Friday, December 25, 2009

The year that changed it all...

This has been the best Christmas EVER. We stayed at home with our little family. It's almost 2pm and we are all still in our pjs, no plans to go anywhere, just to be together. Most of our material gifts were from the Dollar Store or homemade. We had delicious food. But what made it the most special was reading about all the service that was done this month by my parents- and sibling-in-laws. We spent our morning reading and laughing through our tears of joy. This was the best tradition and I am sure we will continue it for many years.

Read about the new tradition below and about the gifts here.

Traditionally, the six Gates children and their spouses exchanged gifts every Christmas. In 2009, with families spread across five states throughout the country, we decided our tradition was too costly and difficult. Amy, the second Gates child, suggested that instead of the commercialized practice of buying small gifts only to pay high shipping costs, we each perform acts of service in the name of the sibling whose name we were assigned at random.

Our good friend Carrie Collins drew the names and notified each of us privately to keep secret who was doing good in your name. On Christmas Day, we will all reveal who we had and how we chose to celebrate the new tradition of the Gates Family Season of Service.

This tradition has helped us focus on serving our communities and one another during the annual celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


  1. Noticed a reference to this on facebook -- had to find out more. What a great tradition! I think we'll work toward something similar next year. Merry Christmas! Kevin

  2. Awesome tradition!!! I totally cried reading the posts. And.... I talked with my family and we're doing this next Christmas! Can't wait!!

  3. Thanks for sharing . . . what a wonderful way to celebrate our Savior.

  4. What a wonderful way to celebrate the true meaning of the season. Beautiful Blog work Chuck! Ashley, I always love reading your blog...if only I was so deligent in keeping ours current.

  5. That is awesome. I may have to convince my family to take up this tradition.