The Meaning of White Gift Sunday

The tradition of White Gift Sunday has its roots in a small Methodist church in Ohio in 1904.  What began as a humble way to reflect on the love and devotion of the giver and not the value of the gift has grown into today’s white gift services in many churches across several denominations.

Gifts wrapped in white paper

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 around the world who did not have 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 ashamed of their gift and everyone would share in the joy of giving to others.

Saint David’s observes White Gift Sunday with a child-centred service that takes place during the season of Advent. In keeping with the spirit of the first White Gift service, all those attending bring a gift for the Christmas Exchange operated in cooperation with the Rothesay Fire Department or a donation to the food bank wrapped in white paper.

This, or something very much like this, is why White Gift Sunday started at St Paul’s.

On December 2nd, please bring a gift if you are able, wrapped in white paper or a white bag, for a child, youth, man or woman. The gifts will be distributed to the local shelters before Christmas. This is one way we can show God’s love and our caring commitment to the people of our community.

Respectfully submitted by Helen Dowse, Chair, Mission and Service Committee


Update – December 4, 2018 – White Gift wrap-up

What a great response. I’m surprised every year by the amount of gifts that are donated. Nice gifts, gifts you’d like to find under the tree. We were able to fill 10 boxes with clothing, toiletries, toys and books. They will be delivered to local shelters this week. We also filled one box for the Salvation Army Food Bank and handed in some monetary gifts, which will also go to the Food Bank. Thank you again for all your support this year, and a very Blessed Christmas to you all.

Helen Dowse, chair of Mission and Service

Grace Sheaves sorts all the gifts.