Sharing Christmas and Giving Gifts at Local School
1 icy December morning + 1 school building + 20 volunteers from Stokes and Grace Mosaic +18 families + more gifts than could be counted = dazzling expression of God’s generosity and love.
I arrived at Elsie Whitlow Stokes to see volunteers from both the school and Grace Mosaic working to make the steps and parking lot safe from all the ice. When I walked in the building, I could immediately smell the warm, delicious breakfast that the kitchen staff from Stokes made for all (baby quiche -let me just say YUM!). Volunteers were cheerfully organizing all the gifts and wrapping stations (after wiping the icicles off of tables that had been stored outside overnight!) and were welcoming families as they arrived. The shopping and gift-wrapping provided opportunities to bond with new and old friends as we chatted and shared this moment with each other.
Henri Nouwen wrote, “Our humanity comes to its fullest bloom in giving. We become beautiful people when we give whatever we can give: a smile, an embrace, a handshake, a present, a part of our life….” There was a lot of blooming happening that morning! I saw laughter, smiles, and good memories given as gifts were picked out and wrapped with love. Wrapping paper tubes transformed into light sabers making children laugh. Sweet little girls whispered their secret story of buying a gift for their mom and dad for the first time. It was a gift to me as I saw them beam with love and wiggle with anticipation of giving the gift to their parents. We all went home as people who saw and experienced the beauty of giving and sharing life and love with each other.
–– Heidi Simonsen, Member of Grace Mosaic