Several separate situations combined to cause the delay of our shipping container this year, but it is finally here, and we are up to our eyeballs in boxes and bags! The house is full to the brim, with only aisles between the essential rooms. It's hard to sort and organize with absolutely no room at all, but hopefully after more of the donations have been passed out things will get easier. In previous years, we've had some outside helpers, but this year it's just our family doing all of the work on the Christmas gift project, so that's keeping us pretty busy! I have to admit, though, if we had extra people here, we'd all just be tripping over one another. As it is, we're tripping over dogs and cats and each other pretty much constantly!
It looks as though we have enough stuff, with the pre-made gift boxes and the donations of assorted items (with which we make more gifts), so that we will be able to make gifts for all of the pastors we work with, and their families. We always have more childrens items than items for adults, so there should also be enough for us to give to several orphanages. It's going to be tighter this year than in the past, however. I know people in the US are feeling an economic pinch, and it is showing in the quantity of donations - but we are so very grateful to everyone who chipped in to help with this project. The pastors and their families appreciate the blessing!
Today we sent out the first batch of gifts, so the tally of gifts given is all the way up to 18! Only about 232 more gifts to go!