I have a friend named Mandy.
I know no one nicer and more caring than her.
In the past three years she has moved from Wisconsin to Florida to Colorado.
She is our Arts & Crafts Director at camp.
She teaches elementary school and comes up with amazing lessons everyday.
She is overflowing with creativity. Hence the Arts and Crafts and elementary jobs.
Mandy is completely, utterly, 100% obsessed with Christmas.
Christmas is her drug of choice.
Last year she sent me and TC the sweetest Christmas gift.
Today, all the way from Colorado to Canada, Volume 2 arrived in the mail.
Are you ready for it?
A Christmas CD. That she spent months researching to collect the perfect songs.
But thats not all.
That card? Hand painted. Designed by her.
But look close. You'll notice that Santa's workshop window does not overlook the North Pole. No, it is the FlatIrons. aka Home of Red Rocks. aka Mandy's backyard.
I told you, she is bursting with creative genius.
And get this. If it wasn't cool enough that she hand painted us a Christmas card and burned us a great mix of tunes - she did it for 59 other friends.
60 friends! 60 paintings! 60 CDs!
If thats not love, then I don't know what is.
The songs are fantastic too. It's not just any Rudolph, its The Temptations' version. It's the old versions of traditional songs that Jessica Simpson and N'Sync have destroyed (but let's be honest, I still love the poppy covers:). Who doesn't love a little Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and Judy Garland?
Some of the artist's names I didn't even recognize. But when I listened to the song I immediately recognized the voice and it brought me right back to my childhood.
Not to worry, she's included a little Mariah, Mannheim Steamroller, Home Alone and Straight No Chaser too.
The time, thought and creativity Mandy put into this project is awesome.
See, this is just one more reason that camp is amazing. Where else do you make 60 friends that you love enough to hand paint 60 cards for? Where else does someone boring like me meet someone crazy like Mandy?
Thank you Mandy! ps - I'm hoping I'll still be on your "nice" list next year.
In case you're interested or looking for some new Christmas tunes, here is Volume 1 & 2:
A Winter's Night: Mandy's Favorite Yuletide Tunes - Volume 1 (2010)
Winter Wonderland - Ray Charles
All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Tria
Precious Moments - Erich Kunael
The Christmas Waltz - Harry Conick, Jr.
Baby It's Cold Outside - Ray Charles and Betty Carter
Ding Dong Merrily On High - Crouch End Festival Choir and Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) - Darlene Love
White Christmas - Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters
Stille Nacht - Mannheim Steamroller
Days of Christmas - Straight No Chaser
Merrily On High: Mandy's Favorite Yuletide Tunes - Volume 2 (2011)
Main Title from Home Alone - John Williams
What Christmas Means To Me - Paul Young
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis
Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes
Ding Dong Merrily on High - Boston Brass
The Christmas Waltz - She & Him
Jingle Bells - Ben Rector
The Christmas Song - Catherine Feeny
Carol of the Bells - Mannheim Steamroller
Deck the Halls - Beggie Adair
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Temptations
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland