I’ve written and re-written the intro to this post several times. I just don’t know how to start a post that talks about grief during the holidays. No one really wants to talk about hard things. I’d like to share with you an idea that I hoped would be a blessing to my mom and it turned out the blessing was for me in the doing.
In the midst of grieving the passing of my father, the memories of Christmas pasts play like an old family movie in our minds. We haven’t yet gone far enough into the Christmas season to know how we might honor his memory, or how our traditions might change.
While purchasing an Advent study that I planned to do through the month of December, and praying that the Lord would reveal to me how I could be an encouragement to my mother in a very tangible way, I had the idea of an Advent Project created just for her. My sisters loved the idea so we worked on this together.
We planned out 25 gifts and bought gift tags that were numbered 1-25. We used these tags from She Reads Truth Advent Calendar. You can just make some very easily too. I can’t list the gift ideas here (since Mom will probably read this post) but think about your loved ones personality and small, simple things that they would enjoy. We wrapped the 25 gifts, tagged them and placed them all in a large, festive holiday basket.
The idea is this: mom lives alone and that in itself is an adjustment that I struggle to even wrap my brain around. Our goal is that every day from Dec. 1-25 she has one gift to open. We are hoping, passionately, that this is a tangible expression of love and that it would bring her a sense of joy. We planned this project for over a month, choosing carefully the gifts that we would include and planning the day just before Dec. 1st that we would deliver this gift to her.
It has been the most meaningful, heartfelt expression of gift giving I have experienced in a long, long time. This was way beyond the Christmas lists of things people might like, or making sure I got the kids an estimated even amount of gifts.
This was different. It was not just a gift, it was an effort at truly pouring into my mother during a time of deep grief. What I didn’t expect, didn’t even know to anticipate, was how doing this project would be a balm to my own grieving heart. I can imagine my dad smiling down on us, happy that his girls are watching out for each other.
Maybe there is someone in your life who could use some special encouragement? An Advent project created just for them? I hope so.
And, Mom…we love you.