Our Season of Service

Inspired by some friends of our family, the Marshall family has decided to try a new way of exchanging Christmas gifts in 2012. We hope it will become a wonderful family tradition.
For years, the four Marshall children, their spouses, and their parents exchanged gifts every Christmas, but in 2011, we decided the gift-giving tradition may need a change since we are all so blessed and in need of truly nothing. We decided we needed to find a better way to celebrate the true Christmas spirit.

We suggested that we each perform acts of service in the name of the sibling whose name we were assigned at random. Our service will be kept a secret until Christmas Day.

Our friend drew the names for us and notified each of us privately of the person who should inspire our service. On Christmas Day, we reveal who we were given and how we chose to serve by posting our stories on The Marshall Family Season of Service blog.

We hope this tradition will help us focus on serving our communities and each other during the annual celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

We invite you to come back to our blog on Christmas morning to read this year's service.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Dear Gina,

Dear Gina,

When I found out I drew you I knew exactly what I wanted to do. One thing we share in common is the flute. We both played the flute for years and I thought I could share my talent as my service gift. I haven't really put practice hours in since I was in the BYU flute choir eight years ago so I decided I needed to brush up. I spent some time practicing and contacted a nursing home that would enjoy some flute music. I scheduled a time in December I could share some Christmas carols. The evening  turned out wonderful. Many people came down from their rooms to listen. I was able to take requests because I had prepared lots of music. Craig and the kids also came which was extra entertainment for many lonely people. Ethan sang his jingle bells and Elizabeth ran around giving hugs. I know we made a special evening for many of the seniors there. They even asked us to come back again soon.

I knew I wanted to do Christmas carols on my flute for my service project at the end of the year, but I also wanted to be involved with something during the year.  There are many in our community who are less fortunate than us and are not even able to have food on the table for their children. At one school in our neighborhood teachers had noticed kids keeping food from their already subsidized lunches and breakfasts to take home Friday for the weekend. The teachers got together and asked the community to help these kids for weekends when they wouldn't have food. Our ward has participated in the "Snack Pack" program for Clearview Elementary. We provided healthy snacks for these kids to take home on Fridays to get them through the weekend. Our family was able to donate lots of oatmeal, juice boxes, peanut butter and other good stuff several times throughout the year.

I am grateful we can feed our children. It breaks my heart that there are innocent children in my neighborhood going to bed hungry. It has truly been a pleasure to know we have helped hungry little tummies.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve--just as our Savior taught. Merry Christmas!


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