I need to take to a moment to share my appreciation for the truly good hearts and gentle souls of our blogging community. I am ever in awe of how much you people do and how quick you are to reach out to offer a kind word, a helping hand or simple gesture to brighten another's day.
- First, I've been participating in the 2012 Blogville Christmas card exchange and have been so enjoying all the lovely cards and creativity from blog friends old and new.
If I were the type to actually keep track of these things, I might have noticed that Bella has received 21 holiday greetings whereas Bella's mom and dad have received, as of this posting, exactly 1.
- Next, we have joined in the fun of Something Wagging This Way Comes' Pet Blogger Gift Exchange. The 'gift' is simply to offer some social media love to the blogger with whom you've been randomly paired. A word of encouragement, a tweet of appreciation, a share on StumbleUpon or Facebook.
And then, on top of it just being a fabulous idea in theory, I got paired with a blogger who has left a real and tangible mark on Bella's life, not just the life of the blog - Kristine and Shiva from Rescued Insanity.
I'll be writing a post specifically about how awesome I think they are but the long story short is that it was Kristine's blog and her efforts to reign in Shiva and all her anxiety that set us on the path of pursuing agility with Bella.
Just knowing it was attainable is a gift they gave us which I will never be able to repay.
- Finally, a little over a week ago, I received an email noting that our friends over at Roo's Doins had sent us a gift. Since I was part of the Christmas card exchange noted above and some of those cards were coming to us electronically, I'm embarrassed to say I didn't fully appreciate this gift right away.
See, I thought Roo had sent us a Christmas card because they were on the Exchange list with us. It wasn't until I had time to stop and explore this weekend, after having finally signed and addressed all our Exchange envelopes, that I realized Roo wasn't participating in the Exchange.
They had just sent us this gift out of the kindness of their hearts.
And what they sent us was a Jacquie Lawson Alpine Advent Calendar.
I admit it, I am a sucker for the holidays - I adore the music, the lights, the greenery and decorations, the holiday spirit and the hope for peace on earth.
This advent calendar offers a new little activity every day from visiting the post office to see what new gifts and goodies have arrived to building a snowman and decorating your very own Christmas tree. It was such a sweet treat and so unexpected and every day I look forward to seeing what's next to come and think fondly of our friends at Roo's Doins who so graciously sent it to us.
Your friendship is a gift beyond measure.
And on top of all of that there are the daily efforts everyone in this community puts in to getting around to each other's blog to tweet posts and share content on StumbleUpon and Facebook, leaving comments and helping bring fans and attention. Every day. (Even when some of us haven't been able to get out to your blogs in far too long.)
What a lovely community I stumbled into when I stepped into this role of 'pet blogger'. I really had no idea but I am ever so grateful.
I know that not all my readers celebrate Christmas so I wish you happiness in the season of holidays you do celebrate. Be it Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas or Winter Solstice, I hope you are surrounded by love, family and peace this holiday season. And if perhaps you aren't, know that if you're here, you are within our circle of care.
Thank you for sharing your time and your holidays with us.
One last thing: There is something about Blogville I am reminded of whenever I hear this:
"If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last
By helping a neighbor
Or even a stranger
And to know who needs help
You need only just ask."
Thank you for welcoming us into your cyber-family.