Days Nine, Ten, and Eleven all rapidly passed as we were engaged in the holiday mode. We stayed focused on the challenge however. We spent time visiting and sharing gifts with a few shut-in friends in our community. We also tallied our final list of charities to which we made contributions as we do most years. This year though, we were especially attentive to specific organizational needs for our donations. And just when we saw the challenge coming to an end we got one more special treat.
After attending the traditional Christmas Eve service at our church, we went out for a quick bite to eat before going home. Of course we were sensitive to the fact that the people serving us were not at home with there families. So I kept the conversation light with the wait staff. As we received our bill, I was prepared to show our gratitude and a little extra Christmas cheer with our server. So I reached into my pocket and pulled out a couple of gift cards to pay for our dinner. When our server returned to the table, I handed her a sizable tip in cash. As I did that, the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge came full circle for us. And I submit our 12 day experience to you. You see in that moment I realized that I paid for our dinner with a gift that a friend gave us earlier and the cash I gave for a tip was given to me a day or so before as a Christmas gift.
So you see, as we have tried to take intentional deliberate actions to show the love, joy and peace of Christmas, we ourselves have been blessed beyond description. Our entire team is over-joyed with blessings the challenge has yielded to us. We all will testify that it is truly "better to give, than to receive". Bless you all and may the year ahead be a prosperous and happy one for all of you.