Christmas Eve in Retrospect

O the joy of selfless giving; O the creativity of homemade surprises! O the excitement of the Christmas Eve gift exchange!

12-24-08_0276Despite Donald’s distant locality in Taiwan, he was able to participate in the gift exchange by sending Michael a unique gift in the mail: a few authentically Taiwanese items including a pair of chopsticks!

12-24-08_0282Michael’s gift was presented to David: a handy pencil and eraser holder of original design skillfully crafted with artistic ingenuity from the branch of a maple.

David’s gift was for Donald, covertly sent to him earlier and unannounced until that night. He had compiled instructions for over 8 family-night games for Donald to play with the ministry team in Taiwan.

12-24-08_0288Next came Jonathan’s gift for Robert: an extraordinary and exceedingly innovative boardgame of Staddonopoly complete with custom-made properties and personalized chance and community chest cards!

12-24-08_0298Robert expounded on Daniel’s keen interest for refined classical music by assembling on CD a collection of classical masterpieces from the famed Van Cliburn 12th International piano competition. 

12-24-08_0304Completely unaware of the gift Robert was making for him, Daniel had created a very similar gift for Esther focused more from an educational standpoint. He had meticulously compiled three classical music CD’s with a 7 page booklet designed to familiarize the listener with the composers of various music periods and their distinctive styles.

12-24-08_0312Esther, knowing James’ desire to learn the art of meal preparation in Chicago, gave him some practical recipes and bags of pre-made mixes. Very practical!

12-24-08_0318 The final gift of the evening was a booklet James gave Jonathan of tips and techniques to assist him in his videography interests!

The love that went into each gift was a reminder of the great love that motivated God to send to us the greatest gift of all: Jesus Christ.


  1. Joshua January 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    What fun to see all the creativity! We sure enjoyed seeing an hearing about a few of the gifts a couple evenings ago during our Web Cam call.

  2. Robert January 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    We completed our very first gave of Staddonopoly on Friday. It was a lot of fun! Jonathan put so much creativity into it. 🙂 Michael came out the winner. Congratulations, Mike!

  3. Daniel January 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    That was one wonderful evening! You would not believe my astonishment when I opened Robert’s gift he had made for me. Because I had worked on something similar, I really appreciated all the time and work he had put into it. Thank you so much, Robert! It is truly an inspiring CD.

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