Recently, in a blog about simplifying Christmas, the author had five forms of checklists plus Christmas goals/traditions causing my chest to tighten. I kept thinking about the slogan of Evangelical Christians in the 1990’s of W.W.J.D.? meaning What Would Jesus Do? Only this time, it naturally flowed into W.W.M.D.? meaning What Would Mary Do? since she was the one who always celebrated Jesus’s birthday. How would she have commemorated?
Mary and Joseph lived simply with a heart for the poor. She would not have sent Christmas cards, bumped up her Visa with extravagant gifts, made cookies for all of her neighbors and friends, hung profuse lights, decorated a tree, or jolted up her stress level. I believe she would have shared with Him the wonder of His birth in stories of the stable, the shepherds, and the Wise Men. Perhaps she might have added some extra fruits and nuts to their table, always thanking God for His many blessings laden upon The Holy Family. Indeed, Jesus’s birthday would have been humble with perhaps a modest gift being given.
So with that thought, I came up with The Love Mug. Sonja Countryman, a mother of twelve at Saint Cecilia Catholic Church, Bainbridge Island WA, feels a Christmas gift should be “consumable, disposable, and reusable.” And I would add, purchased with an eye for the poor. The Love Mug (including wrapping) does all four of those for under $2.00 each.
First, go to a thrift shop which helps the poor such as Bargain Boutique, which funds The Children’s Hospital of Seattle, or to Goodwill which raises money for training and aiding the poor. Get yourself as many 50 cent mugs as you need, and shop for anything extra there like inexpensive Christmas ornaments or small gifts. Check out The Dollar Store too (I have listed what each mug needs below). Then wash out the mugs, include a teabag, fill them appropriately (see below), and put an information sheet in each (see below). Finally, wrap each in a brown lunch bag by folding the bag end over, cutting the end in a fancy manner, and stapling the bag closed while adding a ribbon, string, or doily.
To repeat, before you close the paper bag, include the following computer printed information in each mug with their mug type circled. Let folks realize you made the gift for just them.
The Love Mugs
Brown Paper Bag Wrapping
Dear ___________ (their name) I have chosen to give you The Love Mug for a present. I hope you enjoy it. You are so special and such a wonderful gift in my life. Love and Blessings, ________(your name)
The Think Deeply Love Mug
The Pursue Peace Love Mug
The Pray Well Love Mug
The Relax Easily Love Mug
The You Are Pretty Love Mug
The Stop Stress Love Mug
The Enjoy Hours Love Mug
The Experience Endorphins Love Mug
The Watch Sports Love Mug
The Jump for Joy Love Mug
The Stay Healthy Love Mug
The Cherish Christmas Love Mug
The Embrace Birthdays Love Mug
The Hug Happily Love Mug
In each mug, besides a tea bag, include the following:
Think Deeply = a pen and small pad of paper
Pursue Peace = a Bible verse and scented pine cone
Pray Well = a candle and Rosary or Catholic religious card
Relax Easily = a small candle and more tea bags
You Are Pretty = chap stick, fingernail file, and nail polish
Stop Stress = chamomile tea bags and a small candle
Enjoy Time = two packages of any seeds
Experience Endorphins = a handful of Hershey’s kisses
Watch Sports = a can of beer or N/A beer
Jump for Joy = a jump rope
Stay Healthy = two packages of Emergen-C
Cherish Christmas = a candle and small ornament
Embrace Birthdays = a BD card and small gift from The Dollar Store
Hug Happily = a handful of Hershey’s Kisses Hugs
Jesus tells us in Mark 12:30-31: ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other Commandment greater than these.” Indeed The Love Mug is one simple way to show just that.