Back on Dec 12, in my post “Your Name Here!” I asked you to submit either your funniest holiday memory, the best or worst gift ever, or what giving means to you. I also promised that I would pick the winners and invite them to lunch with me and my blog team.
Wow! We had lots of entries, making it a tough call for the judges. We even had to call upon a 4th judge to help break a few ties. But at last, we are ready to announce our winners. They are (envelope please):
For funniest holiday memory: Jan Rayl, RN at Inova Home Health
She wrote: “Another year, I recall was when my Dad first went into business for himself. Mom made it clear to each of us three girls that there would not be much under the tree this Christmas. So to “make Christmas last longer,” my creative mother made a jar of treasure. You had to pick a slip of paper from her jar of treasure and do, sing, or answer the question. It was hysterical to listen to the things each family member did – I had to sing Jingle Bells while doing the hula! I don’t remember a thing I received that year, but I sure remember my sister acting out all the parts of the story of baby Jesus being born in a manger. You should have seen her ride a donkey across the living room with the pillow to make her look pregnant.”
For Best Gift Ever: Gail Grandela, Health Coach
She wrote: “My best gift ever was from my husband. Our first Christmas together he gave me the book, ‘Yes Virginia there really is a Santa Claus.’ He gave me this book because growing up in my family, my parents were very practical. They gave each of us children a set amount of money, took us to the toy store, had us pick out the presents we wanted,wrapped them and put them under the tree. We got up on Christmas morning and unwrapped them knowing what each one was. This was always Christmas in my house.There was never a ‘Santa Claus.’ My husband wanted me to know what being surprised at Chrismastime was all about. He surprised me so much that Christmas that I cried due to his generosity. I can’t imagine having a more wonderful Christmas than that. Now, Christmas at my house is always wonderful.”
For Worst Gift Ever: Tracy Rickard with the Special Care Nursery at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
She wrote: “The worst present my husband and I ever received was (are you ready)? A bolt cutter. It was from a family member and we had a lot of giggles trying to figure out why he would get us this as well as where he got it. Some of the suggestions were: One day one of us would be in jail and the other would have to bake a cake….complete with bolt cutter. Another was maybe he thought we were short on Christmas presents and may need a few bikes so his present would “assist” us in getting more presents. Who knows and we never asked….because it is the season of giving….”
For What it Means to Give: Edith Leon with Telecommunications at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
She wrote: “My mother taught me through example that to give is to love and to love is to serve with a joyful heart!! I grew up in a middle class neighborhood just of Mexico City. I never experienced poverty; I was always well dress and never knew hunger. My parents owned several homes and businesses, so I was very surprise to learn their background.
One day (as usual) our very poor neighbor (mentally disabled) came to knock on our door to see if we had dirty laundry she could wash for a couple of pesos or some bread. She had a severely disable child that she would tie on her back. Everyday this lady would come to the house and every day my mother would give her something to do, and it wasn’t just her, it would be any one in need. Most of the times I saw my mom “helping” these ladies and ended up doing all the work herself, not because she didn’t like the job they were doing, but because she said ‘they too deserved to be served.’ This always puzzled me, especially because she always paid them more than they had agreed even though my mother did most of the work. My mother later explained to me how she didn’t even make it to second grade and she made her shoes out of car tires, these among other hardships. She said she will never forget the feeling of hunger and would never cease giving to those in need.
She not only told me but showed me how ‘give, how to love and how serve with a joyful heart.’ She lived by this then and continues to live by it now.”
I want to thank everyone who participated in the contest and made it such a challenge to pick the winners.