Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Gift of Giving

When the boys were young, we used a Countdown to Christmas calendar. It had a pocket for each day that held a strip of paper with an activity that would help us get ready for Christmas. Even though I haven't used that calendar for many years, I still like the concept of spreading out the holiday activities, and try to do one or two things every day to make the season less hectic.
For several years our parish has had a Christmas Outreach program for a church in rural Missouri.  They adopt families, and ask parishioners to buy the items that the family members request.  We bring the wrapped gifts back to the parish, who delivers them for distribution to the families.  On Sunday Tony and I selected a name, and today after work I purchased the gifts.

When we arrived for Mass on Sunday, there were trees in the church vestibule festooned with white and purple.  The white was the Christmas Outreach envelopes, which contained the name of a person, basic identifying information (name, age, sex) and what they'd like for Christmas. Inside each envelope there was a set of directions, a purple gift tag attached to a ornament hanger, and name stickers.  Following the directions, we signed our name on the gift tag and hung it back on the tree, so the church would know which people had been chosen.  By time we made our selection, half of the tree had changed over from white to purple!

The gift requests are always quite basic.  The 26 year old man we choose was looking for a shirt and socks.  Since that's Son Tony's age, I tried to imagine what styles he'd want.  I found some great sales today, and purchased a shirt, a hoodie, and a big pack of crew socks with my budgeted money.  

I hope my purchases help our person have a better Christmas this year.


  1. I'm sure it will. It comes with all the right intentions.

  2. Oh fun!

    Have you heard of Operation Shoebox? We've participated in that for years.

  3. This is such a great idea, much like our Salvation Army Angel Tree. It really made us feel good to do it.