Meaningful Gifts Create a Tradition of Thankfulness
Being a husband and a parent has made me realize you only get one shot to make life as special as you can. Days pass into years so quickly, you can easily miss opportunities to make life more meaningful. So we have made time to build traditions with our family that are fun, make people feel special, and most of all make our family feel a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Several years back, my wife and I were encouraged to create a tradition to honor our supporters. Our support team is so faithful to give and pray, and we wanted to express our love and appreciation. We wanted to give them something handmade and thought a Christmas gift would be just the thing.
My wife, Audra, is a very creative person with a passion for making beautiful things. Whether it’s made in the kitchen, the sewing room, or in the garage, she always sets aside time to create. One of her genres is soap. Audra has made all kinds of handmade soaps over the years. From dish washing soaps to laundry detergent, from shampoo bars to shaving and body soaps, she’s made it all.
So we decided to make hand soaps for our supporter as a family tradition. Each year we make a new style of hand soap, but the first year was the best. That year we made frankincense, gold, and myrrh soap which was beautifully crafted with essential oils and a dusting of gold on the tops of the bars.
We wrapped each bar in tissue paper sealed with a designed 2” round sticker sourced from Office Depot. We created a recipe card to show how the soap was made and produced a magnet from our family portrait to include in our packaging.
Our boxes are sourced from U-Line and are shipped flat which creates the need for assembly! Assembly is always “fun” with six children and so we all work together folding the boxes, placing in all the items, sealing the boxes, and stickering our addresses.
At the end of it all, Audra makes hot chocolate. We turn on our favorite music and enjoy the warm sweetness of an evening well spent. We pray for our support team with our children and give thanks to God for the multitude of ways he provides for our family and ministry.
Our supporters love the annual tradition of receiving soap. Even the young single guys appreciate a handmade bar of soap that smells good and lasts a long time. Some of our supporters intentionally try to make the bar of soap last all year! It’s become something they can count on, which I believe says a lot, given that we count on them.
We work at our international headquarters in the states, so we are able to give in ways that many mission workers are not able, but we hope our story provides inspiration for fresh new ideas and traditions that will bring a smile to the faces of those who support you.
We all need help in this area of cultivating lasting relationships with those who make our ministries possible. The key to helping one another is to share ideas!
What are some other ways to love on your supporters where they look forward to receiving your gift and hearing from you? Please comment and share as many ideas as you can, especially for those who live and minister overseas.