What a year it has been! This has been a year of change. But through all that has happened, it has become clearer than ever just how vital this company is. I am so grateful to see Close To My Heart continue to make a difference in the lives of crafters all around the world.
How grateful I am, too, for my treasured family, for precious friends, and for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Together with this company, these are the greatest blessings and joys of my life. These are the things I am celebrating this holiday season.
I wish you a holiday filled with happiness and love. May it be a time filled with joyful connections and heart-warming traditions as we bring this year to a close and move into a new one.
There are so many great stories that happen around the holidays that deserve to be written down, cherished, and shared. In November, we released a new workshop kit from the Story by Stacy™ line called Holiday Stories I Love. Using this new workshop kit, a few of our Home Office employees, including our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton, explored the memories behind photos they treasure most, documented them with detailed stories, and shared them with us below!
Dolls have always played such a significant part of my life. I love them for their beauty and their representation of many fond childhood memories.
My love of dolls began before I can even remember. I cherish this photo of me with my mother on my very first Christmas. Our lovely tree, and my mother and me dressed in our Sunday best. My mother always said she thought of me as her little doll. She loved to dress me up in beautiful clothes with all the little details, just so. She said I even looked like a little dolly with my porcelain skin, big blue eyes and pretty pink lips. She called me her doll and I loved it. It made me feel so special.
By my second Christmas, dolls were my happy place. I took dolls with me everywhere I went. I played with them, gave them each a name, and fussed with their clothes and hair to make them look oh-so pretty. On my third Christmas, I went to see Santa. My mother recalls that when I sat upon his lap, the only gift I requested was more dolls! Dolls were such a happy part of my childhood and even now, bring such a feeling of nostalgia of a time where life was carefree and magical.
As a mother myself, I call my children and grandchildren my little dolls, just like my mom called me. It is a term of endearment that has carried on because it shows such love for these special and beautiful people who fill my heart and home.
Even today as a grown woman, I still find joy in collecting dolls. I’ve created quite a compilation over the years of beautiful dolls, each representing something special. I have dolls of every ethnicity, hair style, period of history, etc. They bring me a sense of comfort and joy to see their splendor and exquisite detail. I hope to one day pass these cherished dolls down to my daughters and granddaughters, that they might know of my love for dolls, but more importantly, my love for them. — Jeanette
A tradition that goes back as long as I can remember is a Christmas nativity that we act out ourselves. I did this as a child with my own family. I’m so happy we have carried it on with my own children and now grandchildren. The year we took this particular photo was December 2018. We had just moved to Lindon and went to our local ward (church) Christmas party. We were about to leave but Ariana insisted we take this photo. Even though I was tired from working all day I did it for the family. I’m so grateful I did. It truly represents all the nativities we have done as a family with better costumes! Lol. We usually use towels, sheets, and toys. No matter how hard, crazy, busy Christmas seems to be, our homemade nativity always brings the true Christmas spirit into our home. We are a forever family because of our Savior. — Monica
I think I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade. We lived in Littleton, CO, and my dad had quit his job at Metropolitan State University a few months before. He had been asked to do some dishonest things and wasn’t willing to compromise his integrity. Money was very tight and even though I knew that, I still asked for a 10-speed bike.
My bedroom was in the basement, and so was my dad’s workshop. My parents told me that Christmas was going to be hidden in the workshop and asked me not to peek. I just couldn’t help myself. A week before Christmas I looked inside. I saw a very old, very beat up, white 10-speed bike.
I remember being so disappointed. My idea of a cool bike was a brand new bike in a pretty color with all the bells and whistles. I remember thinking, “I shouldn’t feel this way! I know Dad is out of work, money is really tight, and this is probably all he could afford.” I remember for the rest of the week leading up to Christmas feeling so guilty for peeking and trying to psych myself up to act grateful, surprised, and excited on Christmas.
Christmas morning came and into the living room we went. There, next to the tree, sat a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed bike. It had all the bells and whistles and it was just for me. I truly was surprised and so excited! It was not the bike I had seen when I peeked. It wasn’t until years later that I found out my dad had been so sad to give me an old bike that he asked around and found out about a police auction. He went and was able to find that new bike for an amount he felt he could pay.
Every time I think of that bike, even today, I get all choked up. It was so much more than a bike. It was a symbol of the lengths my dad was willing to go to make his little girl happy, and showed me just how much he loves me. — Karen
This photo was taken on Dec. 14, 2017. I have no idea who took it, or how this moment was captured, but I am so very glad it was. This photo represents a special tradition we have of getting a new Christmas book for our collection & reading by the tree before bedtime. The lights of the tree make it all the more magical.
The particular title isn’t a storyline I recall, but there is one Christmas book that has meant the most to this little boy. In 2012, the year he was born, President Thomas S. Monson’s book, “The Christmas Train,” was the one we added to our collection. As soon as Owen was old enough to understand it, it quickly became his favorite & we read it multiple times during the holiday season.
The story is about President Monson as a young boy, wanting desperately to have an electric train. I think the train topic definitely added to Owen’s infatuation with the book, yet I also know that the story itself has had an impact on him as well.
The story details the importance of sharing, & sometimes sacrificing, to see the joy it brings to others. Owen is one to pray each day for the homeless—that they can find food & shelter. He wants to donate to the Food Bank & worries about those he sees on the side of the road. He will often comment hours after passing someone, still thinking about their situation or what they might need. He has a very soft heart & a desire to love those less fortunate.
As much as we may try to instill these selfless traits in our children, I do firmly believe that Owen came to Earth this way. His special spirit is filled with compassion & caring. It is a gift especially given to him.
This photo will always be the perfect reminder to me that Owen embodies the characteristics of a prophet as a young boy—wanting so much for himself (Owen’s wish list is always exceptionally long!) yet, he acts on a stronger desire to give. —Jill
Each year a few weeks before Christmas my mom would use a staple gun to stick two long burlap banners to wood beams dividing the dining and living rooms in our home. Both of these were decorated with felt poinsettias and holly leaves hand-cut and hot-glued. To these we would pin the Christmas cards we received. I remember thinking as a teenager that they were looking a bit worn, but that I was ok with that. I liked Mom’s handmade holiday touches.
Geoff and I spend our first Christmases together in Chicago, and I was determined to make our little apartment homey. We purchased a pint sized artificial tree and I wanted ornaments, but other than the very breakable glass balls, these were expensive. I decided that I would clip coupons from the Sunday paper and that however much I saved on groceries I could purchase and paint at Michaels. Some were as much as .59 cents each, but the gingerbread men were only .29 cents. While Geoff studied every evening, I painted ornaments that have hung on our tree ever since.
By the time we built our current home—in 2006—I had fallen in love with bright, happy colors and with the help of fuzzy ball ornaments from IKEA, I created a bright and playful vision that included painted hat boxes and leather stockings in orange, pink, turquoise and green. The point of this story is that I LOVE to decorate for the holidays—just like my mom—with a mix of handmade and thoughtfully acquired things, and that while my style is very different, and a bit childish, it is magical and 100% me! — Stacy
All of our Story by Stacy™ products are intended to help recall and retell memories in a beautiful way, as you can see by our true-life examples, above. We wish you all a lovely holiday season, full of beautiful new memories for you to cherish, recall, and share for years to come!
Merry Christmas! As is natural at the end of a year, I have been reflecting lately on what the year has brought to me and to this company. This has been a wonderful year of celebration for me as we have commemorated my 35 years in business milestone. I have truly enjoyed celebrating throughout the year, and especially at our Conventions in Brisbane, Australia, and in Provo, Utah! I express my appreciation to everyone who has shared in the celebrations with me this year.
In addition to the 35-year celebrations, I have also seen the realization of two dreams that I have had for a very long time. One dream that I have had since almost the very beginning of this business has been opening in Japan. I have so much love for the culture and the people there, that it has always been a goal of mine. This year, with the help of some very dedicated individuals, we finally made it happen: we have officially opened in Japan and have our very first Consultants there! This has been a dream come true not only for me, but for many people in Japan who have just been waiting for this day to come!
The second dream that I have seen become reality this year is the opening of our very own event space right in the Home Office building! We built this building over twenty years ago, and I have always thought it would be wonderful to have a space set aside that we could share with Consultants. Just last month we held our inaugural Home Office Album Retreat to officially open the space and we had Consultants from all over in attendance. We have another retreat coming up in January, with more planned for future months as well. I am so excited to be welcoming Consultants and their friends to join us for fun creative time right here at the Home Office.
As you can tell, it has been a wonderful year—another one of many wonderful years that I have had as the leader of this company. I am deeply grateful to everyone who plays a part in making Close To My Heart what it is. We have another exciting year ahead of us, and I can hardly wait to see what new dreams and successes it will bring!
A wise person once said, “People will always remember how they felt around you. Build people up.” That thoughtful person was none other than our beloved founder and CEO Jeanette Lynton.
Today happens to be Jeanette’s birthday and to celebrate we are giving away an inspiring stamp from our upcoming Seasonal Expressions 2 catalog! (That’s right, this stamp is not available for purchase until May!)
We are giving away five Be You stamp sets here on the blog, another five on our Facebook page, and another five on Instagram. Follow us on those other platforms to learn how to increase your chances to win!
To enter the drawing on the blog, it’s an easy two-step entry. First, make sure you are a subscriber! If you are not, simply push the blue “Subscribe to list” button on the sidebar. Second, and this is important, leave a comment below with a small birthday message for Jeanette. That’s it! Winners will be selected at noon (MDT) tomorrow.
For those of you who have been fortunate enough to meet Jeanette, or even hear her speak, you know she lives her life just as she encourages. The way she builds up the people around her is memorable, and her example reminds others to spread that same care and compassion. When you’re around this incredible person, you can’t help but feel an instant uplifting connection. We would love to hear some of your experiences below, so please share!
What a wonderful time of year! I love the opportunity to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior with the world, and with each of you! I can say without a doubt that I have been blessed immensely this year to count you among my friends.
My beautiful grandchildren are a constant reminder to me of how simple and carefree life can be when we focus on the good things in life. Christmas through the eyes of a child is especially magical. There is so much anticipation, hope, and unconditional love in every moment. And if you’re fortunate enough, you may catch a glimpse of it through a quick twinkle in their eyes.
My hope for each of us both during this special season and any time throughout the year is to be more like children. Love unconditionally, forgive easily and often, and focus on all of the good—and there is so much good—in this world.
I love my grandkids with all of my heart for the innocent lessons they teach me on a regular basis. And, I love all of you. Thank you for being so much of the good that is in my life.
May your lives be merry and bright and full of unconditional love this Christmas!
Yesterday we had our traditional Staff Appreciation Breakfast, catered by the endearing Waffle Love food truck. The sight of this colorfully painted truck pulling into our parking lot was more than enough to brighten our day! Our mouths started watering just thinking about the crispy sweetness and creamy decadence of the waffles inside the truck. They are so yummy! In my perfect world, they would bring the corporate office breakfast every day.It was wonderful to spend a beautiful March morning enjoying these fantastic waffles with my Close To My Heart family. These great people work so hard to keep the company running at its best, and I love to show them my appreciation in ways that are fun for everyone. And where there are waffles, there are always smiles.
There were some great memories shared together yesterday morning. I believe that all good things in life are better when they’re shared—including birthdays. And guess what? Today just so happens to be mine! It’s hard to believe that March 27 has come around again, but I’m so excited that it has. Birthdays are a beautiful gift and a touching reminder of the past years of life we’ve been blessed with—ups, downs, and everything in between.
This year I want to share my birthday with each of you in an extra special way: I want to be the one who gives the presents! I’ll be giving away 10 special birthday bundles that each contain a Workshops on the Go® Blossom Cardmaking Kit and the four ink pads you’ll need to make the cards, which are Archival Black Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Honey Exclusive Inks™ Pad, Pear Exclusive Inks™ Pad, and the Smoothie Exclusive Inks™ Pad.Leave a comment below for your chance to win! We’ll select 4 commenters from the blog, 3 from Facebook, and 3 from Instagram. Comment in all three places to increase your chances! We’ll announce the winners on the blog on Tuesday, March 31.
So I guess what I should really say is happy birthday to YOU! May the year ahead be full of blessings.