Keep Good Going With Your Gifts To Those You Love #sponsored

This post was sponsored by New York Life. Find out how New York Life can help you and your family Keep Good Going by visiting

When I was growing up, I had this dream of being an artist. Everywhere I looked, I saw something that I wanted to create. I had a great imagination and was lucky enough to grow up in a time where that was considered a good thing in children. Yes, I made good grades in school, but mostly I just wanted to draw or do something else creative. So, let me Keep Good Going by sharing the best gifts that my family gave to me.

Keep Good Going: The Gift Of Creativity And Self Esteem

All I wanted to be growing up was an artist. Many people think that creative talents are also wasted talents. Many people don't value art, in general, but my aunt, Marge, always inspired me to draw and to create. I remember her taking me to the local fabric shop and giving me money to buy embroidery thread. As much as I bought, it must have cost a small fortune, but she always said yes when I wanted more. I would sit for hours and made friendship bracelets or embroider {which my grandmother Shorty taught me how to do}. Marge also bought me tons of books and took me on frequent trips to the library. I remember long summers reading all day or going to the pool. It was the most fun that I ever had in my childhood and I never forgot it.

Keep Good Going: The Gift Of Time

My cousin Tammy always encouraged my love for music. She introduced me to Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, Keith Whitley and so many other great musicians' work that I couldn't help but to be sucked in. She also talked to me. I was 5 years younger than her and when I stayed with her I was 12-13, so she would have been 17-18. So, that is a pretty big difference for that age group. But she treated me like my opinions counted and that I was "cool." After all, all kids want the people they look up to to like them in return. It made my life.

Keep Good Going: The Gift Of Music

Finally, my dad was the biggest musical influence on me. I still consider the bands that he introduced me to to be some of my favorites. In particular, I really fell in love with the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John. Having such early lessons in music, is it any wonder that I grew up to work in radio?

We don’t always realize the gifts that we are given in life. There are so many things that people can share with each other besides material possessions. I have been given the gifts of being appreciated, being valued and having my talents nurtured by people who were supportive and helped me in times that I needed them most. I have also been given the gift of people's time and conversation. We all want to feel important and I am glad that I have had that in my life. I hope that these people realize how much they mean to me and that I can make others feel the way that they have made me feel.

Like my story that you just read and the person in My Uncle’s Gift, we all have a lot that we can pass on to others. Learn more about how New York Life can help you and your family Keep Good Going.

Visit Sponsor's Site

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. Music is a HUGE part of my life, too. I always have music on in some form or another and my kids seem like they are loving it as much as I do, so that makes me happy πŸ™‚

  2. Sherry Compton says:

    I’m with you and think talents and likes are all important. It is good when people nurture and help kids and other adults develop their talents. You never know where it might lead or what that persons path is. I’m glad you had such big positive influences in your life.

  3. There are so many people who have impacted my life and as I age, I realize the importance of sharing that with them. I hope that I’ve left a positive mark on others, as well. Love your story – and the video.

  4. What a wonderful story, I love reading things like this. Every positive action counts when it comes to lifting up someone else.. especially children. It helps build self esteem too. Thanks for the great share!

  5. My five year old has already developed a passion for music. She is already interested in instruments, dancing, performing, singing, and enjoys different genres. I am hoping that it grows into something bigger and I will be here to support her each step of the way!

  6. Music has always been a huge part of my life thanks to my dad. He got me listening to U2 as a toddler and that’s where my music knowledge started and grew.

  7. i like sharing the gift of time. I wish i had more of it to go around

  8. Music is a big part of my life. I can already see how it is playing a big role in my children’s life. I hope to cultivate it as much as possible.

  9. I’ve learned that being musical doesn’t necessarily mean that you play an instrument!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      That is definitely true. I can’t play anything except a radio. πŸ˜‰

      • Same here! Although I have the “knowledge” for piano and flute, but zero talent. Oh, how I love to rock the air guitar with 80s hair band music!

  10. I hope that will be said of me one day when I’m gone that I did good and positively impacted other people’s lives. Music has a way of soothing the soul and bringing out the best

  11. I love music. I have it on nonstop. I think my day job has increased in productivity because of turning off the tv and turning on the music.

  12. I love music. I prefer listening to it over pretty much all other forms of entertainment. I find meaning in lyrics, as well as just enjoyment.

  13. That’s great that some of the influences you got from your family interested you enough to turn into a career.

  14. It is sad because a lot of people scoff at people who want to grow up to be musicians, or artists. They say how it is not a real job, etc. Maybe it is just my family, but I know my brother was not supported.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      I hate that for your brother. I hope that he was able to overcome the negativity and do what he loves.

  15. Music is my weakness; everything is made so much better with music! I loved reading this.

  16. You are so right – by giving kindness and support forward we do make a difference. Giving positive support means so much. I am a glass artist and I can not thank my family enough…they have supported me 150%.

  17. This is a great post! I love learning about other bloggers. I, too, love music and my boys do as well. People have also significantly impacted me throughout my life.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      Thank you so much. It’s amazing how people impact others in ways that they don’t even know.

  18. teresa mccluskey says:

    I breath off of music! Its away of letting me live! Keeps me sane!

  19. I love the idea of this! My grandparents were amazing and I try to pass on things they did with me to my children.

  20. I love being creative and I try to encourage my kids to do the same. I think creative minds are very healthy!

  21. It’s neat that you had more than one person who had a musical influence on you. Some things are just meant to be.

  22. I agree with the art! Not enough push for those kids with such talent!

  23. One sad thing about decreasing funding in public schools is that the arts get cut. Children learn so much through the arts!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      That is true. We had art in my high school, but they never gave it the funding that I felt it deserved, sadly.

  24. Music wasn’t a big part of my growing up, but it was for my Hubs and he’s instilled that in our kids. They love music. I remember my son being 10 months old and dancing around to Billy Preston in the living room – getting into his groove!

  25. Music is definitely a huge part of my life. My favorite is a song coming on that instantly transports you to an earlier time in your life. I’m a sucker for all things nostalgic!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      Me too! That is why I love music so much. If you are having a bad day, you can just put some music on that reminds you of a better time and change your mood instantly. It’s the best medicine. πŸ™‚

  26. We are huge music lovers. All three of my kids love singing and my husband graduated from music school so he is teaching all three kids to play instruments. I play nothing.

  27. Such an inspiring post Dawn! Love especially this line: “We don’t always realize the gifts that we are given in life. There are so many things that people can share with each other besides material possessions.” You’re totally right. It’s not all about materials, it’s about loving and being loved!

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      Thank you so much. Material possessions come and go but people are definitely one of a kind. πŸ™‚

  28. I loved reading about the special influences in your life! It’s so amazing that people can have such a positive influence in a huge way and not realize the impact they have.

    • Dawn McAlexander says:

      For real! I bet they had no idea how they affected my life and that is my bad because I should have told them sooner. πŸ™‚

  29. I love music and my daughter has grown up loving music, she can tell you just about anything there is about different groups or singers. I only hope my granddaughter grows up to love music and reading like my daughter does.

  30. So amazing that you had so many people in your life who encouraged your talents. I never had any artistic ability.

  31. Music is my daughter’s LIFE, and it’s sometimes hard for me to get – but it is soo important, and she uses it as an outlet which I think is great.