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Eleven Gables: Traditions

 If you are like the past me, I really try to squeeze in way too much before Christmas, then I get burned out by Christmas and just want it to be over.  
A few years ago, my husband and I sat down and discussed what we wanted our children to get out of Christmas:
The real reason of Christmas.
The birth of our Savior.  
The celebration of His birth.
Gift Giving and WHY we give.

So many things to think about.

 Today, I wanted to share about a tradition that my family does before the holidays get into full gear.  Yes, we trim the tree, make baked goods, decorate a gingerbread house... 
We want our boys to learn how to serve others.
I'll be back to share a special way we do gift giving and receiving.

Every year around Christmas, my husband and I search for a ministry where we can serve.  This year, we invited two families to join us for a "packing party" at THE HUGS PROJECT.  This non-profit organization has opportunities that our whole family can participate in throughout the year!  

The Hugs Project was started by a couple from Oklahoma who wanted to reach out to soldiers fighting for our freedom and show them how much we appreciate them.  
Donations pour in from all over the country and volunteers organize, wrap, sew, sort, pack, you name it, into care packages for every troop at Christmastime.  

 (Karen pictured above is the founder along with her husband, Ray, in the orange shirt below)

the shipping room

 the packing room

Our family absolutely loves serving others in this way.  It was especially rewarding watching my boys take a special interest in each task they were assigned.  

 I promise they are happy... not thrilled their mom was taking their picture!

Santa's little helper!

Little hands are used to color the boxes for the troops. 
my boys and their buddies

At the end of our time at The Hugs Project, we prayed special blessings and safety over each soldier. 

It is my hope that you will consider serving some way in your community this Holiday Season. 

Come back next week and follow me along Just a Girl's "Holiday Home Tour" and The White Buffalo Stylin' Co's "Blogger Stylin' Home Tour." Be sure to see how to make yourself a Chinoiserie DIY ornament and Spiked Caramel Apple Cider that is perfect for the Christmas season!

Until next time!



  1. Emily, what a great organization and fun and meaningful tradition for your family. We too like to do things together that serve. Now that my kids are teenagers they are doing these kinds of activities with their friends too and I love it. A bunch of them made meals, packed them and handed them out to the homeless in Providence, RI recently through a great organization, such a life changing experience for so many of these kids that don't have a care in the world. You are doing a wonderful thing for your kids by making giving part of their life and part of your Christmas!!


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