With my world being turned upside down, after the holidays had passed, I ended up keeping the Christmas tree up, as it offered me a glimmer of hope with each twinkling light, and was calming to look at, when I couldn't cry anymore. And, while I stayed with my family during treatment, which lasted until May, I knew that I would return home to my house, and the first thing I would see was my hope tree -- and, that I did!
Upon returning home in late June, I decided that I would make up my lost Christmas by celebrating Christmas in July. Who knew that two years later, my Christmas in July would turn into a celebration of life with the welcoming of our first daughter, Savannah, which doctors said would not be possible due to the course of treatment I would be undergoing. Both Savannah and Bella were true miracles, and ones I treasure every day. And, now, when I put the tree up each year, I get to not only admire the twinkling lights that became a snapshot in my mind and that I would think of when I was having bad days during cancer treatment, but also the beautiful ornaments that now adorn the tree, which family and friends surprised me with when I celebrated my make-up 2008 Christmas the following July. :-)
It takes things like a serious illness like cancer to bring people together. And, cancer also makes you step back and re-evaluate your life. You find yourself feeling grateful for the days you are given after you hear the words "you are in remission" or "cancer free". Holidays, birthdays and special events in your life carry a new meaning and appreciation and are truly treasured. I was a "giver" before, but now find myself wanting to give to those battling cancer, to research treatment, etc. In addition to supporting causes associated with cancer, I also like to support other charitable organizations that are making a difference in people's lives all over the world.
Cancer was a wake up call for me and one that made me realize that every day should be cherished. I also learned that people all over the world are suffering in different ways, and that they too, need support not just from loved ones and friends, but those who can help spread the word, give through a monetary donation, or purchase items in stores, where a portion of sales is given to a particular cause.
Have you heard about Macy's"Heart of Haiti" initiative?
Macy’s paved the way in helping to rebuild this important sector of the fragile economy, after the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake. Macy's was quick to realize that "despite the devastation there was an artist community that existed and was eager to bring their product to market." Their desire to help resulted in the launch of the "Heart of Haiti" product line for sale at Macys.com and in stores (listed below) which to date has employed over 500 artists.
The sales of Heart of Haiti products at Macy's put "real, sustainable income into the hands of the artisans who create them, changing their lives in remarkable ways. Macy's found that "when you employ one artist in Haiti, the entire community benefits. And, with over 500 artists employed currently, this benefits over 3,000 members of their extended family."
I am always in awe when I purchase or am sent pieces from Macy's Heart of Haiti, as you can tell the amazing attention to detail the gifted artisans put into each and every piece. And, the same is true with the metal ornament I was sent. It was simply stunning, and would make for a great addition to my family's tree.
My girls, who helped me decorate the tree this year, knew just the spot for it. They hung it at their eye level so that they could admire it, as well as point it out when family and friends came to visit.
Also, it was at the perfect hieght for enjoying when you were sitting on the couch and could peer over to get a gllimpse of the lit tree.
I especially loved how our white lights made this beautiful hand-made metal ornament stand out. It truly is a special ornament and one we will be treasuring and admiring for years to come. And, we are not alone, as anyone who comes to our house and see the "Heart of Haiti" metal ornament, exclusive to Macy's, can't help but compliment on how pretty it is. They also are quick to ask where they can purcahse one for their tree, and if there are other handmade oranmanets in the collection. :-) I am quick to reply with not only information and pricing on these metal ornaments, but also about the Macy's Heart of Haiti initiative.
Here are just a few other holiday ornaments available for purchase from the "Heart of Haiti" holiday collection...
Stores where you will find "Heart of Haiti" items available for purchase --
Macy's Herald Square, Brooklyn Downtown, Metro Center, Chicago State Street, Northland
Center, Seattle Downtown, Portland Downtown, San Francisco Union Square, Biltmore
Fashion Park, South Coast Plaza Home, Mission Valley Home, Dallas Galleria, Lenox Square
Mall, and Dadeland Mall.
Visit the Macy’s Gifts That Give Hope page, where you will find "Heart of Haiti" ornaments, as well as other great holiday gift ideas from the "Bringing Haiti Home for the Holidays" holiday collection. I was so happy to have ordered a handful of the "Heart of Haiti" ornaments to give as gifts when they had an After Thanskgiving Cyber Monday sale. I can't wait to give the gift of hope and generosity this year, when I surprise family and friends with these beautiful one-of-a-kind ornaments. They truly are stunning! And, when it comes to the holidays, I find that it always better to give then receive. And, by making a purchase from the Macy's Heart of Haiti collection, I am giving back, while also being able to share a wonderful handmade gift created by talented Haitian artisans -- thus, continuing to spread the world about Macy's Heart of Haiti initiative.
Heart of Haiti can be found and followed on social media at @HeartofHaiti on Twitter
and www.facebook.com/heartofhaiti on Facebook.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and they provided me with this product for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.