The GIFTS of Christmas!

This last Sunday something BIG happened after worship - it was the Advent Workshop! I say BIG because it takes an incredible amount of work, time, and hands to pull it off every year. Work started at least six months ago. There is the fun job of cleaning out the Advent workshop closet every year to inventory the leftovers from the previous years, planning the meal, planning the crafts, recruiting the hands to staff each of the craft tables, purchasing the items needed for each craft, purchasing the food, setting up all of the craft tables, getting the food ready, clean up, oh yes clean up, and the hundred other jobs that I have failed to mention. It is no small task to pull this event off year after year. In fact, it has been on the "should we continue" list for more than one year in my ten years at First Cong. Is it worth the time and energy expended?
This year I arrived downstairs late after my family had eaten. When the crafts started, I stayed at the table to eat, while my family toddled off to make something special for the neighbors, teachers, and our tree (which still holds many years of ornaments). Other than visiting, I was able to observe this event from a distance. What I observed was bright shining faces of little ones, excited to create something with their own hands, and could be claimed, "I MADE THIS!" I saw parents engaging with their children, giving them space to make something special, whether it was EXACTLY like the example, or it had their own unique twist. I noticed grandparents working with children, sometimes their own grandchildren, sometimes just being a helpful hand. There were parents who at one time had been the "little ones," who now brought their own children for this experience. I saw weary parents and grandparents trying to keep up with yet one more request to do another craft. And even some adults making their own personal creations.
I couldn't help but smile seeing the best intergenerational event provided during a season often filled with angst because it is so important to have the newest and best. None of these crafts have been advertised on television or the internet. They are not on the "must have" list. They are beautiful creations, one of a kind, made with someone beside you that you love and trust, encouraging you and telling you it is the best craft and the person who receives it will LOVE IT! 
It warms my heart to have witnessed an overwhelming sense of compassion, love and affirmation at First Cong on Sunday. Many thanks to the Board of Community Life and Christian Education for organizing and carrying out another Advent Workshop! 
~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on December 8, 2015 at 10:55 am in Featured Content.

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