There are so many creative ideas in the blogosphere about how we can serve and give to others during the holiday season. But today I wanted to share one that personally touched our family several years ago.
I can’t even remember in which year this occurred, but I am pretty sure it was the year after our premature baby was born. At the time she had numerous physical and medical issues (oxygen and feeding tubes, braces, multiple surgeries, etc.). But what was consuming us was that literally everything we put through her feeding pump she vomitted up. Everything. And it was projectile.
I would wake up every few hours throughout the night to refill her continuous, slow-drip feeding pump and to change her clothes and sheets. During the day, we spent our time at doctors and therapists, usually three to four on a given day. On top of that we had a three year old. And on top of that my husband had a job that required him to work long hours.
All this to say: this time in my life is a little blurry in my memory! But it was because it was such a difficult time that this act (or acts!) of kindness was so special.
It started one night in December. We were putting our oldest to bed when we heard the doorbell ring. Then we heard the faint sound of giggling in the distance. But when we opened the door there was no one there. Just a package of goodies (chocolate pears, I think!) with this note…
The Twelve Days of Christmas
It was the night of Christmas,
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a mouse.
One little soul did appear
It’s your Christmas friend
To bring you holiday cheer!
Tonight some pears for the partridge’s tree.
Tomorrow who knows
Wait and See!
So hang out your stocking.
Each night with care
And know that your Christmas friend
Will soon be there.
BEWARE OF THIS WARNING!!
Your friend will be here.
But do not look or he’ll DISAPPEAR!
Don’t ask any friends
If they are the one
Because if you find them
It’ll end all the fun!
How fun, right?! For 12 days in December our family was treated to a surprise ring of the doorbell along with a special treat based on the 12 Days of Christmas. The last day was the best because it told of the best present of all – Jesus, of course – and revealed that our “Secret Santa” family was the Speichers who went to our church, although we didn’t even know that well at the time. The Speichers must have known we needed some joy and fun in our lives, or God put us on their hearts, because they brought a lot of both of those things to our family that year, especially our oldest who had been through a lot that year seeing her little sister suffer so much.
I wish I had saved the notes the Speicher family had left us (they may be packed in our Christmas stuff somewhere!) but I do have a printable document with the 12 different days/notes you can print out or use to write your own. Find it here. And it’s fun to find “gifts” that go along with each day.
If you know a family that might need some joyful, giggly surprises on their front door you might wan to consider this family activity. I also have a Pinterest board with more ideas along these same lines, including Lil Light of Mine’s Light ‘Em Up Campaign and my Advent Service Calendar post from last year and how it took one family’s focus off the presents and onto serving others.
Have any family traditions or service activities to share? Please do below!