Day 359: Gifts

The title of today’s post was a no-brainer, because it’s Christmas Day!

Now I need to make my first decision of this post.  What image should I present?

Checking my trusty iPhone ….


When I saw this scene last week, even winter felt like a gift to me.

Let’s see what gifts the Google Images Buffet* has to offer us, today!

This photo reminded me of the first time I ever celebrated Christmas in the early 1980’s,  with my then-future-and-now-ex-husband’s family.**


I can’t make that photo appear larger here, but I am happy to say that finding this photo gave me the gift of discovering another WordPress blogger, theuglyvolvo, whom I am now following. I would like to thank theuglyvolvo for the gift of that photo, and I am looking forward to more gifts from her blog.

To go back to my reason for choosing that photo: My first Christmas with my in-laws was a gift, as was my most recent one with them, last night.

Okay!  It looks like I’m doing Random Thoughts About Gifts!!  I don’t know about you, but I love these Random Thought posts.

Here are some more random thoughts about gifts:

When I was in my early 20’s, I joined an 8-week therapy/support group called “Women and Self Esteem.”  I got a lot of gifts from that group.

For example, I remember a homework assignment where we each chose a hero, who was a woman.  I chose Bonnie Raitt.


Use your eyes, people!



Still wondering why I chose Bonnie Raitt?  Use your ears, people!


And here is Bonnie live, from the 1970s:

And, Bonnie live, from 2012:

There were lots of things I wanted to say, regarding that Women and Self Esteem group, but damn!  Isn’t Bonnie Raitt amazing?  It’s no wonder I picked her as my hero!

Anyway, here’s what I wanted to tell you about that Women and Self Esteem Group:

  1. I got many gifts from the group, which I still use, including the realization that the qualities I admire in others, I may also possess.  (And if I don’t possess them yet, I will most likely acquire them, because I value them so much.)
  2. I gave gifts to other people in that group, although it’s taken me many years to realize and appreciate that.
  3. One of the gifts I gave that stands out for me, now: During one session, I reacted with impatience to another member of the group, which I felt guilty about.  However, during the group’s last session, she told me that my reaction helped her realize something important about herself and her family. She thanked me for that gift, adamantly. I was not able to accept her thanks at the time, because I still felt the guilt about my not-perfectly-polite reaction. But that encounter, which I still remember, was a gift that keeps on giving.

I’m sure I have many other gifts I could share with you, right now.

That last sentence brings me back to my first Christmas with my in-laws, when I was also in my late 20’s. That night, for the first time, I saw a huge display of gifts under a Christmas tree, in person. Let’s see if Google Images can offer up the gift of another photo, that might evoke that experience for me:


That’s better.

When I first saw a tree with all those gifts, at my in-laws, I froze with amazement and delight. And lots of the gifts were for  ….. me!

Last night, lots of the gifts were for me, too, but most of them weren’t in packages.

Thanks to my heroes, my in-laws, my family, my friends here in the Blog-o-Sphere, and my friends in the Real-Life-o-Sphere.  Whether or not you realize it, you bring me gifts, every day.


* Searching on the word “gift.”

** Let me know if I need to explain this. It makes sense to me.

*** Thanks to Rolling Stone, for that image.

**** I found that image here. And that first video, also.

***** I found that image here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Post navigation

29 thoughts on “Day 359: Gifts

  1. Wonderful photos and love Bonnie Raitt. Happy Holidays Ann!

    • Same to you, David and thanks for this comment.

      And in case I wasn’t clear in my post, I am grateful for the gift of you, here.

  2. Merry Christmas, Ann. Your wrapped gifts, your unwrapped gifts, your hero choice. What a morning. I love Bonnie Raitt with my eyes and my ears, too. In my past music critic life, I was fortunate enough to review several of her concerts. Superb artist. Have a great holiday, and thank you as always.

    • I hope you have a great holiday, too, Mark, and thanks for this comment. I wanted to let you know this: you, in several wonderful ways, helped inspire this post

      So thanks for the gift of you!

      • Wow! You humble me, Ann. I so appreciate the journey into your thought process every day. Don’t stop when the year non-judgmental is over, please.

      • I shall not stop, Mark! Blogging helps ME, and as a proudly selfish human being, I will keep going. (Your appreciation doesn’t hurt, either.)

      • And that news is another fantastic Christmas present to all of us out here on the receiving end of WordPress, Ann.

      • Now it’s my turn to be humbled (and the opposite of humbled, too). Thanks, Mark.

  3. You are an amazing gift in the world Ann — and I am so grateful for the gift of you in my life. What a joy to encounter you here this year! I look forward to many gifts to unfold in coming years.

    Blessings and love,

    Merry Christmas!

    • Louise, whenever I receive the gift of one of your generous, kind, and beautiful comments, I always want to quote one of my favorite movies — “The Producers” — as follows: “Double, double!!!”

  4. Merry Christmas Ann and a very Happy New Year! You didn’t celebrate Christmas until you were married?

    • I didn’t celebrate Christmas until I met my future (and now ex-) husband, who was born Catholic. I was raised Jewish. Now I celebrate everything! And best wishes to you, Diana, for the holiday season. And in case I wasn’t clear in my post, I am very grateful for the gifts of you and your blog.

  5. Merry Christmas!

  6. As usual, I enjoyed your post, Ann. Thank you for taking the time to create and share it. I’m delighted that you plan to keep blogging after your year of living non-judgmentally is done!

  7. Bonnie Rait rules, Ann.

  8. Congratulations, Ann!

    I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award.

    More about this nomination is at

  9. An appropriate post for the time of the year. Reading it, the thoughts that come to mind are:

    “What is that aspect of a gift that excites?”

    Is it that uncertainty of what is inside the box? Is it that intrinsic need for us to feel loved and acknowledged? Or is the sheer surprise of it all?

    And finally, what is it about a gift that supports our self esteem? For as you say in your post, it obviously does in some way.

    Have fun and continue to be amazing.


    • This comment was a gift that excited and delighted me, with all the aspects you mentioned. Thanks so much for this amazing comment, Shakti. I am very grateful that our paths have crossed here.

  10. Pingback: Day 360: Amazing | The Year of Living Non-Judgmentally

  11. Your blog has been a gift to me in the short time I’ve known you! Merry Christmas Ann!

  12. Pingback: December 26th Remembered | 365 Days of Thank You

  13. Pingback: Day 1637: I’ll buy that | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: