White Gift Sunday

On the first Sunday of Advent, which is November 28 this year, St. Philip’s will continue the tradition of White Gift Sunday. The custom of bringing a gift, wrapped in plain white paper, for a child or a woman or a man, started many, many years ago, dating back to 1904. We aren’t sure if it started that far back at St. Philip’s, and has been a tradition here for a pretty long time.

So we are invited to bring a gift, for a man, woman or child, wrapped in plain white paper, on Sunday, November 28. The gifts will be delivered to the Salvation Army in Picton, and will be used for their community Christmas gift baskets.

Want to know more about this tradition? Well the story goes that it all started in a small Methodist church in Ohio in 1904. It is said that what began as a humble way to reflect on the love and devotion of the giver, not the value of the gift, has grown into today’s White Gift Sunday. The story is told that a minister’s wife initiated the idea to solve the problem of inequity of gifts given at the Sunday school Christmas party. Instead of focusing on receiving gifts, the focus shifted to bringing gifts to Jesus that could in turn be shared with people who did not have as much. All the gifts would come wrapped in plain white paper, so that no one would know which was an expensive gift and which was a more modest one. No one would feel embarrassed of their gift and everyone would share in the joy of giving to others. Saint Philip’s observes White Gift Sunday during the season of Advent. In keeping with the spirit of the first White Gift service, those bringing a gift will be making this Christmas just that much better for recipients of gifts from the Salvation Army. Can you think of a better way to begin the Season of Advent? We can’t either!