STRESS......I can define that in two words......Christmas shopping!!!!!
I was totally stressing out as another Christmas season approached. It was once again time to find the perfect gift for friends and family. The hardest factors were staying within a reasonable budget and getting everyone something they liked. I wasn't looking forward to Christmas morning when everyone would open their gifts and start complaining about what they got. Either it wasn't what they wanted or it wasn't of equal value compared to another sibling. Each and every Christmas, I keep trying to find a way to opt out of the most joyful day of gift giving.
This year I have discovered the kinds of gifts I absolutely love to give and to receive......GRACE GIFTS!!!!! To me, a grace gift is giving or receiving a gift for no reason. It comes out of nowhere and just surprises you. I loved when Prairie Eydie put the challenge on her blog to give five grace gifts in a week. What a great idea!!!!!
I took on the grace challenge. My first gift was for my friend Jessica Bedner. She recently graduated from college and got her first teaching job in Madison. She is teaching second grade and finding out that it is nothing like the college courses.
So I sent her a gift of two backpacks full of markers, books, and activities. I left them on her front porch and she had no idea she was getting them. She left me a voicemail saying how excited she was to find the gift and now she is on cloud nine feeling so blessed.
My second gift was to Lulu, Prairie Eydie's daughter. Lulu is three years old and the youngest of three with two older brothers. Eydie is always saying how she loves princesses but mostly lives with the boys hand me down toys. So...I sent her a pink bag with princess stickers, a placemat, and a pink princess hat with gloves. I left it in her mailbox because I wanted her to feel special.
Of course her mom sent me a picture of her totally enjoying her fun gift.
My third gift went to my aunt JoAnn. I made her a special collage and sent it in the mail. I have never sent her anything before so she was totally surprised. My aunt has always inspired me and I wanted her to know it.
My fourth gift went to my co-worker Jaci. She shares a room with me at school and we have discovered we basically love all the same foods. So I surprised her one morning with her favorite donut on her desk. She loved it!
My final gift was a text I sent to my husband, Frankenstein Jim. Just randomly in the middle of the day I sent him a text that said..."I love you". I never do that so he was totally caught off guard and said it made his day.
I would encourage each and everyone of you to join in on the Grace challenge. (How fun would this be to do around Valentine's Day???)