Want to do something fun in memory of someone you love?
On December 21st my son and I started a new tradition in memory of someone we love dearly. You see, December 21 is our Papa’s birthday. He passed away almost four years ago now, but this year on his birthday we decided to do something different. This year in Gavin’s 12 days of Christmas, instead of doing gifts I wrote out twelve activities for us to do together on slips of paper and he drew one out of a cup every day. It just so happened that Papa’s birthday was going to be during the 12 Days of Christmas, so I wrote, “21”, on one of the slips and that one was to be opened on that day. The slip of paper originally said to visit local hospitals and distribute little gifts, because when my dad and I were at the hospital with Papa we had people do this for us and it was a mood lifter. I decided that bringing a baby into the hospital and ICU during flu season probably wasn’t the best idea, though, so Gavin and I thought of something else! We decided to leave gifts on strangers’ door steps. It was so fun!
Packing Up the Gifts
We bought little paper gift bags similar to these and put little gifts inside. We searched the clearance and sale isles and put some little toys, coffee cups, candy, and, since I had originally thought we were delivering to a hospital and started buying things, little packs of Kleenex and travel toothpaste. We decided to do a total of ten gifts, so we just picked out things that we would like to get as a surprise and loaded up the little bags. It really doesn’t end up costing very much if you plan ahead and buy your things in large packs or in the Target Dollar Spot. Gavin drew a Christmas card to put in each one and I wrote a letter explaining that it was Papa’s birthday and since we were unable to send gifts to Heaven we wanted to share his love and kindness with them.
Delivering Gifts to Strangers
Gavin and I loaded up the gifts into the car and decided the best way to deliver the gifts would just be to drive around our town and just pick houses randomly. We delivered some in our neighborhood, some to houses across town, and even to the apartment that we used to live in! We had so much fun doing this! Gavin ran as fast as he could to each porch and back. We were both full of excitement and nerves. Seeing the joy on his face is something that I hope to never forget. I love that he has a giving heart and didn’t mind that he didn’t get his usual twelve days of gifts this year (what was I thinking doing that in the first place? I mean, really!?!)
Even if you don’t want to do this or if you are fortunate enough to not have someone so close to you be gone, I encourage you to do something selfless. Next time you go out to eat, leave a larger tip than you would with a note, or buy someone’s meal. If you can’t spend the money, then go through your socks and coats and take your old ones directly to a homeless shelter or to the homeless people themselves. Do something. Be the good you want to see in the world. Be the hands and feet of Jesus.