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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to Trena from Indiana...you are the winner of the $50 Target gift card!!! (Winner selected by Random.org)

Trena, please email me at virginiatexans (at) gmail (dot) com within the next 24 hours with your mailing address so I can get this gift card in the mail to you before the holidays! :-)

Many thanks to all of you for participating in my little giveaway...I so enjoyed hearing from you, meeting new blogging buddies and reading your sweet comments. :-)


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Speaking of giving....


The Hubby emailed me this article from USA Today. It related to a conversation he and I had last night as we were discussing Christmas. In this article, it was sad to read about how this year, more than in year's past, more and more children are writing letters to Santa requesting basic needs in lieu of toys. U.S. Postal workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole say more letters this year ask for basics — coats, socks and shoes — rather than Barbie dolls, video games and computers. You can read more from the article here.

Last night, the Hubby and I were reading a wish list we received from a family that is need this year for Christmas. As I read the very modest wish list that was provided for each of the 5 children, I was touched by their simple requests. I must admit I shed a few tears. Not one of the children had a lengthy list of toys for their Secret Santa...instead, they each only asked for a new pair of tennis shoes and one toy or a doll. I was thinking to myself how their modest wish lists are quite different from the wish lists I used to put together for Santa when I was a little girl. Mine were much more lengthy.

There is no doubt the economy has impacted all of us and like so many, you may be feeling the pinch around the holidays more than ever...yet, I hope that we can all set aside a little extra to possibly make Christmas become a reality for a child in need. No matter how modest the gift or act of kindness may be. I'm sure it would be appreciated.

I learned this sweet lesson from my dear mother
who each year enjoys making Christmas special for, not only her family, but other families in her community who are in need during the holidays. I am grateful for her example of Christ-like love.

I don't know about you, but I have found that when I am the giver (instead of the receiver) I feel more joy and love in my heart. I have also learned through experience that when we sacrifice our own needs for another, God blesses us more abundantly....more than we could ever imagine. Just like this dear family here.


Now you might say to yourself...I want to give, but I don't have the financial resources. If that is the case, you can get creative with your gift giving without having to spend money...here are just a few ideas I have read about:

For people in your community:

1. Think of someone you know who is elderly, blind, ill or disabled. Offer to help them with Christmas preparations or projects. After the Christmas season, offer to help them dispose of their Christmas tree or to put away Christmas lights or decorations.

2. Depending on the climate where you live, help a neighbor with yard care, or snow removal, or home repairs.

3. Find out if any service organizations in your community are repairing toys or bicycles, or are collecting food or clothing, to give to needy children. Help by gathering and distributing donated items.

4. Find out if there are any free Christmas concerts in your community. Offer to take someone younger or older who wouldn't be able to go alone.

5. Offer to take the children of a single parent for an afternoon. Help them select or make a gift for their mother or father.

6. Baby-sit for a couple with young children so the parents can have a night out.

7. Make Christmas surprises for missionaries, military personnel, or students from your ward or branch who will be away from home during Christmastime.

8. Are you good at baking? Cooking? Make your own treats for your Secret Santa. A box of homemade cookies with a hot cup of hot chocolate is a much enjoyed dessert for the holidays. Cost is your time and few ingredients.


For members of your own family:

1. Think of good deeds you could do for each member of your family as gifts--such as polishing their shoes, doing their chores, or helping them with a project.

2. Make a recording of a child's favorite books so the child can listen to the stories over and over.

3. Write a children's story, personalizing it with the adventures of the child you're giving it to, and make a book out of it.

4. Write a letter for each family member, expressing your appreciation and love.

5. Give journals (or simple notebooks) to everyone in your family. Make it a family goal to write in them regularly.

6. You can burn a CD and personalize the music and cover. This is a great item that will be appreciated and enjoyed.


And as you can imagine, the list of ideas goes on and on....I'm sure many of you could share some wonderful ideas of how you have blessed the lives of those in need during the holidays. If you'd like to share, I'd love to hear some other ideas of what I can do as I have my own special list of individuals that I want to help make their Christmas special this year.





"Christmas means 'giving'...and the gift without the giver is bare. Give of yourselves; give of your substance; give of your heart and mind."

-Gordon B. Hinckley

Jennifer

2 comments:

  1. YAY!!!

    Thank you so much! Sent you an e-mail with my address!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great, Trena!! I'll get it in the mail for ya. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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