Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sympathy Baskets

I think I should carry a box of Kleenex with me everywhere I go these days. Sentimental moments seem to hit more than usual for me this Christmas season. I'm a strong advocate for giving back and making a difference. My wonderful church has a project they roll out each year at this time to remember those families who have lost loved ones within that calendar year. It's a special way of letting people know that we understand that the holidays will be a little difficult with one less card to send, one less gift to buy and one less place to set at the table.

They create and package something called Sympathy Baskets and have volunteers deliver them all over the community. The basket is a classy package filled with savory and sweet baked goods; snack mix, brownies, Russian tea mix, cheddar biscuits and cookies. Beautifully wrapped in cellophane with a big bow and an ornament attached, it's a loving reminder that people are cared for, thought of, prayed for and loved. This year marks the fourth basket we've received and fourth ornament we will be placing on our tree as a reminder of loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord. Every ornament evokes fond memories and sentiments that are gentle reminders of God's goodness.

This year I volunteered to help deliver some of the baskets and I had no idea what to expect as I went house to house. There was such pleasant surprise on behalf of the recipients. I shared tears and a hug with a woman who lost her sister and was having a hard time coping with the loss. With tears spilling down her cheeks she was blessed beyond measure to receive this small token of kindness. I had to pull out the Kleenex box again as I pulled up to another house and discovered it had burned to the ground. Not only was this family coping with the loss of a loved one, but their home as well. Each basket represents a story, a life, a memory.

I have one more basket to deliver and I have to tell you how much this project has warmed my heart. I see the blessing that baked goods can bring and am humbled to be part of such an amazing effort to help grieving families. I share all this to encourage you to look for those subtle opportunities to reach out to those who are hurting this Christmas season. They are all around us and something as simple as a batch of cookies can make all the difference.

Talk to you soon,

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, somehow "Which cookie should I make for the cookie exchange?" doesn't seem so dire when you consider what others are going through this Christmas. I'm with you - there has been so much bad news lately! It's a wonderful reminder to be thankful - right now! - for my family and all of our blessings.