Many years ago my husband and I were new to our community and were looking for a church. One Saturday near Christmas my husband came home from shopping excited about a group of people he’d encountered when a local church had set up a free gift-wrapping station outside a store.

“It was free!” he said. “Really free. Not even accepting donations! And no one made me listen to a Bible presentation before they wrapped gifts, and no one tried to slip a Bible tract into the gifts. They just wrapped the presents with smiles on their faces and said they wanted to show the love of Jesus to others. Let’s go to that church!”

So we visited the next Sunday, and it became our church home for the next 20 years!

One year’s gift-wrapping, I was there with several of my family and friends. We set up at a local shopping area right next to the ice skating rink, and had a nice warm tent where people could stop to have gifts wrapped for free. We supplied boxes, bags, bow, gift tags—plus coffee, hot cocoa, and delicious cookies while they’re waiting. And it was all offered for free—just like the gift God gave us in Jesus.

This is my favorite service project of the year, and I love it so much I try to see if I can be first in line to sign up each year. How many times have you had someone camping out in line to sign up first for a service project?? Well that’s me because I love to chat with people while I wrap, to hear their joy about the gifts they’re giving, to offer them a warm cup of chocolate, and—if they ask—to let them know I love Jesus and that’s why I’m wrapping their present.

I hope you’re finding joy in serving during this holiday season. We have so much to celebrate—and that free gift of Jesus is at the top of the list of reasons. Let that celebration overflow!