giftbaskets caweswrappingsmall

Christmas Goodie Baskets

Have you ever tried your hand at baking homemade Christmas baskets to give as gifts? Our two married daughters and I thought we’d give it a try this past Christmas season. We chose a “Work Day” in mid December, went through our bread, muffin, and cookie recipes, making sure we used ones that were nut free, bought the necessary ingredients, and found cute trays and wrapping for the final product. When the day came around, we baked up a storm! Mmmm…the air was smelling delicious! We started early in the morning and finished later in the evening than expected as we forgot to calculate in cooling time for the goodies as well as hand-making some crafty gift tags. We were all tired by the days end, but eager to share some Christmas Joy with some needy families!

C.A.W.E.S. Gift Wrapping

It was great fun having the privilege to help wrap up thousand’s of gifts this past December in Bower Mall for Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter. Not only was it great to meet so many new people, but also to interact with the public: chatting with a young boy about the Western Ceiling decor above the booth, helping to ease people’s gift wrapping worries, seeing them leave with a smile on their faces when they come to pick up their presentable gifts, and the impromptu carol solos Jamie from BIG 105 provided the shift we worked together. One time a gentleman dropped off about 100 gifts to be wrapped – it was quite a challenge for me to keep the names organized with the particular gift items! But there was something that happened one day on my volunteer wrap shift that stands out most in my memory. We didn’t pay too much attention at first, but one afternoon, we noticed a female hanging back about 10 ft from the booth, and slowly circled it a few times, avoiding making eye contact with any of us. We finally asked her if there was something we could help her with. Her reply was, “I’ve been wanting to get into the shelter for a while, but don’t know how. Can you help me?” It was all worth it then to go home with an aching back and very chapped fingers knowing we were able to help someone in need.

I hope she did indeed have a Merry Christmas!