Christmas is such a special time around the world where people are a little friendlier and a little more open to smiling at strangers and all that. I really wanted to get on board the train of sharing the love and joy and hope of Christmas with people I don’t know (and do know!) this year with more purpose and vigor. I had heard of people giving out candy canes and such to the checkout workers at Walmart and the grocery store and the post office, and I wanted to do my share of handing out a symbol of God’s love at Christmas – plus, this year I have a toddler and a pregnant belly, both unique attributes that can’t help but disarm people and put them at ease, making them want to talk to you. Kids, dogs, and pregnancy are all people magnets – across cultures, at least somewhat.
So, I made some labels and bought some mini candy canes – the labels are just 2″ mailing labels that can be bought at Walmart. (I still need to master posting printables, or I would make it available now – but I just formatted them in MS Word by clicking on labels in the mailing or format tab…I had some trial and error on plain paper before printing onto my labels.) I typed out John 3:16 on them and also “Merry Christmas.”
For God so loved the world that He gave His only beloved Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
After wrapping the labels around the individually packaged candy canes, they were ready for my 2-year-old to pass out! She had already been passing out a few of them before I got my labels on, and they were so much fun for her. At the doctor’s office, she gave one to a little boy, whose mom told us that he was about to get a shot…
I also let Pen Elaine pass out her candy canes when we went to deliver some neighbor gifts, besides times when she randomly requests bringing “her” candy canes around town (I meant to bring them to the grocery store last time but forgot!). Having her own special job of giving candy canes with the neighbor deliveries was extra fun, especially when she would hand one out and follow up her “generosity” by letting us know she “wants to eat the rest of them.”
We also gave our neighbors some Chai latte mix, poured into saved mason-like jars with an attached instructions/merry Christmas tags tied on with some holiday ribbon. I also included some cookies or muffins, bagged simply with a holiday napkin or paper plate.
Here’s the recipe we used for the mix:
1 c dry milk powder
2 c French vanilla non-dairy (dry) creamer
2 c sugar
1.5 c instant tea
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
Mix all together in food processor. Instructions for use: mix 3 TBL into mug of hot water, along with Warm Christmas wishes!