Paladini Potpie

Adventures within The Crust!

Reflecting the Christmas Spirit


“Peace on earth…good will to men” – How many times do we hear these words at Christmas?  And how often do we hear stories of people who go out of their way to bless others? But this year I was particularly struck by two shining stars of good will!

In this article it’s my honor and privilege to introduce to you two young women who reflected the true spirit of Christmas with staggering generosity.

Alexandra is my 16 year old niece and in many ways she’s pretty typical.  (Her big exciting news is that she just got her driver’s license.) Along with various other family members, I had been urging Alex to give us a list of what she wanted for Christmas. She usually just smiled and didn’t say much.

Finally she sent this group message to us on Facebook: “OK, so I know you all want a Christmas list from me. Well, this is what I’ve got: This Christmas I would like you all to donate at or some kind of organization that helps people. I really have everything I need, and more. I just want to spend time with all of the people I love. I don’t need any more stuff. Please, if you give to others in need, it would bring me even more joy than opening a present on Christmas. I hope you will understand! 🙂 Merry Christmas everyone.”

Completely humbled and blessed, I went to Alex’s charity of choice and made a donation.  But I still wished there was something tangible I could give her – something she would really like, and that she could open up at our family Christmas celebration.

That’s when I was hit by the other Christmas Star!  I met Leia Clarke, who teaches a 3-year-olds’ Sunday School class at my church every week. 

At 18 years of age, Leia is a published author and illustrator. Her first novel, Trillatia, was just released at the end of November. That, in itself is amazing.  But the thing that struck me as most amazing, is that Leia is donating the proceeds from the sale of her book to Wells forGhana to provide clean water in that country.

What a perfect gift for Alex to open on Christmas! The young lady who wanted to make sure kids have enough to eat would surely share Leia’s desire to provide others with sparkling fresh drinking water.  I was so excited to buy a copy of Trillatia for Alexandra, and ask Leia to autograph it!

I hope these two, generous young women have a chance to meet some day.

On her web site Leia writes, “Remember, adventure lies everywhere for those with the proper Perspective!  ….Carpe Diem!” 

As far as I’m concerned, both Leia and Alex have the proper perspective and are seizing the day! I can’t wait to see what adventures lie in store for each of them!


Author: paladinipotpie

Welcome! My name is Andrena Paladini and this is a blog about family and love and faith and fun. I call it Paladini Potpie because a potpie is like an adventure in a crust. You never know what might come up, but it’s always going to be good! Think of the best potpie you’ve ever eaten…hot flaky crust holding a rich savory sauce and all kinds of pieces of meat and vegetables…and who knows what? As a family, we’ve chosen to live within the parameters of God’s love and protection. This is the crust of our Paladini Potpie. The crust never changes. Within this crust, the savory sauce of family love binds it all together. That is also fairly constant. But beyond the crust and the sauce we can add just about anything! Good ideas come our way and we’ve adopted and adapted them to add to what John calls our treasure box of memories. These stories and ideas from John’s treasure box of memories are the ingredients I’m putting into our Paladini Potpie. (Okay, so this ridiculous mixing of metaphors about treasure boxes and potpies is exactly what I’m talking about. Silly and ungrammatically correct. But both illustrations work… so we’ll mix them together and it’ll be just fine!) John and I have been married for 30 years. Our children have wonderfully doubled in number since David married Amanda, Monica married Dan, and Matthew married Sarah. And the newest little treats that have been added to our potpie are six adorable grandchildren - Ethan, Angelina, Nathan, Audrey, Maleia and Caleb! I hope you’ll subscribe to my Paladini Potpie blog, and keep up with all the fun new ingredients I add. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our stories and ideas, and find something you’ll want to put into your own potpie! Bon appétit!

2 thoughts on “Reflecting the Christmas Spirit

  1. How wonderful to know that the upcoming generation includes such lovely young women. Thanks for sharing their hearts with us! I hope their generous spirits are contagious. =)

  2. SO proud! Thank you for “being the change” girls! I am taking notes!

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