Wednesday, December 10, 2014

mother Christmas (holiday giveaway)

Love is in the details.

This is something my mother exemplified.  She was not an overtly demonstrative person: she would not heap words of affection upon you nor would she be constantly hugging or kissing you.   

Much to Cowgirl's chagrin, I am very different in this respect from my mother. I am wildly verbal and physical in my love. If I wore lipstick, Cowgirl would be perpetually smeared from head to toe in holly berry red.  I am both a toe nibbler and cheek pincher, and I can (and do) say I love you in four other languages. 

No, my mother did not shout her affections.  She quietly demonstrated her love and care through attention to detail and consistent presence.  She always said "I love you" at the end of our phone calls and she always greeted me with a quick peck on the lips (our family falls into the lip kissing versus cheek kissing camp). Her love was quiet, but it went deep.

My mother was the best gift giver.  It wasn't just that she gave me the gifts I asked for;  more often than not, she gave me the gifts I didn't know to ask for ... the gifts that I would not have imagined to be mine.  She did this by paying close attention.  She would remember a comment I made about a robe in a shop window and months later, it would appear wrapped and under the tree.  She excelled in slipping items to shop clerks when my back was turned, sneaking  the gift home and tucking it away until the time came for her to surprise and delight me.

When I was very little, I desperately wanted these Country Mouse, City Mouse play house sets I saw in the F.A.O. Schwartz catalog.  That Christmas I received both.  But not the store bought ones (overpriced and bland) -  she made me the two houses herself! She decorated the insides with wallpaper, carpet, doll furniture, and tiny aprons for each mouse. I loved those houses until they fell apart.

Another year, she made me my own Little House on the Prairie Doll ...

complete with a wardrobe of dresses, bonnets,nightgowns and quilt she sewed herself ... 

and little shoes!

In the past few years, it was my turn to surprise my mother with unexpected gifts, especially at Christmas time.  Her stocking seemed to be the fattest as I filled it with fun little treasures and pleasures. Nothing fancy, but what I remembered she loved.

These past few weeks I have been drifting through my days.  Slowly, slowly I am easing myself back in.  I had the pleasure to create a set of prayer flags for a woman expecting her first child.   She shared with me her intention for the coming year Is Trust.  Like my mother, I try my best to tease out the meaningful through attention to details.

As I sat at my mother's sewing machine, it struck me as wildly fitting I was working with the intention  of trust as I return to my daily activities and my work. 

I've created my own life, but it was nurtured and supported by the constant love and attention of my mother. I never questioned her being there for me.  Her love and her belief in my abilities, mentored me in the experience of Trust.  Not just in her love, but trust in myself.  In turn, I hope I can do the same for my daughter.   

To honor my mother's memory this holiday season, I want to hear more stories about our mothers. How did your mother convey her love and care to you?  What magical memories come to mind when you think about the holiday season and how did your mother feed that magic?  Perhaps yours is a memory not about your biological mother, but about someone mothering you in a deep and rich way.  I would love to celebrate those stories as well.

To celebrate the spirit of perfect gifts, I am giving away a deck of Awakening to Your Divine Self Oracle Cards.  

This deck contains 44 beautiful images created by 39 artists from around the globe, including yours truly.  Each card offers a message of loving wisdom and quiet inspiration, messages gleaned from each artist's conversation with her deeper self. For every story shared in the comments section below, I will enter your name into the drawing. If you would rather submit your story via email, you can contact me at: Lishofmann88(at)gmail(dot)com.  I also have decks to sell ($29.95 includes shipping to US and Canada; other artists selling the cards can be found HERE)

I will pick a name and announce a winner next Sunday (December 21). So be sure I have a way to contact you should you win!

My wisdom card in the deck?

Trust, of course!


  1. Lisa, I love the attention that your mother gave to the details, and paying attention to the things you loved and making sure that she had it wrapped under the tree for you. I love how she made so many of your gifts. Especially when my children were younger, I often made them gifts that were made from my heart and hands... they truly made giving so special. The love I felt from doing so was immense. Love the dolly your mother had made for you. I did a similar one when my son was born, it was a gift from him to his big sister. It's still somewhere in our home. :)

    For me when I was growing up, I remember Mom always made sure that we had lots of gifts to open, even if they were often the smaller things. It was so magical and fun to wake up on Christmas morning and seeing all the presents. She made it special for us even though times were tight financially for my parents in those years. There was always very thought out presents for all of us.

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a deck of oracle cards. Love your card you have added to this beautiful deck. Beautiful.

    1. Your memory reminds me of how my mother would wrap (with much tape) each item in our Christmas stockings. It took longer to open those gifts than any of the other "big" gifts. To this day, we have fun finding simple things to put into our stockings. I think it was also a tradition coming from days when there was little, so it was celebrated. My favorite holiday memories all involve making things ... gifts, cards, ornaments, cookies ... our hands carry the energy of our heart out into the world so handmade IS the very best! Thank you for sharing all these precious memories. xo

  2. This is a beautiful post! Thank you for the opportunity!

    I wish I had time to share about my own memories of the motherly figures in my life...

    1. I remember my grandmothers love the most! She is my strength today. She lost her husband at age 40. And remained a widow the rest of her life and really searched out herself and her beautiful feminine nature. She showed me the importance of sisterhood and loving yourself from the inside out. Even though she was totally devestated when she lost her beloved husband she also took advantage of a bad situation that she could not control and made the best of it... It wasn't until I looked back that I finally understood her and her wisdom.

    2. Such a gift! Your grandmother sounds like a true inspiration and I imagine you are carrying forward her wisdom into your life and the lives of those around you. I cannot imagine a more valuable teaching: loving oneself from the inside out. That brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for that gift and for sharing your grandmother's story with me. xo

    3. Thank you! I do miss her! There is nothing in the world like knowing someone who is just so amazing and irreplaceable!

  3. My mother left this precious life just after Christmas last year. I guess for the last 11 months I have thought about what Christmas would be like in 2014. Mom loved Christmas. Her decorations were hauled out year after year and each one put in it's designated place. She lived in the same house for 64 years. While my decorations changed from year to year depending on mood or stage in life---I could go into Mom's house today and know exactly where each ornament, decoration and memento should be put. Instead I am moving into a new home with my one box of special Christmas decorations feeling so untethered. Who moves at Christmas anyway? Lisa, you lost your mom while we were engaged in The Gift of Practice and I have thought of you often. Your post made me realize that I need to find a ritua/wayl to celebrate Mom and Christmas. Your post was inspiring and reminded me that so many of us are facing this season without our MOMS. We are not alone.

    1. Holding you and your precious heart in mine this bittersweet holiday season. We are not alone - thank you! Our mothers are these foundations we could always return to ... a safe spot to land and reconnect with home. I believe you are right when you say we need to find rituals to celebrate - to connect anew! - with our mothers in this season and beyond. After the initial tinge of sadness, there is a flood of love that washes over me whenever I revisit my mother's rituals and gifts. Just yesterday I pulled out her address book to send a card to a family friend. So I pick up where she left off and there is beauty in that. My sister-n-law shared with me a powerful grieving practice: "Give yourself permission ..." for whatever we need! So odd to think there is a right way to go about this process and so I give myself permission to flow with it. I offer to you this same practice, especially since you are moving!! Oh honey, BIG permissions along with a healthy dollop of some treats to sweeten the work. May your new home be a space of love, ease, security and permission to flower and thrive! xo (oh, and I AM Lisa but somehow long ago I dropped the "a" when in an online group because there were several other Lisa's and it was confusing!)

  4. Sorry, Lis. That "a" just jumped in there at the end of your name.

  5. I never take for granted the blessings of having a good mother. It's not unusual for me to hear from others who did not or do not. There was never any doubt that I was loved unconditionally even though my Mom was not demonstrative either. But I never doubted. At this time of year I remember all things my Mom, and my Gram, did for us to make Christmas extra special and it was about family traveling to be together, to feast, to pray, to share a space to sleep with cousins so we could all be together -it was all those things. In addition, I have to say that all through the dark and cold of the winter months I have vivid memories of feeling loved when like on days like this - gloomy, cloudy, grey, damp and cold - I could walk into our house in Cleveland or Gram's kitchen in Chicago and the windows were steamed over from something cooking on the stove or baking in the oven; or the table being covered with flour and a rolling pin because Mom or Gram are making breads or kluski (noodles) of some other hearty dish. Being Polish, there was always the smell of onions to go with the kluski, the potatoes, the pierogies - warm food that stuck to your ribs in those cold Lake Erie and Lake Michigan winters. The warmth of those kitchens and all the love that went into those simple meals reminds me through the dark days and cold nights that love like Mom and Gram's surpasses earthly boundaries. I still feel the steam of those kitchens, feel the warmth near the stove, and know in my heart that all my life something is being baked, rolled, stirred and boiled with love for me = now it's just from heaven!