December 18, 2020
When Christmas is Joy & Pain
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year… for some. For others it is a time that reminds them that they are alone, or it holds memories of people they’ve lost or a loss they’ve suffered. So while Christmas is joyful and beautiful, it is also sometimes lonely and sad.
One goal I have over the holidays is to take notice of someone who needs encouragement or love. Who is lonely? Who is sad? Who is hurting? Once we identify that person we can then take action to show that person he or she is not alone and there are people who care.
This year we chose my great aunt who has been alone in her assisted living apartment for months due to COVID19. We weren’t able to be with her in person, but we could see her outside. We brought a guitar and sang Christmas carols in the parking lot while she stood on her balcony!
A 12 Days Of Christmas Box
Gifts don’t take the pain away, but they do show someone we care. It is a practical and fun way to show love. It’s not what is in the box, but someone thought to put a gift together and took love and care to do so.
What to Do:
Gather 12 items and label them each by the day (see free printable below). You can put them all in one container, or use brown kraft bags and put them each in a separate bag.
Ideas For Items To Put In The Box
- Christmas Decorations
- Advent Calendar
- Christmas Cookies
- Digital Picture Frame
- Peppermint Tree
- Candle Warmer
- Sparkling Apple Cider
- Cinnamon Rolls
- Gifts for Kids
- Hand written bible verses
- Weighted blanket
- Door hanger
- A photo album or loose printed photos
- Movie tickets
- Gift cards
- lip balm
- body lotion or spray
When to Deliver:
You can deliver the items all at once and have the person open one a day, or drop off one per day for twelve days.
Team Up… and do it in secret!
One year we did this for a friend and each day a different friend delivered a basket of Christmas love to her door each day. So twelve different friends were involved in this love mission. We did it anonymously so she did not know who did delivered! Each person had a word for their day, like JOY, PEACE, LOVE, etc. and they created their gift around their theme.
Here are some of the words and gift ideas from the friends who delivered surprises each day:
Main Introductory Note
We know this is a hard season. As sisters who want to help carry you through this time, we are going to be your “wise (wo)men” bearing Christmas activities or gifts to your house. These will appear at unknown places and times. Please don’t try to guess the sources – let us experience the joy of giving in secret. Today decorate some cookies with the boys and allow the JOY of the Lord to seep deeply in your spirit. He loves you with a love that never fails, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Day 1: JOY
Gift: Cookie dough and icing in the basket with JOY cookie cutters.
Verse: Nehemiah 8:10 "The Joy of the Lord is your strength."
Day 2: HOPE
Gift: A Charlie Brown theme with a book, movie, and Christmas tree!
Verse: Philippians 4:19: My God will supply ALL your needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Day 3: STRENGTH
Gift: Potted paper whites, cookies, black licorice, Spot It Jr., and a couple light up toys.
Verse: 2 Timothy 4:17 ” The Lord stood with me & strengthened me.”
Day 4: REST
Gift: A bottle of bubble bath, candle and magazines and some of our favorite bath toys and bubble bath.
Verse: “My soul finds REST in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” Psalm 62:1-2
Day 5: CHOSEN
Gift: A beautiful card and store gift certificate for her to get something special.
Verse: “For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Day 6: WHOLENESS
Gift: Christmas movies, coloring books, crayons, hot cocoa and a mug, encouraging snuggle time together.
VERSE: “For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9:6 (The Message)
Day 7: SERVICE
Gift: The book “The Christmas Jar” and a jar to go with it.
Verse: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25
Day 8: TOGETHER
Gift: Christmas story books and the movie “The Bernstein Bears.”
Verse: Matthew 28:20 “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Day 9: PROVISION
Gift: A basket full of mason jar gifts full of three different kinds of soups: bean, chili, & Italian. We then did some dessert/drink jars: triple chip brownies, M & M oatmeal cookies, hazelnut hot chocolate mix, and mulling spices.
Verse: Matthew 6:25-27 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
Day 10: LOVE
Gift: A basket with an apron, cookbook, pasta and sauce, a bottle of wine, and a gift card for Target!
Verse: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph.3:17-19
Day 11: PEACE
Gift: A devotional book, a blanket, and candle.
Verse: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Day 12: ABUNDANCE
Gift: The last day we all went in and gave her a big basket filled with a big canvas beach bag, candle, flowers, bracelet, journal, gift certificates for a house cleaning and stone massage. Plus gift cards to Starbucks & Nordstrom Rack plus $100 cash!
Verse: Phil.4:19: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Someone has been leaving me gifts at my door for the 12 days of Christmas, this has been a tough year for me and this token of kindness is so overwhelming, because sometimes I feel so alone, I know God is always with me and watching over me, I have no idea who this person is who is dropping off these gifts, the thoughts that I have that somebody would do this for me, I have no words to explain that feeling
Wow Cathy. This is so beautiful and amazing. I am SO HAPPY that you have people in your corner like that. Such a gift! I hope your comment will inspire others to do the same.