High Road Ice CreamDid you have a nice weekend? Do you do anything special? On Saturday, I took my husband on a surprise field trip to High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet.

He loves, loves, loves ice cream. This is a factory that is owned and operated by chefs who create the high quality, gourmet ice cream for chefs to serve in high end restaurants and gourmet food stores. They sell a very limited selection in Whole Foods , but nowhere near the selection they produce in the factory.

They just recently opened a factory store where you can not only purchase the ice cream, but they have a sample bar where you can taste several flavors. The flavors they have available in the factory story vary from week to week depending on what they’re making for the custom orders. The factory store also carries test flavors that aren’t available in any store and over runs of custom orders not sold in retail store.High Road Ice Cream 2

Mark was in seventh heaven. I would have to say Gary Smalley may have missed one of the love languages when he wrote his book, The Language of Love. I’m pretty certain that Mark’s love language is ice cream.

Sunday I hosted a Christmas swap for some friends. It’s similar to a White Elephant exchange, but the items are nice things everyone wants and fights over instead of recycled gifts. I did it a little different this year. Instead of just focusing on what we would get from this event, I decided to change it up a bit.

I called it Give, Give, Receive. Each person would bring:

  1. A sweet or salty treat to share.
  2. A gift for the gift swap.
  3. A gift card to Target, Walmart or Starbucks to give.

Everyone came with a gift and everyone received a gift. Everyone also gave a gift card and those were given to a local anti-trafficking organization. This particular organization has a safe house for rescued girls/women to stay in until they’re placed in a long term recovery center. They’ll have women in the safe house over Christmas. By giving them the gift cards, they’ll be able to shop for Christmas gifts for the women. They’ll also be able to take them out to Starbucks for a special treat over the holidays.

These women are already removed from anyone or anything they know. By providing Christmas gifts and special treats, it let’s them know they matter and that others are thinking of them. It allows the ministry to make them feel special and treasured. We all want to feel treasured [Luke 6:31].

Once the dust had settled from the ripping of wrapping paper and the battle over the coveted gift of the exchange, we all gathered around the gift cards and prayed for the women who would benefit from them and for the staff of the ministry that would be shopping with them and providing Christmas for the women. I thought it might  sound a bit hokey when I suggested we do so, but it was a powerful time of prayer and shifted our attention onto others during this Christmas season. I have to say it was my favorite part of the event.

What type of holiday events are you attending this year? Are you hosting a party or in charge of your office Christmas luncheon? Why not incorporate gift card giving and send them to a front line organization in your area that works directly with women.

If you don’t know of any, some suggestions are:

If you need their contact information, you can find it here.

It’s my prayer that you enjoy this Christmas season and remember it truly is more blessed to give than it is to receive.

Be part of the solution. Take action. Raise your voice for hope.