Each year, Huffman UMC hosts a community Halloween carnival. Typical carnivals at the church include trunk or treat, free hot dog dinner, face painting and bounce house. This year there was another stop along the haunted trail: a Holiday Decoration Giveaway Table.
Every summer at the church-wide yard sale, a huge amount of holiday decorations—especially Christmas—do not sell. Instead of donating all those decorations to a nonprofit, which is what had been done in the past, organizers boxed up the seasonal goodies and gave them away at the Halloween Carnival.
"Since the church had never done a giveaway before, we discussed how we should handle it, hopefully assuring that most of our guests would get a decoration," said Kathy George, one of the organizers of the event. "It was finally decided that we would ask our guests to select one item per family so that we could share with everyone."
Little did they know it, but that decision had the advantage of allowing families to work together to pick their decoration. "It was so heart-warming to see families discuss which decoration would be the perfect one for their home," said George. Comments overheard were "Oh Mom, this would be beautiful on the tree!" and "Here is a beautiful angel, don't you just love her?"
"What blessings we were given by just being able to observe as these families selected their decoration," George continued. "The time at the holiday giveaway table allowed us to talk with our guests and get to know them."
In addition to being able to share the decorations and getting to know their neighbors, church members asked families to complete information cards developed to learn what needs exist in the Huffman community. "Several 'We're Curious' cards were completed, and now we pray for God to show us how to meet these needs," George said.