Christmas Eve’s Eve Holly Bloggy Party Reveal

I’d have to say that 2013 really has been a bumper blogging year.  One of my major prayer requests, the desire for a genuine tribe of fellow bloggers and followers, came through!  I hooked up with a delightful group of writers who have encouraged, supported, and mentored me on my blogging journey, as I did the same for them.  

Key among them was Joi at Rx Fitness Lady, who has challenged us all to grow as bloggers and to embrace all of the struggles that come with an online presence.  Believe me, Joi has been a tremendous blogging mentor .  I have learned so much in the few months that I have been following and interacting with her through our blogs.  

So, when Joi decided to host an offline Christmas gift exchange, I was all in!  And to top it all, Joi was the person who got my name in the exchange.  Boom! 


RFL party button

The premise

I had never heard of a Christmas Eve’s Eve party on December 23, but Joi and her sister Amber have celebrated the day, and Joi felt that it would be a good fit for us, her tribe. It sure was!  

The rules were simple:  choose a gift that costs no more than $25 and post it to your giftee by December 9, then write a “big reveal” post and link it up over at Joi’s blog on December 23.

So, I’ve gotta fess up:  I peeped.  I opened my gifts on December 16, the night before I traveled home to St. Kitts for Christmas.  BTW, greetings from sunny and breezy SKB!   😎  I digress…  I wanted to see what I had received and whether I needed to bring them with me.

And yes, I did say “them” and “gifts.”  If it’s one thing that can be said for Ms. Joi, she is very generous.  And thoughtful.  So, voila!  The big reveal!

Joi - Christmas gift 2


The breakdown

Can I share that Ms. Joi left me speechless?  Please know that I am not easily made speechless.  

First, homegirl went to the trouble of engraving the name of my blog, Embrace the Struggle on an iPad cover!  Sweet!  

Then she got me a gorgeous wirebound journal, just in time for me to use because my church journal has exactly one page left in it and I couldn’t find an appropriate one at my usual haunts.  Gracias, chica!

I’m convinced that Joi has mindreading skills!  Valorie Burton‘s book, “Successful Women Think Differently,” has been been percolating in my mind as a “soon-to-buy” choice.  How did you know, Joi?  I grabbed the book and began reading it on my flights to St. Kitts.  It contains great and practical information for women who want to do well and excel.  I’m all about that life!

And then Joi gave me two Rx Fitness Lady red silicone wristbands:  a reminder of a lady doing great work to encourage us to live up to our potential physically, mentally, and socially.  Thanks for all you do, Joi!

But you know what?  The icing on the cake was the card I received with the gift items.  I’ll let it speak for itself..

PicMonkey Collage cards 1

Joi, many thanks for coming up with the idea of this bloggy Christmas Eve’s Eve party!  I’m blessed by association and participation.  

Here’s wishing all of my blogging buddies a marvelous Christmas and great blogging success in 2014!


  1. Beautiful!! Love the book. It’s a gift that keeps giving long after Christmas is over. The iPad cover is awesome. True to form of Joi are the bracelets. I have a couple also. Definitely leaving her it! Merry Christmas Alison. Glad your prayers are being answered.
    Hope recently posted..When twenty-five dollars equals PricelessMy Profile

  2. I am speechless too, and I never am! Joi has been a huge mentor to me too. What a thoughtful and inspiring and intuitive woman. Have a wonderful Christmas! I’m so glad to have “met” you in 2013.

  3. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and the best wishes for 2014. I love you very much.

  4. Joi is pretty wonderful! What thoughtful gifts and so perfect for you! I’m glad to have met both of you this year! Merry Christmas and here’s to a fabulous 2014!
    Michelle recently posted..Tag You’re It — Christmas Style 2013My Profile

  5. joi is the best. i’m not surprised she got you such a wonderful, personalized gift!
    catherine gacad recently posted..Minted Holiday and New Year’s Card CollectionMy Profile

  6. WOW! I’m blown away too!! I’m not surprised that Joi is such a thoughtful gift giver. She’s so generous with her time and writing. What fantastic and special gifts! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..‘Twas The Night Before Christmas…My Profile

  7. What wonderful gifts! I love the IPad cover. Too sweet! I want to check out the book, too.

    Merry Christmas!
    Carla recently posted..Lindsay Loses It!My Profile

  8. Oh what beautiful and thoughtful gifts from Joi!!! that is such a great idea and I am so glad you were blessed by your tribe and Joi!!

    Have a beautiful and BLESSED Christmas, dear friend!!
    Chris Carter recently posted..Merry Christmas! He Came For YouMy Profile

  9. Hey Alison, you showed them my horrible handwriting, lol! I’m glad you liked the gifts! That book was so inspirational to me. I love Valorie Burton! She is the rockstar of rockstars in my book when it comes to inspiring women! Thank you so much for participating. You have been a blessing to my life as well. So glad we crossed paths! Enjoy the rest of the season! Merry Christmas my friend!
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted..Holly Bloggy Christmas Party Reveal DayMy Profile

  10. What a thoughtful gift. I have read one of Valorie’s other books. Hope you and your family enjoy a Merry Christmas Alison.
    Wanda recently posted..Merry ChristmasMy Profile

  11. Awwww! This was so thoughtful! Joi did so well! That is extremely crazy that she knew what book to get you and that you were actually thinking of buying it for yourself! I hope you have a very merry Christmas, love. 🙂
    Brittnei recently posted..Annual Christmas Tag!My Profile

  12. Merry Christmas, Brittnei! Hugs, Ali
    Alison recently posted..Christmas Eve’s Eve Holly Bloggy Party RevealMy Profile

  13. She did that I am so happy that this challenge went so good. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas
    Kita recently posted..IT’S ALWAYS BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVEMy Profile

  14. Super, super sweet gifts. I mean, really. Very nice gifts. That Joi is full of surprises.
    Andrea recently posted..An Ode to 2013My Profile

  15. Yours is the first post I’ve read of the gift exchange – love it that Joi got you and what lovely gifts!
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted..A Christmas Eve Story…My Profile

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