I had fun this month preparing a special surprise for the girls that work in our church office. I always want to do something for them at Christmas and it never seems to happen because I’m so busy. Since I’m doing “Christmas all year” this year, I have plenty of time to focus on them during July. I had a little help with an idea from my friend, Leslie. For my birthday last month she gave me a gift bag full of fun things, one of which was a beautiful bottle of pink sparkling lemonade. How can a bottle be beautiful, you ask? I’ll show you in a minute but, what says "summer" more than sitting on the porch sipping a cold drink with a friend? When I found out that the same lemonade was available at Home Goods (known to many as TJ Maxx without the clothes) I set out to find them. I wasn’t able to find enough of the pink lemonades but I did find a variety of flavors, all in the same kind of beautiful bottle. After emptying the shelves, I was still short a few gifts so I found some cute packages of flavored ice tea to add to the mix. (We attend a large church, which means we have more than your average number of administrative assistants, making it necessary to find more than just a few lemonade bottles.)
Of course, I thought it might be fun to attach some lemon cookies. (You know, so they’d have the whole snack thing ready to go.) After I made the cookies and tied them to the bottles, I realized that the lemonade alone would have been just fine.
I had a bit of an epiphany as I was tying curling ribbon to the bottles. I realized that what I really want to do is let people know that I value and care about them. What they “get” doesn’t matter nearly as much as the thought that goes behind it. So, after all these years the saying, “It’s the thought that counts,” is starting to make sense. I also realized, in the process, that if you add enough curling ribbon, even a hot dog can look more appealing.
The fun part was being able to deliver the “goods” to everyone’s desk on Sunday knowing that as they started the week they’d be greeted with something other than the work they left on Friday night.
Now remember, I’m not posting a Christmas Sanity Plan every month for my own benefit or to make myself look good. I want to encourage the rest of you who get that “crazy feeling” in December to join me. Hopefully my ideas will spur you on to some of your own. Please share the ways you keep your Christmas sane and focused on the reason we celebrate.