On the 7th day of Christmas – Sandra Hyatt

swansMy true love gave to me seven swans a swimming.

Apparently the ‘seven swans’ refers to the seven gifts of the holy spirit. And whatever your religious persuasion it never hurts to stop and count your blessings and the gifts in your life. 

I admit that I tend to get a little (actually a lot) frazzled around Christmas time ie I haven’t done any, yes any, Christmas shopping yet, Christmas lunch for ten is at my house and I don’t know what we’re having, and there seem to be one hundred and one things going on in my and my children’s life – none of which I’m quite prepared for. So it’s that time of year when I have to remind myself to take a step back, let go of my hair and count my blessings, look back at the gifts I’ve received throughout the year.

Oviously the stand out one was getting The Call from an editor at Desire – Christmas on August 1st!

But there are the other subtler ones, the biggest of which is that my family are happy and healthy and will be celebrating Christmas together. I have two close friends who’ve lost loved ones this year and I just can’t imagine not having in the world any of those people: children, siblings, parents, friends whose presence feels essential to my happiness and the rightness of the world.

What blessings are you counting the Christmas time?



28 Responses to “On the 7th day of Christmas – Sandra Hyatt”

  1. 1 limecello
    December 13, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Am I really first?

  2. 2 limecello
    December 13, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Hm… blessings? In 48 hours I’ll be done with my finals! [Am going to take my 24 hr take home in about 2.5 hrs… *cringe* I’ve put it off as long as I can because I only have til midnight tomorrow as the LAST time to turn it in…]
    Um… having some free time, seeing old friends, actually having my (immediate) family get together for Christmas – all good things 🙂

  3. 3 Avi J
    December 13, 2008 at 9:06 am

    My family and friends. Just making it through to another year is a blessing.

  4. 4 azteclady
    December 13, 2008 at 9:44 am

    There are too many things I’m grateful for, every day: my children, their health. All my loved ones (and their health).

    Just too many things to list, but those are at the top of the list.

  5. December 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Sandra, I’m with you – family. Just being together with everyone is such a wonderful gift 🙂

  6. 6 Sandra
    December 13, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Limoncello – yes, you’re first! Good luck with your finals.

  7. 7 Sandra
    December 13, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Oh – and I forgot to say I’ll do a nice New Zealand note book for one contributor (note to self – add nice NZ notebook to list of things to buy when I go shopping later today).

  8. 8 Sandra
    December 13, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Looks like it’s going to be unanimous – it truly is the family and friends that matter. Therefore – I don’t need to worry and stress about any of the other stuff. Because even if the meal isn’t what I envisioned and the gifts aren’t ‘perfect’ I can still have a wonderful, and blessing filled Christmas.

    And just in typing this I can feel a little of the stress lifting. So thank you.

  9. 9 Rachel Bailey
    December 13, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Sandra, great topic. My mother always told us that, on the night before our birthday, say goodbye to the year and thank it for all the things it brought us. Then on the morning of our birthday to wake up and welcome the new year. I still do it now and it’s great to have that little review each year of all the things we’re grateful for.

  10. December 13, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Rachel, I love what your mother suggested about birthdays. Mind you, these days I’m hard pressed to remember what day of the week it is let alone the date!

    Sandra, definitely family are a huge blessing. And if I could have one wish for Christmas its that we get to spend it all together again next year in good health. Hey, you have a plus this year. Christmas at your house means even if you’ve hidden the kids gifts you’ll be able to find them straight away 😀

    Limecello, all the very best with your finals! My eldest just received notification of winning a scholarship today so she’s very pleased to see her student loan whittled down a bit just before Christmas…as are we all!

  11. December 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Rachel, what a gorgeous tradition for birthdays! Although like Yvonne, get too frazzled about the days. I will also officially say ‘bye ‘bye to my 30s this year and those (relatively) illness-free years. Roll on 4-0 in 2009 😯

    Limecello – better you than me on those finals 😮 Did contemplate going back to school as an adult but then realized it’d only be a chore for me. Rather do study for fun… 😀

  12. 12 Sandra
    December 13, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Rachel – I think I might adopt your mother’s tradition, it’s a lovely one.
    Yvonne, cool that your oldest got a scholarship. Anything that can reduce what it costs to put them through university (if that’s where she’s going) is definitely a blessing.
    Paula – think of all the wonderful, confident women you know who are in their 40’s and know that it’s going to be a great time.

    Today’s blessing: I’ve just got back from a shopping expedition – one small independent toy shop, with owners who know their toys and precisely what suits children of any given age and so now I’ve knocked on the head Christmas (and two birthday) gifts for eight nieces and nephews. I could have hugged that lovely, serene, wise woman.

  13. 13 RobynL
    December 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I’m counting the fact that I have a job that I enjoy even though the pay
    is minimal; you have to enjoy this job to want to work for low pay.
    I ‘m thankful for a wonderful dh and a laid back attitude; he keeps me
    grounded (sometimes, lol) as I tend to be the opposite and worry, worry.
    I’m thankful for good health in so much as we do not have anything major wrong.
    If little sister and family come home on the 26th(5 hr. drive)I will be
    counting that blessing with glee. They are coming if weather permits.

  14. 14 Sandra
    December 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    RobynL – if you enjoy the work you do that’s such a blessing and definitely better than a job that paid better but that you didn’t enjoy.

    That’s partly why finally selling to Desire was such a joy – I’m going to get paid to do something I love doing (and was effectively doing anyway but for no money). Needless to say, my husband’s very happy about this too.

    Good luck with the weather.

  15. December 13, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I’m thankful that, although all of my family won’t be spending Christmas together this year, that we’re all alive and well. My parents are getting older now and you start to wonder how many more Christmasses we have left together. I’m also thankful we have airconditioning coz it’s gonna be one heck of a hot Chrismtas, me thinks 🙂

  16. 16 Maureen
    December 13, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I am thankful for my children, husband and family and our good health. I am thankful that many of us can get together to celebrate Christmas this year.

  17. 17 Nathalie
    December 14, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Mainly that I am doing what I love, and my family is together and healthy.

  18. 18 Ellen
    December 14, 2008 at 1:44 am

    Being alive and able to take care of myself; being able to travel where I want when I want and having friends and family who are always there when I need them (of course I am there for them also).

  19. December 14, 2008 at 6:33 am

    I hear you about the selling to Desire, Sandra! My deadline was October 2006, otherwise I had to go and find myself a job so I could eat and feed my boy 🙂 I simply DREADED that prospect, plus sending him to after-care, etc etc. I scraped in with a month to spare and every day it’s been a blessing (although, on deadline, it could seem like hell on earth) 😉

  20. 20 Jane
    December 14, 2008 at 6:44 am

    I just thankful that our family is together and we still have our jobs.

  21. 21 Sandra
    December 14, 2008 at 7:27 am

    So, here’s to families and friends and health and jobs!

    And then I’m going to add to my long term goal/wish list Ellen’s blessing of being able to travel where I want, when I want.

    Paula – I was like you, self imposed deadlines for selling were coming up (actually many had already been and gone, but it was getting to crunch time). I’d put out some feelers about getting a ‘real’ job before I went to the RWA conference in San Francisco. And the VOILA thank you Desireabelles and Diana Ventimiglia.

  22. 22 Crystal B.
    December 14, 2008 at 9:58 am

    I am thankful for my husband, my family and my friends. I am thankful for my health and that we still have jobs.

  23. December 14, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    I think this time of year is the time to reflect and cherish those things that we are grateful for. Since it’s the seven days of Christmas, I’ll say seven things 😉

    Definitely having a loving family (includes extended); supportive friends; a feisty American Staffy; despite going through tough times with ill health, loved ones are here and knock on wood, doing well; my writing buddies; my new Mac with cable access; having a roof over my head – and the air conditioning helps.

  24. 24 Sandra
    December 14, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    CrystalB – wishing you another year of all of those blessings and more.

    Seven blessings – good thinking Eleni. I used to keep a gratitude diary and each day wrote in it five things I was grateful for that day. Some days it was a challenge to come up with five and other days I could scarcely stop. And though I’ve stopped now I still have the diary and it’s really nice to pick it up and look back through it and remind myself how truly blessed I am.

  25. 25 Sandra
    December 14, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Found myself a random number generator on the web and Limecello – looks like being first paid off. If you email me at shydes@xtra dot co dot nz I’ll send you the notebook. Cheers.

  26. 26 limecello
    December 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Awe – thanks! And I’m FINALLY done with finals – so this is a very happy notebook 🙂

  27. 27 Sandra
    December 14, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Limecello – glad to hear you’re done with your finals. Must be a wonderful relief.

  28. 28 azteclady
    December 15, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Yay, limecello! Cool way to celebrate the last final, huh? Thank you, Sandra!

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