Love the Giver (the story behind the name)

peonyIt’s been one year since I first hit the “publish” button on my blog.

I love the creative process and the way it encourages me to seek beauty in my day-to-day life, even more so than I normally would. I love reading comments and hearing from you and knowing you are out there, connecting to what I’m trying to share. Thank you for your encouragement this first year. I needed it so, and truly appreciate it!! (don’ stop)

I want to mark this one year by sharing the story behind the name of my blog.

“Love the Giver” is a phrase from the Victorian period and so endearing. When thinking of a name for my blog and etsy shop, I had a page in my tiny notebook in my purse filled with possible ideas. When I would think of one or brainstorm on road trips, I would write them down, but when I thought of Love the Giver I was tickled pink! I knew immediately it was the right name. It conjures up several thoughts and all are what I had envisioned for my blog. love the giver Love the Giver has been a special phrase in our family for a long while.

Here is the story behind the story…

Many, many years ago Victoria magazine had an article entitled Love the Giver. This article touched my mom so much that it changed her gift giving and then our family’s giving there after.  Remarkably mom recently came across it while cleaning out a drawer and I was able to read it again and be reminded of just how inspiring it is.

The woman who wrote the article was digging out her Christmas decorations and she finds a box of her grandmother and great grandmother’s “treasures” that had been accidentally been mixed in with the ornaments. One of the treasures was a broken mug that said, “Love the Giver”.  She continues on to unpack her own Christmas decorations and she comes across several ornaments that piqued her heart. One was a set of choirboys she had given her mother when she was in the church choir and sang Holy Night. Her mother had given them back to her when her children were in the choir some 22 years later. She was thinking one day she would continue the tradition when her grandchildren were in the choir. As she looked at all the ornaments that were hand painted by her children or made by her father she thought back to the mug with the saying Love the Giver. And she writes “ At that moment I suddenly realized that I cherished these mementos so much not for their own sake but because I love the giver. If only I could give back some of that love. “

So the writer proceeds to gather her treasured things that she owned and give them to special people in her life for Christmas gifts. For her daughter she gave earrings that were gifts from her mother-in-law their first Christmas, for she should be wearing them while she is young. For her son, a St. Christopher medal she was given in high school from a friend who had long ago traveled to distance lands to learn about life. And for her niece, her Nancy Drew books so that she could read and lose herself in adventures and for her best friend a set of silver teaspoons that were antique and well used that her friend had admired years before.  And even though they were worn she knew her friend would appreciate their beauty. On each package she wrote a simple tag that said Love the Giver.

It is a beautiful thought.




That year for Christmas I received a treasured little wooden German choir and village set that my mother bought many years ago on a trip to Germany that I had always loved and admired. In fact, I had told her it was one of my favorite things. I found it hard to accept because I knew how much she loved it too. I also received a ring that she always wore that had an emerald and two diamonds.  The stone was a gift from a missionary and the two diamonds from my great grandmothers ring. Each of us in the family received something special that year. The tags said Love the Giver.

choir from germany

And since then the giving continues, I’ve received my mother’s pearls that were her mothers that we both wore on our wedding day, and from my father, earrings that were my great grandmothers and recently her thimbles as well. My dad has given the boys silver dollars that were his fathers.  Sharing things we can enjoy now.

great grandmothers earringsLove the Giver has been a special phrase in our family since that article some 20+ years ago. I have this lovely cross stitch that mother started for me many years ago but was unable to finish it.  She started it but her eyes had gotten so bad she gave it to me half done and asked me to please finish it. I SO understand now I really do!!! On the back my mom wrote her thoughts on the teacup having pink roses and cameos (both my favorites) and then wrote: thoughts by mom work by kateycross stitch

As I gathered these things today I feel neglectful. When was the last time I wore these pearls? I’m saddened that I haven’t felt their presence on my neck.  They are priceless to me but yet they have been in a box in my closet, crowded out. The same for the earrings, I’ve not ever worn them for fear of losing one. I need to wear these in honor for those to whom they belong to and in love to who gave them to me.  I will. I will again wear them in joy, just as they were given to me. grandmothers pearls

I have come again full circle in my reflections. I hope you will love the givers in your life, love what you have been given and perhaps think about how you can be a better receiver. I realize today I have not been.



27 thoughts on “Love the Giver (the story behind the name)

  1. What a wonderful story to start a new month.
    It’s hard to believe a year has gone by since you began sharing your thoughts and beautiful pictures here.

  2. Katey, what a beautiful story! So many of your blogs and thoughts resonate with me and this is one that I will remember. I have given some things that were special to me, but this gives it a name and substance.

    My younger daughter who is single is adopting two little girls (any day now) who have had sad little lives and yet they have that spark of hope and resilience that only children possess. Laurie is having a celebration when the adoption is final with family and friends welcoming the little ones. I spent hours trying to decide on appropriate gifts and then ordered pretty bracelets for the girls with “Granddaughter” on them. Then, I started to think I should do something special for Laurie, a new mom of five and ten year olds. We who have older children can only imagine the challenges which will come her way.

    It came to me as if it were always meant to me. Laurie has long admired a diamond filigree ring which was my grandmother’s. Of course, it is only perfect that it should be hers now with the wish for wisdom and guidance and lots of patience that has been passed down in my family. I shall cry. I am so proud of her and so happy to have two precious new granddaughters.

    The last time I visited Laurie and the girls, the younger one came to me pulling a little friend along by the hand. Proudly, she announced, “This is my grandmother. She lives on a mountain!” Remembering that has given me so many smiles! Life is good.

    So, Katey, not only do we love your blogs, but I wish to thank you for causing us to stop and think about the really important things in our lives. Enjoy the flowers; enjoy the birds; enjoy the gifts that have come to us from our families, not only the material things but the gifts of love in so many forms; enjoy the beauty of the little things that we sometimes forget to notice.

  3. Your deddy and i are so touched by this lovingly written tribute to love and family. thank you for reminding us, too, what is important…sharing what God has blessed us with with those we love so much. (i’m sure the English teacher/student could have written a sentence without using the word with twice right next together!) i love you so dearly…and your family which is also our family. and our son, dan and his wife, kami, and their family. we are blessed beyond measure. thanks for sharing this gentle reminder! love, mom and deddy

    • Thank you for being wonderful examples of givers. I can excuse your use of with with and match you with a that that and hope it makes you feel better. English was never my best subject either. Love you both very much. kt

  4. WOW Katey….this is just beautiful and what an honor it is for us to cherish these gifts given to us. Thank you for opening my eyes, my mind and my heart.

  5. Katey, so grateful to you for sharing this precious story! I’ve printed the blog post so I can send it to my 83-year-old mother, who doesn’t go online anymore. It is so important to keep those family threads strong, generation to generation.

    • Yes indeed. Mom always told me to be sure and watch the face of the giver, that is where you find the joy. Thank you for reading. Katey

  6. Katey, What a gift Miss Dian has given you. Not in the material things, but in the memories. I LOVE this entry:)

      • Katey, I recall this Victoria Magazine article! I believe it was written by the lovely, departed Emyl Jenkins. I had the pleasure of meeting her and let me tell you, “giver” and “love” describe her perfectly. Thank you to you and your mom for reminding me to go through my “treasures” and share them. Barbara.

        • Barbara, Thank you so much for your comment. Yes indeed it was written by Emyl Jenkins. I believe it was in 1991. I am sorry to hear that she has passed as I had intended on trying to track her down to share our story with her. I can imagine she was a pleasure to meet. Thank you for sharing your insight. Katey

  7. Love your story -since I have known you, you have been the one who thinks out the most perfect gifts for every occasion and your heart shines right through in them. My Russian necklace comes immediately to mind and I am going to go eat my jam- right now!

  8. Love the story behind your blog name. Have been busy but not enough to stop by and get to know you and your tastes a little better. From what I have read and seen so far, we are indeed kindred spirits.

    • Constanza, Thank you for visiting my blog. I love this technology world that brings like minded people together through pictures, words or art. Your words are an encouragement to me! And your art is an inspiration! Thank you for sharing both with me. Katey

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