At the ward party we had a "Giving Tree," where each family in the ward wrote down something they would do for something else, service-wise, not monetarily.
Andrew and I debated about what we could do for quite some time. Our ward is one of those "newly wed, nearly dead" wards so not all items of service were applicable for everyone.
The first example that we both thought of and expressed simultaneously was, "What if we volunteered to babysit someone's kids and..." here we diverged. I said Sister Kitchen or someone else, but Andrew said, "...Sister Raymond chose our paper."
Obviously, since Sister Raymond's children's children have children she's in no great need of a sitter. Even if she wanted a night out, she could just go without making arrangements with anybody.
So we kept thinking about what we could do that would be universally applicable. We ended up taking our little card to the party blank.
I talked with a few of the couples around us and we had all done the same thing.
"After all," Bonnie pointed out, "What if someone volunteered to clean your garage and someone in our condos got it? We don't have garages."
In the end, Lewis suggested that we give a few options. That way at least something on the card would be something that the recipient would want. I thought that was a good idea. We wrote three options down on our piece of paper and put that on the Giving Tree.
When it was time for everyone to go and choose someone else's gift, Andrew took Rachel up to the tree. She selected an envelope with our secret gift of service inside and promptly stuck it in her mouth. When they came back to find me, Andrew had a huge grin on his face and could hardly keep himself from laughing.
Our gift: One free night of babysitting at our house by none other than...Sister Raymond!
We're excited! We have free movie tickets that expire the last day of December and David just gave us some 2 for 1 bowling passes. I know that our family lives close by but we can't always bother them to watch Rachel. They might get sick of her. I hear she has an annoying cry...which she's sharing with the world right now...maybe I'll go see what I can do about calming her down.
Oh, Sister Raymond...I hear the baby crying...