My boys are crazy for Christmas lights this year. Every time we come home at night and our house is lit up, he looks at it with a sparkle in his eye and goes, “Ahhhhhhhh!” He is so full of wonderment – it makes me so happy.
A few years ago, Mr. B. and I went for a walk around the neighborhood on Christmas Eve to pick out what we thought was the best decorated house. The plan was to knock on the door of the house and give them a little certificate that a friend helped me create.
Little did we know the adventure we were going to have!
We picked our favorite house – a total Christmas Wonderland – and knocked on the door. An older couple opened the door. We told them how much we loved their house and thought it was the most amazingly decorated house we’d seen, and then handed them the award, along with a plate of Christmas treats.
The woman burst into tears!
Mr. B. and I were wondering if maybe we had done a not-so-magical thing for these people… Were they mad at us for stopping by?
As it turned out, the couple had been decorating their house for about 30-something years. The city we live in apparently used to have a huge Best Decorated House Contest every Christmas complete with a real, engraved plaque featuring the name and address of the winners. The couple had won the contest many years in a row (they showed us their plaques – hanging on the wall right when you walked into the house). The city had stopped doing the contest in recent years and so they had been sad not to receive any recognition. So sad that they had contemplated not really decorating their house that year.
But Mr. B’s and my little paper certificate had brought so much joy (even happy tears) to their home – as it was an affirmation that their efforts had not gone unnoticed! They were so encouraged.
The couple immediately invited us in for hot chocolate, cookies, and a tour of their home. They even proudly showed us the special warehouse that the husband had built in their backyard specifically for storing all of their Christmas decorations.
What a fun memory that was! As the Mr. B. and I walked home that night, we couldn’t help but marvel how God could take our little Best Decorated House Certificate and make it super meaningful for both recipients and us.
We are planning on doing it again this year!
And I hope you and your sweet families will, too, because I made a certificate for you to print and enjoy! Click, scale image to the size you want, print, and then go on an adventure! Jot down the Christmas Eve service information at your church on the back of the certificate!