The Heart of Christmas

For me, Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year. But we also recognize it is a hard time of year for some people and many people are in need of love, friends, food, clothes or simply a smile at Christmas. 

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Lauren and I love running our blog, Jane and Shelin. It is a creative outlet for us to share our heart, encourage other moms, inspire others, share our favourites and document our kids’ lives. We feel very blessed and wanted to share some of the love we receive with others this Christmas. Our brother has worked with a local organization called Wagner Hills Ministry. It is local to us and we wanted to bless our community and the ladies who live at Wagner Hills. 

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Wagner Hills is a rehabilitation center for men and women in addiction. We specifically worked with the ladies at the Women's Campus who give up a year of their life to take full advantage of the counselling, recovery and residential care the campus offers. Many of these ladies experience healing from brokenness and addictive lifestyles after a tremendous hard year of work at the facility. 

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We were so honoured to put on a special craft evening for these ladies and spread some Christmas joy. 

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Our friends at Talking Tables sent us some gorgeous table and partyware for us to decorate with. We love bringing in fresh elements from nature and used a variety of greens, bottle brush trees and lights to create a beautiful center piece lining table. Yankee Candle sent us a variety of scented Christmas themed candles that fit in perfectly for our centre focal piece. Our favourite scents, Winter Sage, Winter Garden and White Christmas fit the festive spirit perfectly. 

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Our finishing touches included prints from Lily and Val (one of our favourite handmade home decor shops) and a bottle of GoodWater from our friends at GoodDrink. GoodDrink is a local bottling company right here in Langley! For every bottle of GoodWater purchased, they donate a bottle of water to a community in need! We love companies that continue to give back. 

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We teamed up with OPUS Art supplies to create something handmade that the ladies could take home for their friends and families at Christmas and also sell at the Wagner Hills Market.  OPUS supplied us with gorgeous white air dry clay that the ladies molded, rolled, and pressed into beautiful clay ornaments. We used clay tools and paintbrushes to smooth out the edges and refine each ornament. Our final details included rolling a sprig of fresh cedar, imprinting a stamped word and adding a gorgeous velvet ribbon to hang the ornament from a tree. 

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The ladies jumped right in and began mixing stamps, imprinting cedar and adding their own unique twists to their ornaments. I love how creating with others inspires new and fresh ideas!

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We treated the ladies to yummy desserts and pastries from Cobs Bread. Cobs makes one of my favourite comfort foods, cinnamon buns, and we think they are the best around! The ladies loved munching on Sweet and Salty and Sea Salt popcorn from PUR popcorn, adding a bit of snacks and treats to our evening! Winter offers so many beautiful fresh greens in nature but we were in love with the gorgeous flower arrangements from Flowers and Company in Langley. This store is amazing and my husband still buys me flowers from here even though we moved a bit farther away. 

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These gorgeous drinks are just as delicious as they look. They are distributed by a local company Pacific Bottleworks and our favourite flavours of MASH were the Pomegranate Blueberry and Grapefruit Zing. Perfect for any holiday celebration this December! Our new friend, Rachel, even drove them to my house and dropped them off for our special event! There are people spreading kindness all over our city!

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These Lindt bears were huge and filled with delicious milk chocolate! (They would make a perfect stocking stuffer)

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At the end of our evening we were able to set up a "Merry Christmas" table and sent each of the ladies home with a goodie bag filled with a few treats. This Lily and Val print was the theme of our evening, inspiring us to "let heaven and nature sing" and create a winter wonderland inside the Market. We gifted the ladies with some wonderful goodies from our friends: PUR gum, Yankee Candle, Essie Nail Polish, Marc Anthony Hair Care Products, and Lindt Chocolate

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It was one of those nights that you think you are doing something kind for someone else when in fact it is you who are blessed. This is what Christmas is really about. It is giving time to others and sharing the love of Jesus with those around you. These ladies were so incredibly grateful for this special evening that it made all the work completely worth it. The best part is you can go and support the great work that this organization, Wagner Hills, is doing by either making a donation online or visiting The  Market on a Saturday and purchasing something the residents have made. Trust me, The Market will blow you away! There are so many beautiful handmade items including tables, ornaments, honey, decor pieces, serving trays, planters etc. 

We were honoured to play such a small role in the lives of these ladies this Christmas but we hope you are encouraged to reach out to someone in your circle of influence and spread kindness this holiday season! Merry Christmas!

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