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 ...