Last week, a few minutes after I had settled in at my desk, coffee at the ready, I received “the” call from my husband.

The Christmas tree had fallen.

Immediately, my thoughts went to all of my favorite ornaments which may have been lost in the crash – our Christmas tree is never going to be “trendy” or “fashionable” because each ornament has a story, or was given to us by someone special.

I wanted to weep. I wanted to run back to the house to help clean up the mess and inventory the losses. Instead I asked Steve to gather up the remanents and put them into a bowl for me to look at when I got home.

Broken Ornaments

Sorting through the wreckage, I was reminded of trips to Disney World; our first “real” ornaments which hung next to Legos and Star Wars figures, and how little our son’s hand was several years ago. I also noted the other missing ornaments – the one that looked like our cat being top of the missing list – I think my husband was surprised I had such good recollection for what was on our tree. Especially given how many things I regularly forget!

Posting this photo to Instagram with the caption “a bowl full of broken memories,” I was reminded by a friend that while the physical representations were not quite intact, my memories remained whole.

Which, of course, is true. And while this was our first major tree disaster, I have no doubt it will not be our last. So, instead of throwing away the broken representations of holidays past, we’re keeping them – in a jar next to my collection of Santas – to remind us each year that memories can’t be broken and that we are “truly rich.”

Broken Ornaments

Share your truly rich moment
It’s easy to get overwhelmed around the holidays – or to trying to make everything look perfect – which is one of the reasons our friends at Chevrolet Malibu are asking our community to share their “truly rich” moments, and be entered to win one of four $100 gift cards to help take a little of the pressure off of the holidays.

There are three ways you can enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post with your “truly rich” moment
  • Visit our Facebook Page and share your “truly rich” moment or photo
  • Post a photo to Instagram using @manicmommies #trulyrich (we need both to find your entries)

Share your moment by the end of the day on Sunday, December 15th. We will announce the winners on Tuesday, December 17th, after which winners will be notified and have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address, or another winner will be selected. No purchase necessary.

Tagged with:

42 Responses to Reminded we’re “truly rich”

  1. Heather Hamann says:

    I am “truly rich” because I have the love if a good man. A little earlier this month I received a old and unexpected rather sizable bill in the mail. This came as quite a shock! This bill dates back to before I met my, now, husband. It has the sort of $ on it that might make a lesser man really question his love for his wife. Not my guy!
    After the initial shock, awe and pure horror of it he told me it would be ok and we would work it out. This means SERIOUS budgeting until its paid off and lots of overtime work for him (I stay home with the kids).
    I realized in that moment that I am currently in major debt but “truly rich” in the love of my husband.

  2. Crystal young says:

    After a difficult year in our family. We’ve grown to understand that our health and the ability to spend our days together truly makes us rich.

  3. christy says:

    I grew up as a farm/4H kid. We were happy, but there were no designer jeans in this 7th graders closet for sure.

    When we were young we asked my mother if we were rich, the words are so true and made a lasting impression. If we had a garden and could feed ourselves, we were rich. If we had family around us and our health, we were rich. If could help others, we were rich.

  4. Chris says:

    I read this at the perfect moment today. I have 4 kids under 11 and my husband had me served with divorce papers in September. While its been hard I think I grieved the loss during our marriage and it was time to move forward. The kids and I have been having a very special holiday season. My soon to be ex husband is very competitive and everything is about things getting split 50/50 which is never completely possible. A major fight ensued over Christmas decorations. Fights are never about what they are really about so I know its about feeling like despite the fact that this is what he wanted he is no longer in the house, he has less time with the kids and he does not feel he has gotten his share of 50/50 of household items. The Christmas decorations and ornaments were just a symbol- a particularly hard one for me. I gave in and he was taking ornaments this morning that have special meaning to me. But truly they are just things. I still have 4 beautiful children and we are making beautiful memories together in a home free from anger and criticism. The joy and hope is more palpable this year for me than any other year. So I am letting go of the anger and focusing on that joy and hope again. Thanks for your post. It was a good reminder at the perfect moment.

  5. Lexi Lane says:

    With the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Shootings just upon us I am embracing the “truly rich” feeling simply because my 8 and 6 year old are still among the living. Our tree is secured with 4 wire ties in attempts to thwart the very same tree disaster you experienced since we have a new tree climbing cat in our house this year. Which means 4 new holes to patch eventually, my house is a wreck, decorations are 1/2 up, and Christmas shopping not even close to being done. Because money is so tight this year I thank God for layaway because otherwise Santa might disappoint a bit. So I look at my beautiful babies (even among the sibling fighting that has seemed to escalate this month) thankful that they are still here to experience the craze of Christmas and know I am truly rich with blessings this year.

  6. Kristin says:

    I am truly rich, full to the brim with pride in my kids the last few weeks. The little guy, who has had two major illnesses in his short lifetime, who devoted himself fully to his black belt test in TaeKwonDo, then blossomed as the star of the school Christmas play. The big girl who every day faces her OCD and worry with grace and dignity, has the biggest heart for her close friend facing surgery, and helped me write a book. Life isn’t always “perfect” and the small stuff trips us up. But I truly feel wealthy beyond measure with my beautiful kids.

  7. Kathy Schmidt says:

    As our oldest son gets ready to graduate high school, I am reminded how truly blessed we have been by the teachers, coaches, family and friends that have gotten him this far in his life. We are truly rich to have these people in our lives that have helped to raise our children. As we get closer to this milestone, I truly believe the statement that it takes a village to raise a child and I am truly rich to have an awesome village!

  8. Liza Jones says:

    We’ve had the “tree falling” incident, too! So I feel your pain on that one.

    I’m constantly reminded of how truly rich I am. I have two beautiful, healthy boys. I have a wonderful husband who supports my risk in running my own small business.

    I have incredible girlfriends who make my days more laughter-filled. And I have a family that loves me. Life. Is. Good.

  9. Katie says:

    I’m not sure I can name a specific “truly rich” moment. I try to consciously look for them throughout my days, and am blessed to find them in abundance. Sometimes it’s my 4yo daughter giving me big hugs as she passes on her way to whatever has captured her attention. Other times it’s when my 11yo son whispers the now rare “I love you, Mom” after I’ve turned out the light and kissed his forehead at night. Or when I see my sweet, fragile, sensitive 8yo son emotionally distraught because one of his siblings made an offhand comment that he took deeply to heart. May all our lives be full of such moments.

  10. Jennifer B. says:

    With four wonderful kids and a husband who loves me very much, I feel truly rich. There have been some very close friends in our community this year who have lost spouses, and therefore, moms and dads to several children, so I am trying to focus even more this holiday season on cherishing the memories, gettting done what we can and forgetting the rest. The kids will remember the special times we create, not what decorations we never got around to putting up, so when they ask, “Mommy, can we drive by those Christmas lights again down the street?” My response is “Sure thing, it only takes a few extra minutes'” And I’m so thankful that I have those minutes to spend with them.

  11. Cari says:

    After having some very stressful moments and losses this past year, finally having everything together in December makes us feel truly rich this year.

    When i reminded my daughter (9) that our Christmas will be small this year since we are travelling for Great-Grandma Mimi’s 90th birthday celebration at xmas time, she reminded me that “Christmas is not about presents, mommy. Its all about spending time with family!”

    What a wonderful reminder that we are truly rich!!

  12. kc says:

    What a lovely post, Kristin! And a perfect idea to save them as a symbol. I’m thankful that at 9 and 12 our boys still genuinely want to curl up with blankets to watch Netflix with me and still get a thrill opening their advent calendar for the piece of chocolate each day.

  13. Robin says:

    About 2 years ago on a Saturday morning, I was driving to my 7th grade daughters basketball game through some rural South Dakota roads. Freezing rain started to fall and the road soon became ice covered. I wasn’t going fast, but managed to lose control of the car and rolled the car completely over and landed in a corn field. I was fine, but the car wasn’t. That day I felt so much gratitude and thankfulness for those that helped me, my health and safety, and such things as I was glad my other daughter wasn’t along that day. I eventually got on the bus home with the 7th grade basketball team and my daughter and I were SO glad to see each other. It’s now a truly rich memory, reminding me of all that I have!

  14. Andrea says:

    This post is so timely as I just had my “truly rich” moment just two days ago. Similarly, mine involves Christmas. I was lamenting the fact that we had not done our Christmas cards, so I sat down on December 9th (yes, that late) and set to the task of getting them ordered. Because I wanted to have a picture card, I had to sort through all of last’ years photos to find the best one. I love that my photo app has a handy “last 12 month” filter. As I went through the photos pulling out great moments, I was struck by just how full our year had been. There was the birth of our niece, the trip to NYC we took including watching the kids play on the FAO Schwartz piano, the soccer games, the birthday parties, the zoo trip and the silly selfies that my kids take w/ my phone. It was all there. And I stopped. For just a moment, I stopped and took it all in and realized just how lucky and full my life really was. It was a great moment. And then…I went on to finish my Christmas cards and decorate the tree and put the laundry in and clean the bathroom and get childcare for the snowday, etc. But it refreshed me. And I needed it. So…that was my “truly rich” moment.

  15. Kim I says:

    My truly rich moment came a week ago Monday when a long time family friend passed away. He & his wife had custody of their grandson. The county determined grandma can’t care for the boy & the home was in such bad condition the boy can’t return there. The social worker asked us to take him. My husband didn’t hesitate (& for that I love him even more). We have added another boy, a 7yo to our home. We are truly rich because we have the ability to show this boy a stable loving home & let him experience life through little boy eyes. We are truly blessed & Christmas means something much different this year.

  16. Bridg says:

    I am truly rich because I have my two beautiful sons and the support of my wonderful family and friends who helped me through some hard times I’ve had over the past few years.

    By the way, after a tree collapse years ago, we always put a wire around the trunk of the tree attached to a hook that we put in corner of the wall near the ceiling.

  17. Bridget says:

    That last comment should say from “Bridget” – sorry!

  18. tela thomason says:

    I have had quite the year (several years in fact), but I moved early this year for the army – away from my support system, my friends, and my family with my two boys 3 & 7. Between both rent and a mortgage (was unable to sell my house on the east coast before I moved) finances have been very tight.
    My oldest is in 2nd grade and this year it has really become apparent how many book sales, bake sales, popcorn sales (new for scouts), pictures, and fundraisers are out there. Well, anyway, the latest flyer came home from school – and I just couldn’t do it – take my son door to door, buy more stuff, or even tell him the truth. So, last night I stuffed the big brochure in the trash – BIG mistake. He came to me shortly after and said pitifully, “MOOOOMMMM! Why was this in the trash??”

    I had to tell him truthfully that it was either me spending money on stuff we didn’t need or on Christmas presents (oh, and did I mention that their birthdays are the 2nd and 4th of January?) – and he had to choose – because he’d already picked his prize for the highest sales. A bit later, I was putting something else in the trash – and there was that brochure all torn up – broke my heart.

    But when it all comes down to it, my boys know we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clean clothes on our backs, and our health – so, yes, choices are inevitable – but we are truly rich because we have each other.


  19. Sharon says:

    Today, my baby turns 8 months old. A year ago, I had a hard time envisioning this day. We suffered through two miscarriages in between our older son and this sweet boy. Every positive pregnancy test came with excitement and fear, knowing that a positive result did not mean a successful pregnancy.

    I’m so thankful for this little guy, and what he means to our family, and how he strengthened my marriage. The rough patches that we went through as we faced both losses were some of the hardest periods of our marriage. But we realize now how truly blessed we are when we wake up each morning to this chubby-cheeked little boy with a huge grin on his face, and his big brother who adores him.

  20. Jen D says:

    This has been an eventful year for our family – health issues, money woes, and more than our fair share of angst over life in general.

    And yet, I have gained a greater appreciation for my healthy body. I have learned to slow down a little and spend time on things that really matter to our family, and myself. I have begun to let go of the worry and learned to breathe when it creeps up on me.

    Like others, I’ve recently sorted through this year’s treasure trove of photos and realized how truly blessed we are to have each other, and have the ability to share the world with our son. By the job that allows DH unlimited overtime, nearly a thousand hours so far, which enables me to step away from one career and into another. Blessed by friends who share our enthusiasm for learning. The ability to visit our hometown frequently and be welcomed into the homes of family and friend alike means more to me than I can say.

    As we trimmed the tree together as a family last night, our little home was filled with love. I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.

  21. Shauna Kachersky says:

    Shauna Lee #trulyrich moment. I have been blessed with becoming friends with a VERY special Manic Mommies listener (MP) & she has taken me & my family under her wing. Three years ago she helped me save Christmas for my children as I couldn’t afford to give them a Christmas. Since then she has been a friend, a confidant & our angel. She has kept up with our family all three years, checking on me to make sure I’m doing well even when it was she who needed the support and she helps to make my kids Christmas magical!
    MP has changed my life and shown me how much family and friendship can make my life truly rich!

  22. Rachel B says:

    I’m reading this story, sipping a decaf tea latte and feeling baby boy move inside my belly. My 4 y/o daughter is coloring cards for relatives and singing songs she makes up as she goes along. My husband will be home from work early. In February, we’ll be a family of 4. Life is wonderful!

  23. Megan says:

    I am truly rich! I have never kept up with the Joneses and have never wanted to keep up with them. I come from a large family of six children. As a child I thought if my family as different and weird but now I know I am blessed, although we will never fully get a long we have each other and we all know it. Going though our Christmas ornaments we are remembered of years long ago when we were a smaller family and of years where we grew in number because of nieces, nephews and weddings. The best part of Christmas is being able to recall those memories by the symbolic ornaments that we get each year. My bank account may not be full but my heart and life is full because of who is in my life; my family and my friends (my chosen family) I am truly rich and I love remembering the richness in my life

  24. Amy Holland says:

    I am truly rich knowing that this year, as I celebrated that last Christmas that we live as an extended family ( my family of 4 live with my Mother and brother) my children and husband will have their first real Christmas tree. Since my husband and I have been together we have had a fake tree or no tree at all. I am blessed to share the real tree experience with him my kids and doubly excited that we will share it all with my mother!

  25. Kari says:

    My truly rich moments happen daily if I am aware enough to pay attention.
    I consider friends among my riches. I had Thanksgiving with my close friends and my husband’s father and uncle. It was awesome to be able to spend time enjoying myself on a day that often requires me to give so much of myself up.
    My children are also blessings to me. To be able to hug, kiss, and cuddle them is more that I feel I deserve some times. My family often asks me what I want for Christmas, but I often turn to the desire for more time with my kids, friends, and family.
    I am truly rich and so appreciate the blessings I receive everyday.

  26. Tiffany says:

    I am truly rich because of my amazing relationship with God and the many blessings he has brought into my life. I have many friends, but my ‘spiritual gals’ and ‘alpha angels’ by far enrich my life more than anyone else. It overwhelms me the amount of love and support we provide one another and those in need.

  27. Rachel says:

    My daughters are 8 and 6. We have been trying to give them another sibling for years. After years of absolutely no results, I had back to back miscarriages in August of 2012 and February of this year. I finally got my wish though, as I’m currently pregnant with a little boy and due any day. I have never felt richer or more grateful in my life than I do right now.

  28. Carmen J says:

    As children of divorce DH & I don’t have many traditions from childhood to pass to our children but we do what we can….
    We cut a tree each year – bundling up, hunting for a large tree to reach our vaulted ceiling (even our new house has them). Its not easy, nor is our tree perfect but we love it. A new tradition is making cookies with my best friend – she everything I am not. This year on our way home my daughter says “I may not say much or look like I am having fun but this (making cookies with my friend, her sister, all our girls and my son) is my favorite part of Christmas.
    I felt like a million bucks, together our motley crew is making something money cant buy. Mommy guilt had nothing on me last weekend!

  29. Jennifer says:

    After surviving postpartum depression last year and having lots of time in therapy to reflect on my life and set priorities–I have had lots of “truly rich” moments. Especially hard was sorting out how I could feel so bad but love my daughter and my other 3 kids so much. . .I am now whole again and able to realize that I can take care of myself and admit that i need help without it meaning that I’m a terrible mother. Hardest year ever, and I’ve come out whole, strong, and “truly rich”

  30. Christine says:

    10 years ago this month my wonderful aunt literally gave me the gift if life when she donated part of her liver to me. So this Christmas we celebrate me getting 10 more amazing years!

  31. Aari says:

    I grew up in a household impoverished in love. I had no sense of what it was to love or be loved, to be valued for who you are & what you have to give, rather than by your appearance & how well you follow rules.

    I now live in a house that is all about love. It took me a decade to really accept & understand & feel safe in this love, to unfurl myself, but I love my spouse & we love our child and he loves us. We are oh so truly rich.

  32. Taryn D. says:

    One of my favorite holiday traditions is putting the ornaments on the tree and talking about where they came from. My 7 year old daughter is totally on board with this plan. On the other hand 9 year old son, who has Adpergers, has no interest in this activity. I have accepted this and my daughter and I happily decorate the tree together. This year however we put the tree up on my birthday and all of a sudden my son walked into the room and asked about one of the ornaments. Then he stayed and helped with the rest of the tree. It was the perfect Birthday gift and I am truly rich. <3

  33. Pamela says:

    In 2011, we nearly lost our home. My husband had been under-employed and unemployed for 2 years and we could no longer make ends meet. Among the options we could pursue, one was to try for a loan modification. Our research showed that they were very difficult to get. A family friend who was a real estate lawyer described loan modifications as “fiction.” But we really loved our house so we decided to try. It took almost the entire year, but my unemployed husband used the time he had to research and follow up on our paperwork through a massive bureaucracy. And it was a Christmas miracle when we got our approved loan modification paperwork in December of 2011. Every day I’ve spent in this house since then, I view as a blessing.

  34. Katrina H. says:

    I read this blog post the other day and have been racking my brain to come up with a good “truly rich” moment. I am fortunate in that I have a lot of little moments that, if I take the time to realize it, show me I am truly rich. I realized this a few months ago when two friends encouraged me to go on the Escape and even offered to assist with the costs if that would ensure I would go.

    I realized it again right now as I listen to my three children playing together in the blanket fort my oldest son built because his youngest sister asked him to. They should be doing homework, or studying spelling words, or…the list goes on, but they are enjoying time together and that is priceless.

  35. Misti says:

    Last night, my boys (5 and 7) were racing through the house and one shoved the other. They went to time out. The oldest wrote a sweet note to the youngest. Then the little one (who has struggled with his handwriting) wrote a note and drew a picture for his brother. They exchanged several notes. It was a moment of pure sweetness that made me pause and appreciate them both.

  36. Becky says:

    My students drive me nuts and I sometimes wonder why music teacher was a good career move. But earlier this week I had to be a dance partner to one of my first grade students, odd numbers and all, and she wouldn’t let go of my hand. If I can be that special to a child who I have seen once a week for 15 weeks, it must be worth the sacrifice! I also know my children’s teachers show them great love, that is a true blessing!

  37. Shelle says:

    I had my “truly rich” moment on Tuesday morning. My 4-year old daughter and I were involved in a major car accident on a very rural road. While it was traumatizing and scary to be flipped upside down in a ditch, we both remained conscious and aware the entire time. When I started to panic because I couldn’t get a door open to get us out, a stranger’s voice let me know he was there and could open the car. When the paramedics assured me that the blood dripping down my daughter’s sweet head was from superficial wounds, I could finally breathe a bit better, and later at the ER when a fetal Doppler picked up my 37-week in-utero baby’s heartbeat, I could actually form complete thoughts.
    Yes, we’re down a car, I have a headache from dealing with insurance calls, my body is sore and bruised, and my daughter has stitches in her head, but we’re alive and fine. I get to snuggle my healthy and well daughter and feel her new sibling kick me in the ribs. My husband has us all to kiss every evening. Cars can be replaced, insurance will get figured out, and hospital bills will get paid. All of that is so inconsequential when I think of everything that could have happened. Indeed, we are truly, truly rich.

  38. Julia says:

    We’re stuck in traffic, headed over to my s-I-l’s house that we “have” to go visit (b/c her hubby is a semi pro Santa and so obviously has a direct line to the real one) over 30 minutes late. But it means we have the whole family together. And we’re so blessed to have family nearby. We have a car. And we’re #trulyrich.

  39. Oh no! I’m so sorry about the broken ornaments! This is such a timely post because our tree started toppling a few nights ago and is now secured by a “DIY Tree Stand” – a cord through the window attached to two 15 lb barbells that are sitting in a flower bed outside!

    Your post is a good reminder though that memories can’t be erased. Last year during Hurricane Sandy, my dad’s beach bungalow in NJ filled with 29″ of water. The house was originally bought by my great-grandfather in the 1940s and four generations of my family have spent summers there. Losing all my grandparents’ belongings was heartbreaking and over the past year I’ve suffered from nightmares about floods and shed many tears for my Mimi and Papa’s wedding furniture that was ruined and is now in a landfill. The flood waters destroyed so much, but nothing can erase all those fond childhood memories of summers spent at the bungalow with my grandparents – I am truly rich for having had the privilege to know them and for the memories that cannot be washed away.

  40. Allison says:

    I feel truly rich this year after a difficult 2012. My son was hospitalized over Thanksgiving with pneumonia for ten days, we had our diaper bag stolen while cutting down our Christmas tree which had my wallet, phone and some medical info we had been carrying because of the hospitalization, and then the week later Sandy Hook occurred and impacted us as we live in the neighboring community. I’ve spent 2013 much differently because of all of that towards the end of last year and look forward to a special holiday season this year appreciating every moment.

  41. Tracey says:

    When my son, who has muscular dystrophy, said last week that he was “lucky” after watching a video about conjoined twins. I realized that even with all his hardships, he doesn’t feel sorry for himself…and that sometimes he can teach me a lesson in that!

  42. Tina H. says:

    I had a truly “rich moment” about ten years ago. My oldest daughter had been really sick right before Christmas with a bad stomach bug. She became dehydrated and ended up in the hospital for several days. She came home on the 23rd of December; still weak, but much better. When I brought my daughter home and we pulled into the garage, “Silent Night” came on the radio. I sat there with my two daughters and just cried because I realized how truly blessed I was.