Thanks, Gifts, and Giving 2022, pt. 2

I had hoped to post throughout the week, but time got away from me. Thank you to everyone that submitted a story. I do not have a huge following, but it’s an honor to share your personal experiences here on my page.

Picture in a Picture

When my grandmother died November 2020 and they were going through her small apartment, my mom put together a box of stuff she thought I might like. There was some cool stuff in it, like the pins my grandmother earned in her youth and the jar of sand she brought back with her from her honeymoon at the Jersey Shore. (I know, right?) And there were a LOT of framed photos. To be honest, most of the frames were not that great so I removed the pictures and tossed the frames. But one cheap-looking metal 5×7 frame seemed worth saving. When I opened it to take out the photo of a toddler me on Santa’s lap, dated 1997, I found a second photo–my mom on Santa’s lap! Probably circa 1968. But wait, there’s more! Behind that photo was a picture of my grandmother on Santa’s lap, I’m guessing it was from around 1950. I cried. Seriously, I cried. How cool is that? I bought a collage frame to hold the three old pictures and I keep my daughter’s Santa photo in the frame. I kind of hope in twenty years or so, she’ll do the same.

Lisa B.


Never a cross word, always a crossword

My Grampa D was the nicest guy. I always enjoyed spending time with him. He used to make word puzzles for me when I was a kid. He was a drafter by trade with all the drawing tools and perfect handwriting. He would create word searches and fill them up with printed letters in perfect rows. He would also draw boxed letter spaces on grid paper for crossword puzzles. I was seven or eight when he retired to Arizona and he would send me puzzles once a month with words like “missing” “you” or “enjoying” “warm” “Christmas”. I wish I’d kept them. But things that are important now didn’t seem keep-worthy at the time. I think about him a lot, especially now that I’ve retired from Minnesota and moved to Arizona. I am missing him and also enjoying the warm Christmases!

Peter D.



In 1993 my husband’s grandparents took him to see The Nutcracker. They purchased a nutcracker and taped the ticket to the bottom of his stand. In 2016 he started gifting me a nutcracker with a beautiful note on the bottom of their stands. My fabulous husband gifted me my 2022 nutcracker and it’s perfect! A wizard 🧙🏼‍♀️ with purple glitter ✨ boots and an owl 🦉 I wait all year for this gift and he continues to wow me!

Laura R.


The following story is personal to me and I am grateful for the Thanks given. ❤

Much Corgi Love

In 2007 I went to your home and could not resist the precious Corgi pup that was the only one left of the litter.

We named him Barney and have enjoyed immensely the 15 years the three of us have spent together. We had to put him down at the end of March because of all the problems of old age. We empathized with him everyday since we are both quite old ourselves now. Since my husband and I were retired at the time we brought Barney to our home and have remained so throughout Barney’s life, the three of us have done everything together for the past 15 years. We miss him dearly.

I have loved all my pets to extremes, but because I had no other priorities the past 15 years, Barney has been #1. He was the smartest dog of my four dogs that I have had during my married life. During most of his years, we took walks everyday and everyone knew Barney. Children would come running out of their houses yelling “HI, Barney.  Can I pet him?” He was a celebrity in our small neighborhood.

Thank you so much for the years of companionship and love we have been able to share with this wonderful critter.  Know he was well loved every day of his life.

Jan M.


Thank you for reading. I hope you have enjoyed this handful of personal stories highlighting Thanks, Gifts, and Giving. May your new year create many a fond memory worth future sharing.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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