Diary Installment 20: Give Thanks, Give Gifts

Posted by Jane PARADIS on

Diary Installment 20:  An optimistic person, a small business, and a mom.  This is my diary of sharing, in hopes that we create a sense of community and stick together through this unimaginable time.

Normally I would not THINK about decorating for the holidays until after Thanksgiving, but this year all bets are off…we are going so exuberantly towards Christmas and Hanukkah (we celebrate both - BONUS!) I think poor Mr. Jane Win (Doug) needs to buckle up.

With the election kind of behind us and the news of a vaccine in the headlines, I am feeling some joy again. I know there is still hurt and anger in the world, and I really recognize we have work to do - but it is not overwhelming my mind as it has in the past. I am seeing promise even more so, I am feeling appreciative of what we have.

Today I was thinking about when I was young and looking through my grandmother Jane Winchester’s jewelry box - she would show me food stamp books from the war. Every American was issued a series of ration books during WW2 and these ration books contained removable stamps good for rationed items like sugar, meat, cooking oil, and canned goods. I remember Grammy telling me about having to take the rations to the grocery store. She also told me about burning Winchester Repeating Arms stock certificates in the fireplace because it wasn’t worth anything, and they needed to fuel the fire. I’m not sure if that last part is a family legend, but I remember holding those ration stamps for sugar and trying to think about what it would be like to in that difficult position faced by many.

Are we going to run out of toilet paper in January? Will there be another run on yeast 😊 and we can’t bake bread? Yes. Will Jane Win get thrown curve balls that cripple our small business? Will holiday shipping go bananas and be unreliable – for sure. Will we not have everything we want? Yes. And that’s ok.

Rachel and I sit in our little office showroom in Pennsylvania, and we see kids going by outside with their masks on, leaves falling, orders coming in, packages lovingly wrapped, and stacks taken to UPS. We have a giant silver tinsel Christmas tree that I am dying to put up immediately. We want wreathes on the windows. We want to add surprises in the shipping boxes for customers. At home, I asked Mr. Jane Win if we could get THREE Christmas trees. It just feels like you want that cozy, twinkling light, candles burning, happy music playing, comforting, calming - happy moments 24/7.

ALWAYS, always I feel thankful. That is a skill I have been working on for years, loving and celebrating what I have instead of focusing on what I don’t have. This year feels like that times 100.

As a completely off the rails gift giver (one of my love languages is that I show affection in giving gifts! Take the quiz HERE to see where you land)…the gifting situation is monumental. I started shopping a couple weeks ago – not the most expensive presents in the world but little things that I think the receiver will love. Rachel and I worked on a gift guide (shop below!) and honestly nothing feels personal enough because this year, I think every gift should come with a note that says: "I love you so much because…" or "My life is so much better with you in it because…" or "I made a donation to the charity YOU love because…"

So here is my diary entry for November 12th in summary: Buy all 3 Christmas trees. Have the menorahs set up weeks before Hanukkah. Start shopping with care, and spend just as much time on the wrap and the note that goes along with the gift. GIVE BACK to the people that matter to you, give back to the organizations that are making a difference (for us that is Girl Rising, please make a donation HERE 😊). Give with joy.

Now a little PSA: Jewelry makes the best gift. It’s small (easy to ship!), it is personal, it always fits! If you need any help choosing a piece from Jane Win pleaseeeeeee ask. We would love to help (email us HERE. Top secret info: I am the one that answers every customer email, so…surprise it’s me!).

This is the first in what I am sure will be a series of “I am freaking outtt about the holidays’ and I am SO SO THANKFUL, so buckle up. Have fun shopping our Jane Win jewelry gift guide HERE and our picks of fabulous gifts out in the world.

Sending tons of love,

xx Jane


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