Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

24 December 2010

Advent 2010 # 4 - An Advent Basket

One aspect of Advent is that sense of waiting, of hopeful anticipation.  And one of the things that has filled me with joyful anticipation during Advent this year is knowing that a very dear friend of mine will find out tomorrow morning that this basket, which she received at the end of November...

All wrapped up

...was from me.  I first read about the idea of Advent baskets on Molly Piper's blog and was further encouraged when Cathy picked up and ran with the idea.  And so I made one too - a basket of 25 small gifts, one to be opened each day in December, leading up to Christmas.
 
These baskets can operate along the lines of Advent calendars with daily Bible readings pointing to the birth of Christ.  My way of incorporating that aspect was to make a copy of Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus as the first gift to be unwrapped.  After that, the emphasis was on little, happy gifts - to help with the preparations for Christmas (cards, pens, ribbons), things to ease the stress of December (tea leaves, candles, lollies), a few Christmas-y things (magnets, decorations, Christmas cooking bits and pieces) and towards the end, things ready for summer holidays (lotions and potions and grown up, nice sunscreen).  The final gift was a copy of Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross, which is the Easter companion to Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, because without Christmas there is no Easter.

What was under all the wrapping paper
The basket was delivered to my sweet friend via a long and winding road of people.  She has no idea it was from me.  So much so that when I spoke to her on the phone about a week ago she told me all about it.  I was delighted to hear her talk - it has blessed her in all the ways I hoped it would, giving a little light each day in what has otherwise been a pretty dark end to a dark year - and I was so glad that she couldn't see my face as she was speaking.  It has blessed her but it has also blessed me.  It has been fun thinking of her opening a new parcel each day, finding joy in the daily surprises, wondering where they came from and it has reminded me to keep her in my prayers.

And so tomorrow Advent becomes Christmas Day.  The waiting is over.  My friend will know who gave her the Advent basket because I wrote her a letter with the last gift.  I will get to talk to her about the joy it has given me.  And together we will rejoice.

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

Meredith, of course this post made me cry happy tears today! You are such a blessing to so many people. I can only imagine the joy which this basket of love has brought to her at the end of a hard year. What a great idea. Love in action.
Happy Christmas dear one.xxx

Meredith said...

Thanks Steph. I think I probably got as much joy out of it just imagining how things were going day by day.
Hope you had a special Christmas day too.
Mxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Meredith - I wasn't sure if you were doing your blog just now, but was so glad to find it very much up-to-date. What a lovely idea, an Advent Basket - and sent anonymously too, very special indeed. Looking forward to more great posts in the coming year. Love always, Dot.