Thursday, December 20, 2012

white gifts

It seems a lot of work to wrap canned goods and packaged foods in white tissue paper, doesn't it? But that is one of my favorite childhood Christmas memories. My dad, a minister, made a large cross, painted it white, and placed at in the front of the church.

During the Christmas season we had a special service where, with the lights dimmed and carols softly playing, we would walk one by one or family by family to the front and place our white-wrapped gifts of food under the cross. We didn't rush, but took our time. What a wonderful expression of giving back, and how beautiful it looked up front with all those pristinely white packages nestled under and around the cross.

The next day the food was taken, as best I remember, to a local orphanage where our church visited regularly to play with the children or bring gifts.

Our present day church makes breakfast on the street for the homeless and brings items for a food pantry for single moms and hurting families ... they are collected in an area of the narthex waiting to be transported away. But somehow the process of wrapping in white, and walking to place the gifts at the cross, was a visual lesson that impacted me as a child. It's a precious memory. I'm grateful to have found this picture of my dad by the cross where I can catch a glimpse of some of the white gifts and remember ... 


  1. I am smiling with you and remembering my grandmother and her servant heart. She would have loved the white wrappings.

  2. What a beautiful memory, and an example to follow.

  3. yes.
    Would love to see that in our church!

  4. How special - to have this photo and the memory of the occasion each December. You brought back a sweet memory for me too as we did the same thing when I was growing up and then later on after I was married, in the Baptist church. I don't know if churches still do that today. Do you?


  5. Remember "poundings?"

    This is very similar.

  6. Wonderful memories for you. At the Christmas program at Sarah's church, they had a candlelighting at the end. No one does it like your dad did. After candles were all lit, he had everyone raise them high, and the candles lit up the whole sanctuary with their soft light.

    At our church now, after the candles are all lit, a few words are said, and we blow them out. The same thing happened at Sarah's church.

    I always want to raise mine up high just like we did with your dad.

  7. What a lovely memory you've shared. Wasn't it nice that you could find a photo?
    I don't ever remember our church taking such a collection, and that bothers me a bit. I'm glad that nowadays there is more of a willingness to reach out to help others.

  8. That is a precious memory to have. This photo helps to cement it, too. The ladies at church have been busy gathering food for baskets at the rear of the church, but no crosses and no ceremony of giving.

  9. Finding this photo and sharing it with us is a gift. Thank you, Dotsie. I can imagine how all those white gifts at the white cross would make a lasting impression...

    I'm just having time to catch up a little since Amanda and crew are with the "other" grands today... love the holiday cards... especially the M&Ms in the silver sugar bowl!! If I don't make it back, I'm sending you and yours the warmest wishes for a joy-filled Christmas. blessings ~ tanna

  10. What a precious memory, a gift in itself...a legacy of giving.

  11. Podso,
    I LOVE that your simple gifts were WRAPPED and laid at the base of the Cross!!! Such a meaningful GIFT to teach a have a servant's giving heart!!! Thank you for sharing!

  12. That is such a special memory and an illustration that's it's more important to give than to receive. wishing you more lovely memories and special times with your family and friends this Christmas!

  13. A beautiful memory Dotsie, and something we did at our church when I was growing up too. Later on, a mitten tree was started and everyone either bought, or made a pair to hang on the tree that went to children in need.
    Merry Christmas

  14. What a wonderful photo and memory! My dad was also a pastor, have I told you that before?
    We contributed food to several families, this year, who are enjoying their first Christmas in Canada. I decorated the hall for it today and then came down with a stomach ache and had no ride to go anyways. So I'm home tonight, seeing what my friends have been up to.
    Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and yours in 2013.
    Hugs, Cindy

  15. That was a beautiful ritual of white gift giving..


  16. Anonymous10:31 AM

    A beautiful way to share at Christmas. And a wonderful photo of your dad too.

  17. What a wonderful Christmas memory. Sometimes I wish that things were sweet and simple like the "old days". Christmas Blessings.

  18. What a beautiful memory to have of your Dad and the spirit of giving. Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a wonderful holiday, Laura

  19. Beautiful memory--love the picture--!

    Happy New Year!


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