Manifesting Presence

All The Homegrown Small Town Christmas Feels

In the background, Bing Crosby sings – “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” and the beat of my heart softens as a smile comes over my face. Right here, right now I was meant to be sitting in this small, hometown cafe in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. The Chef/Owner has prepared a holiday wrap for me- filled with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce flavors that embrace the essence of my being. As I sip on my peppermint tea and take in all the surrounding goodness of love, I am transported to the Christmas spirit I can’t wait for my heart to feel each year.

For me, this time of year is not about those packages covered in glitter and bows. It is the brightening smiles and lyrics of small cafes, the steam coming from the froth of mitten-wrapped mugs, and the special presence of love beaming in sparkling eyes.

This season is the all the feels- the sights, the sounds, and clinks of cheers. As I watched grandma slowly rocking to and fro in her chair, mom and dad cooking in the kitchen, while their son patiently and lovingly took orders and delivered food, it hit me. Christmas is the essence of homegrown senses that evoke a sparkle inside that can’t help but dance in our joyous expressions.

Simple signs, glances, laughter, and taking notice of the small things bring the holiday spirit to life. Whether it’s the joy of a childs face in awe of belief, an exchange of a hug to acknowledge an understanding of differences, or secretly paying for someone’s coffee… that joy begins with you. Embrace the spirit and pay it forward.

To the family who owns Bittersweet Cafe in Farmington, PA, thank you for lighting the spirit of the season with gentle reminders that the best gifts are those that money cannot buy. Your signs, your Christmas playlist, and the welcoming hug of the comforts from home, put a spark in me to bring Christmas cheer into everyone I encounter for the rest of the year. Money can’t buy joy. But your cafe brought tears of joy to my eyes. Not only was the meal delightful, I found the most heartfelt Christmas gift in your antique shop for my newly wed husband. This year Christmas is from the heart- no more, no less. Experience a Christmas money cannot buy. Don’t let these things slip through through the cracks.

  • A Missed Opportunity
  • Taste
  • Time
  • Love
  • Trust
  • Class
  • Intuition
  • Respect
  • Inspiration
  • Your Reputation
  • Salvation
  • Happiness

I say this year, perhaps Christmas is opening a door.

Merry Christmas from me to you and yours.

From my heart, Mandy Murry

Originally published at

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Put a Little Love in Your Heart

by Bill Couzens

Keep Your Ghosts of Christmas in the Past, Don’t Stress the Future and Stay in Christmas Present

by Kelli and Alex Martino

The Gift from my Father

by Diane Gillespie

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.