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I Like 12 days

Submitted by Gaye (San Jose, CA)

Using the theme of the 12 Days, we organize a group to surprise someone with gifts during a particularly hard season

This idea started for us when our friend was struggling with cancer near Christmas time. We decided to secretly get a group together and deliver gifts each day leading up to Christmas. Each gift would contain the number for that day, such as, 1 DVD, 2 boxes of chocolates, 3 movie tickets and so on. People became very creative and had pizza delivered cut in the right number of slices for the day, or used the number of ounces in an item, or number of songs on a CD, dollars on a gift card to a favorite store, whatever kept the count accurate.

This allowed many people to be involved, at a time when we were all feeling helpless to do something in addition to the prayer support we were giving.

We found out that it truly blessed the family, and the secrecy added hope, excitement and anticipation during a time when cancer was robbing them of all of these emotions.

We enjoyed doing this so much that we have used the idea several times since, during cancer treatments, major operations, or loss of a loved one facing the holidays for the first time alone. It gives many people a chance to support in a fun way. Sometimes we’ve kept it a total secret, other times, knowing who was helping was very important to the person and added to the blessing. Several times, it has been at an odd time of year, and more than 12 people want to be involved, so we’ve even done the 31 days of October to help a young mom and her family through her cancer treatments. It felt wonderful to find a way for the whole family to encourage and support another person during times of need.