Last week Mary Tobin and I took a fun outing over to the Little Lights Christmas Store. (I help out at Little Lights Urban Ministries as much as I can now that the princesa is here—which, let’s be honest, has been far less than I expected. As Israel likes to point out, she’s a tough boss.)
The Christmas Store is a new tradition for Little Lights, replacing a big party, which in years past has been held at a church in Maryland with volunteers and donors providing food, gifts, etc. This year all those resources were channeled into smaller celebrations within LLUM’s after-school programs, and then—drumroll—the Family Center was transformed into the Christmas Store for four days.
The parents of Little Lights kids received an invitation to shop (and enjoy Christmas music, cookies, coffee, and hot chocolate) and select a gift for their child from 200+ toys. Video here.
Instead of kids each receiving a gift at our Christmas Party in early December, parents got to choose the gift and save it for Christmas morning, or whenever their family celebration is.
Although the kids always loved the party and went crazy for their gifts (video of the madness here: “A baby alive!!!!”), the Christmas store will return since it’s more empowering for parents and keeps the celebration within the neighborhood.
Parents wrapped their gifts and wrote cards or gift tags, and I got to help with wrapping a little bit, which I love.
Typically, this is how my wrapping goes. I save all gift bags, ribbons, tissue paper, and salvageable gift wrap supplies from any event. I hoard them in my closet, which makes no sense given our place is tiny urban and hip. I also hold on to bags from local stores that could be used for gifts. (Y’all, not Victoria’s Secret bags, but brown ones or solid color ones. Lots of little shops or food places use generic bags without their logo.) I have a roll of brown butcher paper, which I must’ve grudgingly bought at some point. So, my favorite gifts are wrapped in brown paper or a brown bag, then have a bright fun ribbon.
Did you spot the awesome household items: newspaper, neon office supply stickers, cup cake wrappers!?
What are your wrapping tricks? Huge ribbon? Comics? Help us out with your wrapping wisdom.
OK, guys, sorry this post is schizophrenic. That’s two action items. You don’t have to do both. Wrapping technique? Thoughts about better/more empowering charitable giving?