Christmas Musings on the Art of Gift Giving

While life is full of surprises, the ones that make my heart skip a beat and keep a smile on my face for days on end are increasingly rare these days. My daughter Mallory, who had to work in New York on Christmas Eve, and therefore couldn’t join us in San Francisco for the holidays, did just that and completely bedazzled us with her presence. Having our family all together at Christmas was the greatest gift that I received and one that I will not forget.

My youngest daughter Olivia is the best gift giver that I know. The thoughtfulness, effort, creativity and thirstiness that she puts into making everyone’s gift are truly remarkable. One year, she even managed in secret to knit scarfs for everyone in the family. This year her ingenuity gets a gold star. With what she could scavenge around the house, she assembled and then constructed this amazing and oh so chic smart phone charging station out of antique books. It manages to conceal all the ugly wires and makes these books, which take the reader on far-flung voyages, into something practical.

One of our favorite Christmas movies is the 1947 production of the Bishop’s wife, starring David Niven, Cary Grant and Loretta Young. It’s all about the true meaning of giving on Christmas. The last scene of the Samuel Goldwyn film shows the Bishop, played by David Niven, delivering his Christmas sermon. What makes this sermon noteworthy is that it addresses the issue of world peace, which has particular significance today.

“Tonight, I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear there was a child’s cry. A blazing star hung over a stable, and Wise Men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down through the ages. We celebrate it with a star hung on a Christmas tree, and a cry of bells, and gifts; especially with gifts. We bind them and wrap them, and we put them under the tree…All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one, and we have forgotten even to hang it up! The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s His birthday we are celebrating, you know. Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us ask ourselves what we would wish for most, and then let each of us put in his share- of loving kindness, warm hearts, and an out-stretched hand –all the shining gifts that make peace on earth.”

Peace is what I’m hoping for in 2016.   May we all contribute loving kindness, warm hearts, and an out-stretched hand of tolerance. So just dream BIG in 2016 and sit back and witness a change.


Thank you all for following along on my journey this year. Looking forward to many new experiences to share with you in the New Year!


Tag along as I share musings on everything from family to business, which will hopefully inspire you and stir the mind. I am happy that you are along for the journey. Here’s to Living Lively!


  • Anonymous
    December 31, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    Very sweet, Jennifer.

  • Debbie
    December 31, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I think the creative gene runs in the family ! Love the charging station . Let me know when Olivia starts to make them for sale !

  • Sheila
    January 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Great blog Jennifer!

  • Mary
    January 1, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    You capture the ambiance and sentiment of a perfect Christmas. M

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2016 at 4:43 am

    Thank you Mary! Happy New year!

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Thank You Sheila! Happy New Year!

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2016 at 4:45 am

    HappY New Year Debbie!

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Happy New Year!

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks Debbie. I’ll let you know if Olivia starts manufacturing them!

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Happy New Year! Hope to see you often in 2016.

  • Laura
    February 21, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Loved Christmas Musings.