Monday, October 29, 2018

The Christmas Wish List 2018 ~ Part II in a Series


Gifts from the Heart

by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez
Originally published at Reflections Beneath the Poetz Tree 
December 03, 2013
Holiday time and gift giving are starting to chase me again.  There are people I want to acknowledge for all the amazing ways they show kindness, emotional support, and love.  It is getting close to the time of year that promises to leave me breathless.  I begin to have nightmares of running toward a finish line that screams "Christmas."  How to balance these feelings of generosity with the little Grinch of a Gremlin called "the budget"  is a challenge that threatens to release the bah humbug in many of us.  Here are some ideas that I recently unpacked from my holiday treasure trove of memories.  Perhaps one of them will inspire you to create a gift that can be added to someone's treasury of holiday memories. (I have also added links for inexpensive trinkets that are perfect for stocking stuffers plus a few gift giving options that won't break the bank.) Click on any of the pics to purchase items.
  1. I was the oldest of six children in our family.  Each year my Dad would carefully print the Months, Days, and Numbers on a large blank calendar that he had picked up from an office supply store.  (I assume that's where he found the item.) He then added every important event we needed to remember:  Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Special Occasions.  This was his hand written gift to my mother.  She posted that large calendar by the phone (back in the day when phones were actually attached to the wall) and used that organizational tool to track all of our activities throughout the year.  We posted my dad's concert schedule (he played French Horn for the Army Band, Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Opera, and various other venues).  We also listed school activities and special projects that were due.  At the end of the year, it was fun to look back on that calendar and see how much our family had done.  I loved that calendar because it was so well written.  My dad had excellent teacher style printing, but I knew it must have taken some time for him to make it look that nice.

    Starts at $24.99

    Even if you don't want to hand write a family calendar, there are many beautiful pre-printed ones that can serve the same purpose.  Add special touches of your own:  Favorite quotes, inspirational words of wisdom, or funny sayings sprinkled throughout each month.  The gift of time spent adding those unique items makes the present a Gift from the Heart.

  2. One year I purchased card stock from the craft store and cut each sheet into pieces the size of business cards.  My three children and I added memories of special things to give to their grandparents.  We included descriptions of special meals and favorite treats, movies we viewed together, holiday events, funny quotes, unique personality traits we love and appreciate, and even aromas that have left a lasting impressions.  I added memories from my own childhood including things I enjoyed about growing up in a large family.  My children even added art work on those tiny cards.  We found a decorative box (there are many selections at the dollar store) and placed those cards into the box.  A ribbon was added to complete the look and keep the box closed until its reveal.  The hand written cards and art work took some time to complete, but turned into a fun activity with my children.  It was a Gift from the Heart.

  3. One year when I lived in Germany I found myself alone for Christmas.  I decided to volunteer to make and deliver Christmas cookies through our church group.  Baking helped me remember the amazing aromas associated with my Hungarian mother's cooking.  I packaged the cookies in those cute little holiday tins, just like my mom did when I was a child.  I received my mission to deliver cookies to the soldiers on guard duty for Christmas Eve.  In my little yellow 1978 German Specs Volkswagon Passat (hey...I paid for it myself in cash for $550.00) I delivered those cookies.  I could have been delivering gold given the response from those soldiers.  Their smiles and heart warming thanks were all I needed to feel the spirit of Christmas.  I no longer felt like I was alone, in a foreign country, far away from my family.  I was also given a Gift from the Heart.

There are many ways to make a difference to others this year.  I would love to hear from my readers about how you created a memorable moment and gave a Gift from the Heart.  It doesn't have to cost a lot.  It just needs a little time and a touch of creativity.

Shop Now

 Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Click on pics below to purchase.

Sleigh All Day
  Be Kind
  Paper Birds
   Bite Me
  Paper Deer

Have a wonderful week and thanks for taking time to read 
this blog.  You are appreciated!

Wishing all of you a week of adventures,
solutions to your challenges,
answers to your prayers,
& resources to help you survive
all of your collaborative projects!

Kindest Wishes,
~ Mary

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Christmas Wish List 2018 ~ Part I in a Series

World of Writer is part of an affiliate program. This means that if you make a purchase through the links I promote on this site or on its related social media platforms, I may earn a small commission from that action to support World of Writer  mportant: You will NOT be charged more when buying products through my link. 100% Commission is donated to local school. Click on pictures/links to purchase merch.

The Christmas Wish List 2018

(Since SEARS isn't an option)

Written by: M.B.Varville-Rodriguez

The SEARS Christmas Wish Book was a childhood highlight for me and my five siblings each year.  It was fun to look through the huge catalog of toys and gadgets and make our dream lists for Santa.  We didn't have computers to peruse for online shopping back then.  That wish book was the closest thing we had; it was like getting a backstage pass to Santa's workshop.  I remember seeing things like a Snoopy snow cone maker and thinking it would be the best thing ever to be able to make snow cones for my family and friends.  My sisters and brothers made their own lists from the wish book; as our lists grew, so did our anticipation and excitement for the season.  Here's the thing.  We knew that those longs lists were for dreaming, and that Santa would leave what he could.  I was never disappointed.  Did I ever get that snow cone maker?  Nope.  But it didn't matter.  My siblings and I have wonderful memories of Christmas day, and appreciated whatever was under the tree for us.  Now, my own children like to add gift ideas to their "carts" from on line shopping trips.  (What we called "window shopping" back in time.) The carts may look full, but they  know that there is no way we can accommodate all those wishes.  The quantity of gift giving isn't what's important. Spending time together as a family is always at the center.

Image result for Sears wish book

Now that I write about and share products from several companies on this blog, I find myself dreaming of list making again.  There are quite a few awesome products that I have grown fond of since writing about them.  Here is my version of a "Christmas Wish Book."  Perhaps something will catch your eye as a possible gift for family and friends.  Remember to add a little something for yourself too. There is a variety of price ranges that could work into your budget.  The best part is I donate 100% of any commission I might earn to a local non-profit school for the 2018/2019 school year.  I am working toward giving back to our community.

Here we go...

Copyright 2018 World of Writer


Many families have a tradition of wearing pajamas for their annual Christmas card photos. Others might give pajamas as gifts to wear on Christmas Eve. Whatever your family likes to do for the holidays, a cute, warm, new pair of pajamas is a sweet deal for the entire bunch. There are so many adorable jammies for the kids! Find matching or individual designs here. BIG FEET PJS.COM offers humorous, sassy, and unique designs in addition to solid color choices. Check out their special holiday selections and get them now while you are not too rushed.


I don't know about you, but a good mattress can make a huge difference in the quality of your sleep.  Have you ever been to a hotel where your body just melted into the mattress as soon as your head hit the pillow?  Dream Cloud is amazing like that, and well worth the investment.  If the price range is not workable for you at this time, check out their sister company Nectar for top of the line sleep products.  Both brands provide guarantees like no other I have found.  Check out their sites and see for yourself.

Dream Cloud Luxury Mattresses
Perfect for the Parents

Perfect for the kids!


I recently discovered this site for home decor.  It's definitely on my "dream" list.  This is definitely a site where you can invest in top of the line bed linens and accessories for your rooms.  Beautifully crafted textiles adorn the John Robshaw brand and add an ambience of luxury to any home.  Families who enjoy hosting guests or have a well established Airbnb will find plenty of style to attract individuals to their homes.  Imagine how amazing your photos will look as you advertise on your site.  BONUS:  If you select John Robshaw home textiles for your Airbnb I will be happy to send you 25 complimentary cards to advertise your venture using photos you provide.  You can leave one in the room for your guest. (Personally designed with pictures/information on front/back)  Offer is limited to the first 3 verified Airbnb providers in the USA who send proof of purchase from links via site only.  

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate for Airbnb, but I do know individuals who have used Airbnb and have an Airbnb in their homes.  
I receive no compensation for listing this business in connection with John Robshaw Textiles.

Self-Care Strategies #1
 InstaShiatsu+ Massagers 

I get it.  Equipment that is designed to improve the quality of our lives can be super hard to justify.  Short term goals often take precedence over long term health care managementTruMedic offers several options that can help you reach your long term medical needs and address issues like pain management for short term rehabilitative outcomes.  Check with your health care provider if any of the TruMedic products look like possible strategies to enhance your quality of life and offer pathways to improve your activities of daily living (ADLs).  When you purchase TruMedic via the links at, 100% of any commission I earn will be donated to a local non-profit school in our community. (Colorado Springs).  More information is available if you message me.  I am happy to offer additional insights regarding why I donate.

Self-Care Strategies #3
Fight Camp is on my wish list this year.  I have tried gym memberships and still found it difficult to get to a facility, especially when the weather is bad.  Winter time is the perfect opportunity to invest in this type of workout option if you don't like leaving the comfort of your home.  Know someone who wants to join you? No problem.  Get together and share this experience as you inspire and support each other's health and wellness goalsFight Camp is the ultimate Anti-Stress Workout!

Wishing all of you a week of adventures,
solutions to your challenges,
answers to your prayers,
& resources to help you survive
all of your collaborative projects!

Kindest Wishes,
~ Mary

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


World of Writer is part of an affiliate program. This means that if you make a purchase through the links I promote on this site or on its related social media platforms, I may earn a small commission from that action to support World of Writer

Important: You will NOT be charged more when buying products through my link.

I enjoy taking time to research products that look interesting and may provide helpful resources to you and your family. The opinions, knowledge, and experiences I write about are my own.

Real Life Awareness:

Recommendations do not imply liability, responsibility for disappointments or failed expectations, or regret over budgeting woes. I trust each reader to use their own good judgment when it comes to knowing what will work best for you and your family. (Because...well...I am not the ultimate decision maker, judge, or source of approval for anyone except myself...and my children...until they are legally allowed to represent themselves.)

Thank You for taking time to read, participate, and share your adventures with me. Hopefully, we'll find something to occasionally purchase, enjoy, and use in an effort to create a special moment.

Privacy: This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings. We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on April 22, 2018. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here at: Subject Line: Privacy Statement