Buna’s “PAY IT FORWARD FOR PEACE” Christmas 2015 Challenges

tinsel in a tangle

No time to blog these days because: 1) I’ve been having a blast with my fam, 2) I’ve been packing, unpacking, trip planning, gift planning, shopping, cleaning, CELEBRATING (Disney VICTORY LAP celebration of LIFE trip 2015 post will be coming… eventually), and “running around like a chicken with my head cut off” (Yes, I’m from the deep south… so I DID actually just say that!), and 3) trying so hard to not stress about Christmas prep that I’ve stressed myself out even more.  I’ve had my TINSEL IN A TANGLE! 

After having the best time of our lives on our Disney trip, we drove home from Orlando to New Orleans, laughing, singing Christmas carols, reminiscing on all the “magical” Disney moments… and then IT HAPPENED.  The kids shouted…


Mommy always loves to deliver this message, but this year, Santa’s little helper wanted those letters to just disappear!  Hadn’t we received enough last year?!?  We celebrated with an amazing trip!  We’ve been blessed with LIFE! And… at least this little helper is soooo very tired of planning anything right now.  I forgot about anything and EVERYTHING that I need TO DO for Christmas.

(Forgive this next pic, but, it was very real at that moment  to this mama in the tightly packed mini-van with Christmas toy lists a blazing)

get into the holiday spirit

Last year, you see,  I did my shopping online from an infusion chair.  I was excited to do it. I planned so far ahead… as I had many, many, many hours spent there (just me,  my ipad, and, “George the Fourth… At least, that’s what I called the I.V. pole.  “George IV”.  Get it?!).   It was all I could do to feel a part of my kiddos’ life, still being Mommy, and not missing a trick.

Last year,  I was so thankful that, even in all the sickness, I could recognize the beauty of the TIME that was given to me through visits with family and friends that came to infusion appointments and stopped by when I couldn’t leave the house.  What seemed like too much for our busy schedules before wasn’t even a thought anymore.  All ideas of “too busy” went out the window last year.

Last year,  I sat in front of my Christmas tree, cozy under a blanket with my kids, in a blessed time between the end of my chemo treatments and before my mastectomy and first reconstruction.

Last year… I cherished TIME.

How quickly, we lose focus.

not a creature was stirring except a mother

This week, I jumped right back from my trip, threw myself into full blown  Christmas shopping mode to “get ‘er done” (which I’m glad to have done all the real gift shopping in a week so that I can move on. Don’t get me wrong, I admit this doesn’t take me out of the “crazy christmas mommy anonymous club”), but now I’m ready to at least TRY to CHERISH this season of ADVENT more. Breathe a little more. After all, we’re preparing for Christmas, & as a friend reminded me,

“No matter what you’ve done or not done, Baby Jesus will still be born.”

I’m ready to prepare my heart, and that of my family’s,to scurry around less and open our hearts a little more.





the giving tree

I grew up reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein with my grandmother.  The tree gave, and gave,…and GAVE until she was nothing left but a stump, a stump that was still worth more than even she could see.  In the end… she was just a place to sit down and rest… Although, spending TIME together was all that was needed.

We’re taking on the challenge to GIVE.  In the book The Giving Tree, the Tree gave in so many creative ways.  Her ways offered physical goods, activities, company, and time.  Whether it be big or small, we invite you to take any level of our giving tree challenge.  We began making donations to charities in teachers and friends’ honor as Christmas gifts a few years ago.  What better way to spread the love to the people in need while also inviting others to join in the blessings and pass it on. And it doesn’t have to be through minitary donation, like the tree in the story… be creative with what YOU have to give:

step  1:

Visit our SUPPORT THE TEAM PAGE and make a donation to a family in need, donate to a local charity, clean out your closets and donate clothes to the needy, drop off food to the local food bank, or do an activity that uses your gifts if time or talents your charity (go carolling at a nursing home, offer to start cutting grass for a sick family, offer coupons for weekly scrabble games to a bedridden or sick relative…)

step 2:

Write a note (attached to an ornament or a candy cane, or even The Giving Tree Book! ) as your giving tree gift this year to a  FAMILY MEMBER, FRIEND, OR TEACHER, to let them know that you  made a donation or charitable activity in their honor!  Invite them to help you pray for that family/person/charity to keep the blessings going.

(click here for  one variety of a donation angel “print out” tag”)

step 3:

Add the family/person/charity to your family prayer list and offer them up as you light a candle together (maybe on an advent wreath) to help prepare your hearts for Christmas.




(I know, I know, I’m gettin’ really hokey with the titles, here!) 

it is in giving that we receive

A dear friend of mine mentioned a similar idea that she did amongst her college pals, and I loooooved it.  You can do this one through Facebook, Twitter, Text, Email, or phone.   You can either decide as a group who will be a part of your Secret Santa Tinsel Tag game, or just plain start it and see where it goes.  Anytime you do a good deed/gesture (ex: pay for person behind you in line at the coffee shop, help someone unload their groceries in their car, drop off a meal to a family in need, let someone go ahead of you in line at the busy post office, etc…)  text, tag, tweet… a friend,
“Just spread some Christmas cheer in your honor.  The Tinsel Tag game has begun. You’re it.”  #PayItForwardForPeace  #BunasTinselTag

I’m hoping to maybe start a few groups on FB between buddies or just put it in random statuses and start tagging and see how it goes, letting each of us tag each other (maybe in silly selfies, or just copying and pasting the post to tinsel tag each other as we go about our pay it forward for peace activities.  Ought to be fun!

However you do it, don’t let it add to your stress.  If you’d rather just do it in secret, that’s totally fine, too.  The idea, is to just spread some love and bring back the true meaning of Christmas. Gettin ready for lil baby JC! 😉


Prayers with all of you and your many, many intentions!  Thanks, as always, for getting my family here.  Without you,  and your support, I can only imagine where I’d be right now.

“God bless us, everyone!” – Tiny Tim


a cheerful giver




One thought on “Buna’s “PAY IT FORWARD FOR PEACE” Christmas 2015 Challenges

  1. Pingback: Fighting the Fight…My Journey | Team Buna

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