Thursday, December 27, 2012

our charity gift-giving Christmas

 The breakfast table was set, awaiting the usual scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and yummy cinnamon rolls. Let the festivities begin!

How fun to discover Emolyn & I had similar flannel jammies. The perfect photo op with my little girly-girls.

So excited for Emolyn & Elsie to open the baby girl twins set ~ complete with bunk beds, pillows, blankets, rocking horses and baby bottles. So fun watching them pretend together.

This Christmas the adults exchanged Charity gifts. We drew names and spent the past year researching the causes that would benefit from the gifts we purchased for each other. My son Shawn drew my name and got me the most amazing, heartfelt gifts. This particular gift was a locket ring. 
This was read to me upon opening my gift ~

According to German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, "Forget-me-not O Lord!" God replied, "That shall be your name."
The Forget-me-not flower is used as a symbol of hope and promise.
This metal bezel ring opens to reveal a bouquet of Forget-me-not flowers. Wear this ring to honor and support those affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Needless to say, I was sobbing, as my Dad had Alzheimer when he died 3 years ago this month. What a special charity gift that I will cherish forever.

And then I opened the most beautiful scarf ~ made by an Ethiopian woman named Merya Mustafa. Click HERE to read her story of hope. Oh my word, my scarf was hand-woven by Merya! I am now not only aware of this amazing cause ~ Connected in Hope ~ but I have a name and a face to go along with my scarf ~ someone to pray for and call out to God for her protection, and to provide for the needs of her dear, precious family!

Shawn also made me aware of these causes when I opened the following gifts ~
click each caption for the charity story.
SENCHA Naturals ~ the sustainable road less traveled

Each gift was given along with a presentation... a story, a mission statement,
that brought us all to tears.
I don't think we've ever had a more meaningful gift-exchange.

Shawn opened a TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS T-shirt, which happened to be the same one Tyler had just opened! I drew Miranda's name and got her a TWLOHA T-shirt too. 

I love this non-profit's vision and mission statement ~

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Hey, FREE SHIPPING Dec. 26- 27TH!!!

Whew! We were pretty exhausted by the time we had opened all our charity gifts.
So emotional and often times gut-wrenching. But so rewarding.
Here's a list of the other charity sites we ordered gifts from ~

Nathan & Jonah were such good little boys ~ Merry 1st Christmas little cuties!

"Sisters, sisters..."

Emolyn & her Mama playing at the park after lunch.

Our neighborhood park is only two houses away. So fun to get some fresh air and exercise before consuming more food. Again, the usual spiral ham & raisin sauce and scalloped potatoes. But this time I added a new recipe I found on Pinterest ~ roasted parmesan green beans. Definitely a keeper.

Hope you're finishing up 2012 surrounded by family, friends and real good food!

Linking this post to ~


Carol said...

That is such a lovely and thoughtful alternative to regular gifts.

Heidi@TheMerryMagpieVintage said...

Linda, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea for a gift exchange! I might have to suggest that we do something like it in the future. How beautiful and meaningful for everyone--the givers, the receivers, and even the watchers! What a fantastic example of the true meaning of Christmas. Really, really lovely.

Anonymous said...

You are always SO inspiring! What a great idea, charity gifts! Our kids are getting older and it is so much harder to find things they need or want.

Love your ideas! Thanks for sharing. (I moved and your commenting doesn't allow Wordpress comments)

the cape on the corner said...

what truly thoughtful gifts!