Monday, December 15, 2008

Canvas for Christmas: Day 1


Tell your friends, tell your neighbors... they can win a canvas for Christmas! Ok, that sounded way more exciting than it is. :)

Christmas Canvas Giveaway

I decided after my two giveaway wins that I'd have a little fun of my own ... and give to you! Now, I don't have fun sponsors or cameras to raffle, but I did make up five little canvases with some sayings I thought you might enjoy... one to give away each day this week. All you have to do is read to the end of the post and answer the question I give you in the comment section. (Only answer once, please.) :) At midnight I will do a random drawing and announce the winner in tomorrow's post!

I used some flat canvases because I thought they may be more versatile for you... you can attach ribbon on the back to hang them or set them up on a bookshelf or, since they're flat, even put them in a frame if you so choose. I had never used these before but I think they're pretty fun.

Here's today's 5x7 canvas:IMG_3721

So, over the years I've gotten a lot of fun Christmas presents. I've gotten meaningful gifts, silly gifts, homemade gifts and extravagant gifts. My friend Nicole one year sent me this huge box FULL of presents... like 20 of them. She had bought me necessities, like envelopes and kleenex and shampoo and socks... but each and every item was individually wrapped and it was so much fun. I seriously felt like a little kid again.

And then I've had the shocking gifts like a couple of years ago when my sister and parents got me a new TV and armoire. I think it took about 3 days for me to wrap my brain around that one it was so shocking. And also really practical considering my previous TV was an old counsel that I couldn't hook a VCR up to. :)

But if I had to choose the most memorable gift I've ever gotten, the first one that always pops into my head was when I was eight years old. We had been shopping in Sernett's Department Store and I wanted one of those gray sweatsuits with the colorful stripes on it. The cool thing at the time was to have your name across the back of the sweatshirt... and God knows I wanted to be cool.

I showed what I wanted to mom and she said no way. She told me I was too young for something like that and only the big kids wore names on the back of their sweatshirts.

In hindsight, that was the stupidest reasoning ever, but when you're the youngest of six you hear "you're too young for that" so often that I didn't even bat an eyelash. I was so disappointed to once again not have what the big kids had, but I put it out of my mind completely.

And then we opened our presents on Christmas Eve and I got my name on a sweatsuit! I remember being wide eyed and asking mom why she changed her mind, and she rolled her eyes at her youngest and most gullible child. That happens to be something I never outgrew... I sadly would probably fall for the same reasoning today.

christmas sweat suit My brother Jim, Mom and me in my sweatsuit in 1981.
(Notice my brother has longer hair than me?)

Answer this question in the comment section to win today's canvas:
What is your most memorable Christmas gift?


  1. LOL! I am loving the sweatshirt story! I am gullible sometimes, too, so you made me feel much better.

    If I win the canvas I promise to give it to JuJu since I am so very blessed to have two Gitz originals in my house already (which I get lots of compliments on, by the way).

  2. Hi :)
    I found your blog through "Bring the Rain" and I just fell in love with your "choose joy" sign on the wall!

    I actually remember those sweatsuits, I had a pink one with a two red stripes (couldn't afford the third stripe probably. lol)

    The most memorable Christmas gift would be a birthday/christmas one (my birthday is on the 16th, so I get a lot of those) that my boys made for me. It was a "tea for one" ceramic pot with a teacup at the bottom. My husband had taken them to a ceramics store where you paint your own. It's just priceless!

  3. Don't you just love remembering happy times and when your Mum tricks you- in the nicest possible way, of course.
    My son was an IVF baby. His embryo was transferred to me on Christmas morning 1990. Pretty memorable! He is 17 now.

  4. During WWII when I was about 4 or 5 new dolls were not readily available. My mom took one of my old dolls and made a wedding dress, a night dress with robe, an evening gown, and a gardening outfit. My dad refurbished a doll bed that my grandfather made for my mom when she was little and together they fashioned a mattress, sheet, blanket and pillow. I was elated.

  5. My most memorable gift what not one I recieved, but one that Mike and I gave. It was to each of our parents. Fertility is not one of our strong suits, as both of our children were a very long time in coming. So when we finally did get pregnant with our second, we gave each parent a frame with the following poem and this is how they found out he was on his way:
    I do not have a face to see or put inside this frame. I do not have soft cheeks to kiss. I don't yet have a name. You can't yet hold my tiny hands, nor whisper in my ear, It's still too soon to sing a song, or cuddle me so near. But all will change come summertime, that's when they say I'm due. I'll be your special grandchild, I can't wait till I meet you!

    5 Christmases later, it still brings tears to my eyes, as he is such a great kid and we are so lucky to have him. :)

  6. My most memorable Christmas gift was in 1995, I think. We are from SoCal, and we went to a friend's cabin in the mountains. It snowed and we were actually snowed in!!! But being together, we gave each other the gifts of time, making snowmen together, drinking hot chocolate and bonding as siblings, hugs, talking.... It was just the best Christmas gift!!!

  7. This one sticks out in my mind the most mainly because it is so incredibly funny and we still laugh about it in my family...

    My sister (who is 3 years older than me) wanted to be sneaky one Christmas. There were 2 gifts under the tree which were just a like (one for me and one for my sister). My sister just could not wait until Christmas and wanted to open them to see what it was…then and wrap them back up so my parent’s wouldn’t notice. Nice idea, right?

    Well, she opened it and found a Polaroid camera (remember those?)! It did not stop there….she then picks up the phone and calls my mom and tells her she wanted a Polaroid camera for Christmas. Can you say BUSTED or just plain dumb??!!

    It obviously did not take mom long to realize what just happened! She came home and checked the gifts under the tree!

    I cannot remember how much trouble she got us into nor how long it took us to actually receive that gift considering how mad my parents were!

  8. I would have to say my most memorable Christmas gift was on Christmas Eve 1998 ... my husband proposed to me that evening and it was great fun to drive all night and surprise my family and his on Christmas morning with the news.

    By the way, I LOVE your blog. It's great ...


  9. Ah -- my first pregnancy which was confirmed just before Christmas in 1980. Wonderful news! And the second was the birth of our first grandbaby a year ago. Such a blessing.

  10. My most memorable Christmas gift was a surprise from my Grandpa Berne. I was about 13 years old and my parents and I went to visit my Grandpa and Grandma in Mesa, AZ. They were snowbirds there and we went to spend the week with them. My Grandpa was not a shopper at all, let alone going to the mall. But he had a soft spot in his heart for me and took my mom and I to the local shopping center.
    We walked around the mall doing some Christmas shopping and there they were. Denim boots! I had never seen anything like them back home and I fell in love with them instantly. :) They seriously were kind of like cowboy boots but made from denim jeans. They had the back pockets on the outside on each boot, LOL. :)
    My mom let me try them on but said I did not need them. I was so disappointed, but when my mom said no, I knew it meant no. Grandpa was with us but sat quietly in a chair while I tried them on.
    The day went on and we had fun walking through the mall and spending time chatting.

    I was so surprised Christmas morning when I opened a gift from my grandparents and it was my denim boots! Grandpa had gone back across town and gotten the denim boots! My parents didn't even know he'd done it! I was so surprised and so happy! :) It meant even more because it was from my Grandpa Berne!

    I wish I had still them. :( Sadly I kept them for years and a friend saw them in college and borrowed them and moved and took the boots and I never got them back. :(

    I will always remember the joy and surprise of that Christmas morning and the big smile on Grandpa's face when I opened the package!

    Merry Christmas!!!!

  11. I have a lot of wonderful Christmas memories, but as for the gifts themselves, there are two:

    a "Betsy Wetsy" doll when I was 8 and an English Racer bike when I was 13.

    My favorite Christmases were the years we were raising our 4 children. I loved surprising the kids with what they wanted (within reason) for Christmas.

  12. My most memorable Christmas gift is not really a gift. In 1993 my parents separated and My Mom got the fake Christmas Tree and my Dad got all the ornaments; silly arrangement I know. But, my Mom being who she is put up our tree that I grew up with and bought some plain red ribbon. We made bows out of the ribbon with a little gold wire to hold them together; that was all we had on our tree that year. I do not remember the presents or anything else, but I remember making our ribbon bows with my Mom and feeling so proud at how pretty our tree was. We now have many ornaments on my Mom's tree, and I have many ornaments on my own tree, but we always put on one red ribbon to remember that very first Christmas that we had.

  13. Oh I love this, you have made my week so much more tingley!!!
    My most memorable gift was a book!

    I got this beautiful hard back copy of Little Women. I must have been maybe in the 6th grade. That was the first year I made a list of books to read in the new year. I've been doing that to one degree or another ever since.
    I remember looking at that book and seeing so much potential...seeing someplace I was going to people I was going to meet. It thrilled me to my toes.

  14. whoa, just one? ok, guess i need to go with the first thing that popped into my head. when i was probably 7ish my aunt & uncle (my favorite ones) got me a grocery store. it was one that you could set up and get behind the counter. it was HUGE! it came with all the supplies to "sell" at my grocery store. i loved it!! not sure how much my my appreciated me taking over her dining room. but it brought me great joy.

    side note: i always wanted to be a cashier in real life. weird, huh?

  15. I don't know which is more fun, your sweatsuit story or all the fun stories of everyone else! Girl, you have the best readers ever : )

    I was madly passionate for a Mrs. Beasley doll form the show Family Affair. I overheard my mother talking to my aunt about how she coudn't find one anywhere. I was so disappointed. Sure enough, no dolls showed up under our tree or in my stocking. and then we went to my Aunt's house, and my eyes were popping out of my head when I saw my cousin holding a Mrs. Beasley! My aunt asked, "Don't you want to see what is under OUR tree, I think there might be something for you?"

    She was a constant companion for years, even after my brother wrote on her face with black permanent marker.

    What a delightful gift from you! First the opportunity to share great memories, and then a chance to win a personal piece of artwork! Who knew the week BEFORE christmas could be such fun!

  16. Oh, Sara what a fun week this will be. And what a treasure you are giving away....

    .....ok, here is the one gift that comes to mind. When the Harry Potter series came out, I read all the books, my family made fun of me and one year my MIL as a joke gave me a Harry Potter Wallet.

    Well the joke was on her, I loved it...especially the shape of it and I carried it for about 2 years. My daughter was so embarrassed everytime I pulled it out of my purse, but I really loved that wallet. I eventually replaced it but I still have that wallet and will not get rid of it.

    My MIL spent so much money on expensive gifts at Christmas time, but this one wallet is the one gift she gave me that I have kept and will treasure. My MIL passed away 5 years ago, but the memories of the laughter and fun behind that silly wallet is priceless.

    Thanks for the giveaway will be lots of fun getting to see your talanted work!

  17. Enjoy reading your blog. :o) One of my most memorable gifts was a beautiful china doll that my grandmother gave me when I was a child. I still have her today & display her on the guest bed.

  18. Oh Sara - what a wonderful giveaway!
    The most memorable gift that I ever received for Christmas, must be child #7 who was born on Christmas Eve!
    I have quick deliveries, and most of the staff at the hospital know me - BUT - on this night there was a new "crew on board", and the sweet little nurse, didn't want to call my doctor when I arrived. Luckily, he is a dear man (and he and his family are dear friends) and we have home and cell numbers, soooooooooo dear husband gave him a call. About 3 minutes after we arrived upstairs, I gave birth (fully dressed I might add) in the birthing room, where said sweet little nurse put me, in order to monitor my progress. I was on top of a lovely comforter (not so lovely afterwards I might add), and sweet little nurse kept saying "STOP - you can't do that...the doctor isn't here!"
    Ralph (the doc) showed up after Solomon was "checked,wrapped, and in my arms". He got stuck in Christmas Eve traffic, and was so frantic to get to me, that when he arrived at the hospital...he pulled into the ambulance entrance, jumped out of his car (still running) and came flying up the stairs to the maternity wing. Thank goodness a quick thinking security gaurd moved the car, locked it up, and brought the keys upstairs.
    All this took place during the staff Christmas Party (Yum - I got some really good eats that night!), so several of the staff's husbands got to listen in from down the hall,to the "goings ons" in the birthing room. Thank goodness for them, I'm not a screamer during labor and delivery!
    Yes my most memorable Christmas gift, was Solomon Rafael, born December 24, 1989

  19. I enjoy reading your blog because you have a gift for making the stories of your life come alive.

    Your canvases would make a great gift.

    After my mother died, when I was thirteen, and my father worked three jobs, seven days a week, to pay the bills, gift giving pretty much went away.

    The only gift I can remember from my childhood was a model of my boyhood idol, Hopalong Cassidy on his trusty horse Topper. It came with a "Hoppy" dinner plate. I eat dinner off of that plate every night until I left home at 18.

    The only family I have left are my five nieces. We adults don't exchange gifts. The best Christmas gift is watching my niece's children open their presents. The gift of joy on a young child's face.

  20. i remember being 9 and being the first people in our town to get a vcr... isn't that nuts!!! :)

    oh, and i also got an engagement ring for christmas about 13 years ago... that was a pretty good one too!

  21. Oh Gitz, you are so talented. I am amazed at how much your blog has grown in just a few months. People gravitate toward you because you are so inspirational and give us hope.

    Anyway, to answer the question: My most memorable gift was this dollhouse you made by hand. The pieces were cut out, you just had to glue them all together and you could decorate each room with wallpaper and collect the furniture. I was just a kid, (about 20 years ago...ack) and I still remember it. I think my parents still have it. LOL

  22. That´s such a cool idea! I can´t answer though, because we don´t have a tradition of giving gifts at Christmas here...
    The handwriting on that canvas is really neat, I want to be able to do that! Did you just...practice a lot?

  23. Today's canvas is simply gorgeous.
    My most memorable Christmas present would have to be the hand made doll house my dad made for me.

    Carol :)

  24. there is actually a really deep, good story behind this, but the answer is a pair of green and white pom-poms.

    and i will tell you the story only if i win.

    love you,

  25. Last year, my normally unsentimental husband gave me a ring for Christmas with my three kids' birthstones in it. Actually, he had the kids wrap it and give it to me. I can still see the smile on my daughter's faces when I opened it up and screamed. They were so proud and excited that they kept a secret : )

  26. My husband knows how much I love photography and has been so supportive of my hobby. A couple of years ago, somehow he managed to come up with the money to buy me a Canon Rebel XT. He made me open it several days early so that I could become familiar with it before all the Christmas festivities began. I will always remember how excited he was over my opening that gift. I'm not sure which I loved more, the camera or the smile on his face! LOL I am very blessed, indeed.

  27. My most memorable gift came in 1996 - my precious little maltese, Sir Doogie Hamser! My sister bred her female maltese and let me take the pick of the litter as my Christmas gift. They were born November 28 so I really had to wait a couple of weeks after Christmas to bring him home.

  28. Wow, what a wonderful gift, you are so generous! Thank you! Well, I love Christmas it has always been my favorite time of year, consequently I have many favorites. However, I haven't thought of this one recently until trying to answer your question. This was about 8 or 9 years ago I guess. At that time we had 2 daughters (now 3), and our oldest was about 8 or 9. I found a letter that she wrote to Santa, and I tell you I'm fighting back the tears right now just thinking about it. She said that she had been very good but that she didn't want any gifts for herself but that she was writing to ask Santa to bring her Dad a new puppy. She explained to Santa how her Daddy's dog who was very old had just died and that she had never seen her Daddy so sad. Ok, I'm bawling now, my 2 year old probably thinks I'm crazy. Anyway, I showed the letter to my husband and long story short there was a beautiful chocloate lab puppy who was as quiet as a mouse all through Christmas Eve and never made a peep all morning until the girls took the blanket off his kennel to see what was hidden there. Stephanie cried and cried she was so happy, it was beautiful. Thank yo for letting me ahare!

  29. Most memorable gift? MMMMMMMM hard to choose cause when I moved to Florida so far from my family many of them would suit.
    I know!!! My mother sent me a carosel. It was a fancy nativity scene that revolved when you lit the candles. I loved that thing. I'd seen one when I was visiting but NEVER thought one would come live at my house. Makes me miss her all the more.

  30. My most memorable gift was a Thumbelina doll when I was 7 or 8-many, many Christmas' ago.

  31. One of my most memorable gifts was a tape recorder (way before "boom boxes" know the long, narrow ones, with the buttons on the end) and a new Styx cassette. I remember laying on my grandparents bed on Christmas afternoon rockin' out with my new tape player (probably 1976)!

  32. That would have to be the cordless drill my husband gave me after we moved into our home. I had always wanted one...I'm a sucker for power tools...but he always said he would not give me practical gifts for Christmas. He finally gave in and surprised me with what I actually wanted and he even admitted after using it a few times that it was a pretty cool gift. I have since gotten a 12 inch compound miter saw, a router (not for computers, but for wood!), a palm sander, and other super cool power tools.


  33. I was about 7 years old and my dad got me everything Barbie for Christmas. Even a Barbie McDonalds with little fries, big macs, and chicken nuggets. I've never forgotten that Christmas.

  34. My most memorial Christmas was the year I got a record player. I remember wanting one every year and finally I had gotten one, it was blue and the turn table white. There was so much excitement to be able to play the Christmas records myself and my first record was "Celebration" as in Celebrate good times come on, let's celebrate. There's a party goin' on right here, a celebration to last through out the year. and it goes on. My mom told me I played that song so much she can't stand to hear it this day! Ha! Thank you for your generousity!

  35. Not that it was my most memorable at the time, because I was a greedy little kid ;) However, I really appreciated my cabbage patch dolls that my mom got me one year. It was the year that they were flying off the shelves and people were fighting for them. Later I realized just how hard she worked to get me those dolls.

  36. I think I was 12 the year I received my most memorable gift.

    I needed to be cool. I really needed to be cool. I didn't know any of the latest songs that were playing on the radio, which had recently been revealed to my whole my best friend.

    It was mortifying.

    Thankfully, Mom and Dad understood the humiliation and complied.

    I got a clock radio that year. I had it many years, always by my bedside. My husband finally convinced me we needed something that didn't look so used.

    He was right. And it had done its job for me. I can sing ANY song from the 70's.

    Just don't ask me about U2. Who's Bono?

  37. my most memorable gift would be my supersized barbie in shiney white and trimmed in silver...she came with all these star accesories I miss that barbie LOL

  38. My most memorable gift was more in how it was given than the gift itself. We kept asking my dad over and over again to give us a clue to what our gift was. He just kept saying "I'll give you a clue Christmas morning". He would than hear us say, "But that would be too late!" Christmas morning as me and my sisters ripped open the present we found the game VCR CLUE! This is a story we tell our kids. They think Papa is sooo funny.

  39. My most memorable Christmas Gift is THIS YEAR!! My 7 year old daughter went to the alter & God filled her with HIS MIGHTY SPIRIT~THE HOLY GHOST!! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL & AWESOME GOD WE SERVE! My husband along with our Pastor baptized her that night. DEC 7th 2008 was a VERY MEMORABLE DATE for our Family!!! Thanks

  40. A rainbow striped Schwinn bike..

    ya know, with the tassles and the white basket with a flower on it.
    banana seat...

    Oh it was so beautiful!!!

  41. When I was a kid we got to pick out and open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it was usually something good like pajamas. One year when I was in middle school I picked one that looked more "exotic." It was shaped like a tube and very lightweight. It was. . . shoulder pads. Yuck! But I'll never forget!

  42. Hi Sara,
    My most memorable gift would have to be the pink and white pillow that mom cross stitched for me when I was probably 8 or 9. It simply says LOVE in the middle. It sits on Lauren's bed and I use it each night to lay my head on while I read books to her.

    How fun it is to search back through memories of childhood and realize how much they mean to me today.

  43. the one i am currently remembering is when i was about 9 or 10 and wanted one of those "three year old" dolls.......why they were called that, i am not sure......we didn't get a lot for Christmas.....but that year i DID get one! i was a very joyous little girl!

  44. 11 years ago, a wonderful young girl gave us the greatest gift of all: our son. She chose to give him life, and gave us our son.

  45. I was in 5th grade and my parents got me a navy maxie skirt and a white blouse. I was so excited. I opened the box saw what was inside and went running to my mom and gave her a big hug. I put the percious outfit on and wore it all of Christmas Day. I have pictures of it somewhere. It is a great memory!

  46. My most memorable Christmas gift??? ...well, that would be a toy truck, horse trailer, and horses I got when I was about eight y/o. (I was horse crazy from day one). I may have been a little old for the gift, but I was a quite, shy kid and it was just peachy to get such a gift.
    Now that I found your blog- it adds #5 that I follow (I'm choosy). But, you have done a fabulous job with it!
    knj121287 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  47. Nope. Wait. HERE'S where I say I missed all the fun, bc I like the red one better than the tan one. But, seriously, you have a bazillion comments. :(
    I probably won't win up there...

  48. ahhh man..I missed it!!

    It's been one of those weeks, and I'm JUST getting to it now.

    btw--most memorable gift was a leather coat, b/c my parents had a small budget, but wanted to buy me a coat (i was beggin for one). They bought me the cheaper, pleather look (but real) one, and I was a big selfish brat. I still feel bad about it.