This year I told the kids that they all had to come up with a gift to send to Matt for Christmas. The only criteria I gave them was that it couldn't be too big. Then they each wrote a personal Christmas card to go along with their gift. Here are some of their ideas:
Greetings from Europe!
My daughter Rebekah recently returned from a trip to Europe with her Aunt Cindy and a couple of other girls. It was the trip of a lifetime! Bek worked hard and saved enough to pay for her trip along with one year of college including room and board. It took her a couple of years, but she did it. They were gone for seventeen days and traveled to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Belgium. While there, Bek mailed a post card to Matt from every one of their stops along the way. Knowing that Matt has a sweet tooth, she purchased different kinds of candy from the various countries. When she got home, she whipped up these cute bag toppers using Photoshop. She also sent a deflated Rugby ball that she bought for her Rugby playing brother when she was in Ireland. Matt loved it!
Burnt offerings anyone?
I think Colin actually made the best personal/practical gift for Matt. In his seventh grade Life Skills class they made aprons out of dishtowels. They turned out so awesome! Colin also included a bottle of our favorite steak seasoning with $20 wrapped around the bottle so Matt can go buy a steak for he and his companion. Have you ever tried Spade L? Man, oh man, oh MAN! You will NEVER go back! It is a meat seasoning with flavors for beef, pork, chicken and fish. We have the one for beef in our food storage...yup, it's just that important to us.
- click on above image to be taken to FDC for step by step apron instructions -
The aprons looked pretty simple to make - I was volunteering in the class the day they worked on them. I found a pattern for the exact one on FDC Factory Direct Craft (factorydirectcraft.com). The instructions are for a child size and it tells you to cut the towel in half if it is for a 'small' child. Don't cut it and it will be the perfect size for an adult.
Choose the Right!
Maren decided that she wanted to send some CTR rings for Matt to give out to not only the children of investigators but for him to give to children when he's out tracting. Her idea was this: If Matt is out tracting and he can see that the person has children...even if the parent isn't interested in their message, he can ask if he can leave a gift for the children. He can explain to the children that they are to wear the ring on their right hand (unless they're a 'leftie'). Whenever the reach out to do something, the ring will remind them to always choose the right! What parent wouldn't want that?... AND this small, simple message will stay with the parent...and maybe, just maybe that seed will grow and be ready to harvest when the next missionary's come knocking.
We picked up the CTR rings for $1 each at our local Distribution Center located in Deseret Book. Don't have a Distribution Center near you? No problem...you can order them online by clicking here or visit store.lds.org and they'll be mailed right to your door...well, to your mailbox at least. You can even order them in 28 different languages if you're ordering online. Cool huh?!? We put them all in a little drawstring bag so Matt could just keep them in the pocket of his shoulder bag. Do you think they'll ever go back to backpacks? Hopefully not for the next two years...those shoulder bags are pricey!
Family...My gift for Matt this year was a framed family photo. We had it taken two days before he left on his mission. He took a photo with him but it was an older one...Matt is the tall one on the back row. Isn't he cute?
What did you send your missionary for Christmas?