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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dear Owen...

Dear Owen,

I've been so excited this whole year to try out this Service Exchange idea.  I've loved the idea since I read about it over a year ago on the Gates Family blog.  As a family, we are so incredibly blessed and to be able to serve someone in need instead of buying an unneeded gift for you has been very exciting to me. 

When I first found out that I had you, I decided that I needed to build something for someone.  You know, you being the construction guy.  So, I thought it would only be appropriate if I built something.  The only thing I could come up with to build was some kind of food storage rotation contraption for my family.  But I didn't want it to serve my own family.  I wanted to serve someone out of my family.  So, I scratched that idea.

Then, I came across an opportunity through Downy to make quilts for children on extended stays in the hospital.  Though it isn't "construction", I thought I was constructing out of fabric, just not concrete.  And the idea of a quilt appealed to me since Haylee has introduced you to a love of quilts.  So, this is the direction I headed.  I contacted Downy, they sent my the fabric they wanted me to use, and I cut, sewed, and quilted a quilt for a child in the hospital.  On the tag of the quilt, it says it was donated by you and it's name is Monkey Mania.  This is touching to me, being a mother, to know how hard this would be as a parent to have a terminally or chronically ill child.  How these quilts must brighten their days and their hospital beds.

I thought I was done, but through Colfax Elementary, we came across one more opportunity that the kids wanted to be involved in.  This time, it was construction related!  The kids got to make and donate wooden birdhouses to beautify the school grounds.  Our family built and donated 2 green birdhouses.

I loved thinking about being service-oriented all year long.  I am so glad we did this!


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