so they can shop for something that Santa didn't think of.   Six years we added a can for Liam and 3 years ago Jaxson got his can.  I love watching them get excited over chocolate covered peep snowmen or a tin for saving their change in and each year they get a new pair of hand made mittens from Nana.
The cans took on greater meaning this year when my friend Sherry Galey told me about a project her sister was working on. After thinking about this project, it came to me that the cans represented that wonderful idea of the 5-H Giving. Thank you Elena Galey-Pride for your work on this project. So now I'm sharing it with you.  Perhaps you have a tradition that your kids introduced to your family gathering.  Maybe your tradition was carried forward from a past generation.   However you came upon your tradition, I hope you think of the people who instilled that tradition in you. That to me is what the holidays are about. Keeping the love of our family alive, both past and present, sharing our common likes and getting to know each other through the sharing.  To give and receive, to continue this year after year, generation after generation, to incorporate tradition into our lives keeps the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year long.
Wishing you all a most wonderful Christmas of making new memories and sharing in the old memories that come to you still. Thank you for all your lovely  visits, comments and friendship over this past year.  Each one of you brings such joy into my life when I see your name pop up on my blog page.  Wouldn't it be nice if in 2016 we all took a step into the future with love and peace in our hearts.  Now, wouldn't that be a lovely year long tradition to start.  I sense though, that I'm preaching to the choir because I believe all of you here have those qualities in your hearts already.  Now all we have to do is convence the rest of the world to join us.  Peace and love to all of you..from me.

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Reader Comments (20)

Oh Cheryl! I love this. You sure CAN do Christmas right! My hope in expressing the 5H Giving concept, was that it would help instill meaning and significance at a time of year when it seems so easy to lose touch with what really matters. I love the way your tradition developed and grew. And it sounds like even without knowing it, you've got all the Hs covered - Homemade, Handmade, Healthy, Helpful and From Here. Happiest of Holidays to you and your family.

December 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterElena

Dear Elena, that was the connection for me also. Most of what we give, as I look at it now, is homemade and handmade. Those also turn out to be the most treasured gifts also. Thank you for sharing your project. Thank you also for your lovely visit and comment...thank you also for opening my eyes to what was already here. Merry Christmas.

December 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

Oh, I'm going to suggest this gift idea, with cans full of special little gifts, to my family for next year! There is such pleasure in giving a a gift that lets the other person know that you "get' them . . . when we want to say, "how'd you know I would love this?" And the answer is simply that they were good listeners and cared enough to learn what makes each other happy. Such a sweet pleasure to visit you on Christmas Eve! Thank you for sharing your life and your wise perspective!

December 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

Merry Christmas Donna and so happy to see you here. Our kids have just let and there is a quiet and sense of peace in the house on this Christmas Eve. In that blessing how nice it would be you to show up for a visit and lovely comment. You always, always fill me with joy and a bit of wisdom...Enjoy your day tomorrow knowing that no only are you the gift giver but that you are also the "gift" to so many of us...xo

December 24, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Thank you for your wishes and a Merry Christmas to you and your family Cheryl ! Your Christmas tree is really beautiful and so festive and the cans filled with little gifts are a genious idea!
All over France temperatures are spring-like ones too so it's hard to believe it's Christmas otherwise than inside the house where the Christmas tree stands with the gifts at its foot!
With my adult children we've started to write wish lists one month before Xmas and we offer each other the things written on it... this doesn't dispense us with little extra surprises!

December 25, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterodile lm

Cheryl, What a fantastic idea! Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Thomas

Ah, I'm still basking in the glory of this Christmas with my family and granddaughters! I'm on a high, and my darling little 5 year old Cora keeps raising me up and asking if I'm ready to come down! It must be a Star Wars thing! But the "tins" as I call them . . . my tradition and connection go back to Pennsylvania and all the pretzels we would receive in tins! Then there were the cookie tins . . . and now, I have a special bin which houses my decorative boxes and tins which I bring out every year for under our tree, because they look so pretty and because they serve as a purpose for tucking in goodies people bring to us over the holidays! But I LOVE your idea, and thank you for all you share. Can you believe I'm so tired now I'm typing with my eyes closed!
Nitey Night . . . HOPE 2016 will be the year we get together once again! Thanks for all the beauty and wisdom you share during the years. In JOY and love,

December 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAntoinette

Wonderful! I hope you had a magical day! Merry Christmas, my friend.

December 25, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKarin

The special filled cans with special hand made, heart chosen really turned into something special for a very special family! Such a lovely would take me all 12 months to make a can for each of my family. The tradition seems truly magical, and your tree photo is pure magic! Need a tutorial on making one like that. Hope your Christmas was extra special this year, even though Frosty cancelled, and other things were not quite the same. xx

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

The can tradition sounds like a wonderful idea. I imagine everyone enjoys the other cans people open as well as their own. They must be the first thing opened Christmas morning, it would be for me anyway. Thanks for all the time it takes to share your lovely family with us. Along you bring joy, love, warmth and smiles. Merry Christmas Cheryl to you and all. Happy healthy New Year too.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Dear Odile thank you so much for your visit during this very busy time. Yes, crazy warm here also but Christmas comes despite the weather...I like your idea also of a wish list. Then a few gifts from the list and a few surprises makes for a lovely Christmas day...
Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year. Full of good health and joyful moments...See you in 2016.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Dear Odile thank you so much for your visit during this very busy time. Yes, crazy warm here also but Christmas comes despite the weather...I like your idea also of a wish list. Then a few gifts from the list and a few surprises makes for a lovely Christmas day...
Wishing you and your family a wonderful New Year. Full of good health and joyful moments...See you in 2016.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Thank you Liz...Happy New Year to you and yours.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Dear Antoinette I am so happy to hear that your Christmas turned out perfectly...It must have been fun with the little ones there. They do have a way of lifting you up and gently bringing you back down. I hope the rest of the week brings more moments of fun and joy as you move through it to the New Year...Wishing you the best in 2016 and yes, we will make a plan.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Karin it was lovely...couldn't ask for more. I hope yours was a great day also up in Maine. Wishing you and your family a wonderful week and a really lovely New Year.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

So nice to see you here tonight Beverly. Oh my gosh, Christmas was lovely and so much more relaxing. Some things that didn't get done this year are not going to get done next year either, but by choice. A lovely day starting at 6 a.m but we were back home by 1 p.m. Jim took a two hour nap. The kids did everything...and yes, the cans are a year long adventure of just picking up things that work. I know your day was wonderful also. It couldn't be anything else with your lovely family and Murphy and Teddy...Wishing you a week of rest and reflection on what will come for you in the New Year. I know you will be creating much beauty for us to enjoy...thank you for visiting tonight.

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

Hey Chris, thank you for taking the time to come visit. I love when you do. The cans are fun. We used to always save them for the last the gift that keeps on giving. Now with the boys, we do them Christmas eve because they can't wait until later on Christmas day. It's a nice balance. Cans on the eve...Santa in the morning...I hope your day was beautiful and that Marley was very generous. Wishing you the best New Year ever...xo

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

I love the idea of the cans!! What a sweet tradition! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

December 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpam

You are Christmas! If I didn't know better I'd think you were Mrs Claus! So special!

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterH.S

Thank you Ms. Marilyn for such a lovely comment and thank you for your visit. I sure do love Christmas but I have to say, it's o.k. when it's over and things get back to we must plan for next year. A good plan for you would be a trip with your Mom to good old New England. I'm waiting..I promise, I'll find you a horse to play with...xoxo

December 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl c.

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