the two gifts

by | Dec 13, 2018 | All Things Home, Antiques, Favorite Finds | 38 comments

First off, thank you so much for all of the beautiful comments on my last post.  Your stories and words were an encouragement to me.  There are definitely drawbacks to the online world, but there is also a lot of good to be found and this community of kindred spirits definitely falls on the good side.

Today, I’m sharing two beautiful gifts I recently received.

The first one was a complete surprise.  It was given to me by the owner of the Mercantile in Knightdale, NC.  Remember I taught a milk paint demo and did a book signing there over Thanksgiving?  Well, as I’m preparing for the demo, Jenny walked up to me carrying a large paper bag.  She handed it to me and explained it was a thank you gift and something she thought I would enjoy.

When I pulled the gift out of its wrappings, I gasped.  This was not just a small and thoughtful thank you gift…

This was an 1800’s blue and white coverlet.  She found at Brimfield and knew it had my name written all over it.  She was certainly right and this is a gift I will cherish.

The second gift was a surprise, too, until the giver gave me a hint of what he was up to.  My dad read the blog post about my visit to The Mercantile and picked up on how much I loved this grandmother clock.  I was resigned to the fact that it just wasn’t meant to be mine.  We had flown to North Carolina and I doubted it would be available the next time we returned to that area in our van.

Well, my dad bought it for me!  He’s having it delivered to my in-law’s house, since they live in Raleigh, and then I can pick it up next time I visit.  There are several places in our house where this clock will look great, but I will find it the perfect spot where it can be featured.


My dad is very sweet and generous and has bought me a few special gifts, like my Taylor acoustic guitar, but this is the first time he’s bought me an antique.  It’s a special piece, anyway, and the fact that the gift is coming from him makes it even more special.

And it’s not even Christmas, yet…


  1. Janet in Kansas City

    It’s beautiful. And the clock, what a special treasure. My dad has been gone four years now…there are little touches of him in my home, antlers, his Sherrif’s hat. One of his pocket knives I carry in my purse. Little reminders of love. What thoughtful gifts. Merry Christmas.

  2. Melodye

    Surprise gifts are the best! I just read your last blog post too because I rushed down to NoVA to be with my grandson who was in ICU for 3 days with RSV. Yesterday he bounced back so quickly I was able to come home. Things like that put life into perspective. I didn’t check social media because I didn’t care. My family is the most important thing in my life!

    Embrace your family this blessed season. Perspective is important in this Information Age. Without it, one becomes overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy (ask me how I know!!!).

    P.S. that quilt is beautiful!!

  3. Deanna Rabe

    Two thoughtful gifts by people who knew ‘you.’ They are really your style!

    How special!

  4. Mary in VA

    The coverlet is beautiful, and it’s so “you.” So is the clock. The best gifts of all are those given to us by loved ones.

  5. Di

    Special gifts are so sweet and will remind you of that moment in time. My mom gave me her beautiful silver candelabra s as a Christmas gift. Even though she didn’t have a lot of money to go shopping she gave me a gift beyond what I expected. I love them.

  6. Connie

    2 beautiful gifts from 2 beautiful people!

  7. Cindy in Oklahoma

    This brings tears to my eyes. For so many reasons…..,

  8. Cheri

    Wow! Those are beautiful and thoughtful gifts! Treasures to be sure.

  9. Sari

    Your dad is the SWEETEST!!! I love that he did that for you – so incredibly special and thoughtful! Your posts have brought so much joy to this Christmas season. Thank you, Marian, for providing such inspiring, encouraging, beautiful and meaningful posts during this busy time of year. Your readers love you!!

  10. Krista

    Two beautiful, thoughtful gifts…how sweet and kind of them! Those are the best kind of surprises!

  11. Karolyn Love

    Such beautiful and heartfelt gifts to make beautiful memories! Gifts of love can’t be beat especially when they will become those special heirlooms for your family. I, too, love reading your blog, Marian. You are such an inspiration to all of us who follow you….God Bless you and your family this Christmas season and in the New Year!!

  12. Jean Clayton

    Both are super cool. You are blessed.

  13. Karen K from Buffalo

    Oh how I love your gifts!! A very lucky & blessed lady!!

  14. Mary S

    Wow, Marion. You are truly blessed to have been gifted these most wonderful items. Your Dad must be a wonderful man and you are so very lucky to have him in your life. My Dad would have done the same thing for me, I know, even if he thought it was un-necessary or too expensive. They are part of the Greatest Generation and we must CHERISH AND LOVE them as long as we can. I lost my Dad and think of him (and my Mother) everyday. I know you’ll take the utmost care of both of your pre-Christmas gifts!! Lucky you. Thank the Lord for this good fortune. 😀

  15. Chris Moore of Seattle

    I love these gifts and I was struck by how humbling they are.

  16. "Grammy" Mary

    How absolutely precious! I agree with so many of the others about cherishing the love and memories of our parents. They often had so little yet gave so much. You are a blessing to many.
    Thank you for all you do and for sharing your everyday life with us.

  17. Melissa

    Oh my, I am all teary now. Bless his thoughtfulness.

  18. Elizabeth St

    Your story reminds me of how powerful it can be to give a gift chosen for your unique preferences. They are very thoughtful. But it takes one to know one!

  19. Jan N.

    Warren is the bomb. He tries to come off as a tough guy but he has a sweet soft center!

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, a complete softy!

  20. Arlene

    How very special your Dad and friend are…..but also your in-laws! I have become such a minimalist, I have trouble with what my husband wants to put in our house,,,,,how very nice of your in-laws to temporarily give your gift a home!

  21. Holly

    Love the gestures and the gifts themselves so much! That coverlet is absolutely gorgeous. Totally swoon-worthy. Happy Christmas,

  22. Lisa

    Can’t wait to see where you put that beautiful clock!

  23. FIL

    It is an American Self-Winding Clock Co. clock. Looks like the original dial and glass and case. It may be missing the second bit but I’ll give it a going over when Kim brings it over to the house tomorrow. We’ll see what it needs to get it running. An unusual piece.

  24. Julie | Home On The Hill

    Lucky girl! Nice to see generosity in giving but so much better that there was thought put into the giving – it’s knowing someone thought about you in a special way that makes such gifts so precious.

    Those 1800’s coverlets, we don’t see them over here in Australia, are they a professionally woven fabric that is then hand quilted?

  25. Marlene Stephenson

    Thank you for sharing, what wonderful gifts and most of all the giver, special and what memories are made of.

  26. Deb

    God is soooooo good (as are Father’s)! Blessings and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  27. Pat McRee

    When I read your post about the clock, Marian, I could see that this was something you really, really wanted and I said to myself, “Somebody who reads this needs to run right over and buy it for her.” I’m so glad it was your dad! Santa Claus is real!

  28. beverlee lyons

    you are so blessed, and we are because you share the blessings with us. thank you.

  29. Lizz

    Don’t you just love surprise gifts? They are the best! I have to admit I teared up over the clock your dad bought you. How I miss my dad.

  30. Cynthia Johnson

    There is nothing more lovely than receiving a gift that is chosen with love and fits the receiver. I know you must be thrilled with the coverlet as it came from strangers and the clock from your dad, both gifts showing that they know you so well. Tis a gift to be known~
    Happy Holidays Marian!

    I am still missing “my Minnesota” and those that know me well.

  31. sharon

    Good Morning, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your last two posts. I especially appreciate you doing what you do best in your posts. (Sharing your world and your talent) I follow a few others and around this holiday season, they are all about sell, sell, sell. Sometimes the things are good, but I don’t read design blogs to shop! Mostly I love looking at what clever talented people can do, whose taste is similar to mine. So thank you for that!
    Secondly, I also really loved the two gifts post! What thoughtful people your friend and your dad are. Wow! I guess I was more impressed with the Dad moment that he was so intuitive and went to some lengths to get that clock for you. What a blessing for you and thank you for sharing such beautiful gifts and writing for the holidays.
    I so enjoy seeing your name in my inbox!

  32. Debe

    I appreciated your post about bigness and littleness. We are all just who we are and need to feel that is enough….authentic to ourselves. It seems only natural that you would see with clarity what is being put forth and eloquently expressed it. You are authentic and a pleasure to follow. You are special and your Dad knows that. How wonderful it was of him to gift you with that clock!! My heart just melted…..
    Enjoy it and your wonderful family this Christmas season. God bless!

  33. Donna

    Dad’s are very special, and the bond between father and daughter, not all are great, but when they are, its something AWESOME! This made me smile and tear up. I still miss my dad, been 32 years, but I know he is around, and i will see him one day again, but this would have been him, and I met your Dad, and your Mom, you are very lucky. Next time you see him, give him a hug for me, sort of like me hugging my dad! And that clock will be SO SPECIAL NOW! Merry Christmas!

  34. MaryLisa Noyes

    Such a special read……thank you

  35. Pat

    I l o v e that your Dad knew your heart and gifted you with its desires!
    What a precious keepsake!
    Many years ago, my Dad sent me some ca$h for Christmas. . .
    which i used to purchase a small chandelier for our Guest Room.
    Since his passing, the light illuminates even more brightly as I gaze upon it.
    I l o v e when others appreciate the gift you give and return those back to you.
    Have a Merry Christmas!

  36. Robin

    ❤️❤️❤️ This and your last post. I have read your blog for years and I don’t comment often as I should. Just wanted you to know that are many of us that read all of your posts, no matter the topic! Merry Christmas!!!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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