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The Gift of Words

We have a tradition with CC4C, the non-profit I work part-time for called “the gift of words”. On the birthdays of all our volunteers and staff, we offer one word of affirmation directly to the “birthday queen”. This simple, deep and heartfelt gift lingers in the soul of the recipient.

This gift exchange is not only fun, but powerful to witness the response of each person as we listen to the amazing qualities of our colleagues and receive the gift ourselves. I noticed a refreshing and joyful spirit fill the room with compassion, appreciation and unity.

This year, we added a spin on our gift of words for our volunteer and staff holiday party. I called it “Name Affirmations”. Each person wrote their name lengthwise on a 3x5 card. I collected the cards and distributed to each person. For each letter of the person’s name we drew, we wrote a word or phrase to compliment, describe or uplift them. We read the name affirmations out loud to each person and gave them the card to keep.

We then added this simple and positive practice into our FAMILY Christmas Eve celebration. It touched each person, no matter the age, no matter the time known and it cost us nothing.

This gift was memorable, powerful and priceless. I have my little card from this year tucked in a special place and in those moments when I need a “lift”, I can refresh my heart and soul with my “name affirmation."


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 9:6

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