Christmas Baskets

Introduction & How To

Are you looking for a way to get involved with a St. James ministry this holiday season? Each year, St. James Cathedral partners with ReVive Center for Housing and Healing to support families from around Chicago to celebrate a joyful Christmas without worrying about financial concerns.

Christmas Basket Checklist 

Plan to spend $30–$50 per person for gifts and $15 per person on a Jewel Grocery Store gift card for food for the Christmas meal. The gift cards allow the household to purchase their own food. Items on the list are just suggestions for you – there is no expectation that you will buy everything. Each family member should receive at least one gift. For fairness, please spend the same amount of money on each family member.

Wrap and label all gifts. Leave on the store tags (so that the recipient knows the item is new) but cut off the price. Place the Jewel gift card in an envelope or a wrapped box for the adult in the family and place in one of your boxes. Label the food gift card with its value.

Pack all gifts and other items in SMALL (small enough for one person to manage and to fit in a sedan) cardboard boxes – NO GIFT BAGS, NO WICKER OR LAUNDRY BASKETS, AND NO PLASTIC BINS OR TUBS PLEASE. Tape each box securely as it will be handled several times before the household receives it. Make copies as needed of the label sample (4 for each box you have) to tape onto the 4 sides of each box (not the top or bottom). Complete each label with the family code number as well as the sequence of boxes. For example, mark them: Family #17 Box 1 of 6, Family #17 Box 2 of 6, etc.

Fill out and return your In-Kind Donation form when you drop off your boxes at St. James between November 28 and December 4 to St. James Commons. The Commons is open on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

How You Can Help

Whether you decide to purchase gifts for an individual or family, donate to the Christmas Basket program if you are unable to shop, or assist with the shopping and packing up boxes for families, the is a great opportunity to share your gifts. 

Sign up to sponsor a family here.

If you would like to support ReVive Christmas Baskets financially but are unable to shop, please feel free to make a donation here or text "SJC Revive" to 73256.

If you are unable to financially support but would find joy in shopping and packing up boxes for families, please email Steven Balke.

Do not include:

  • The household information sheets inside or outside the boxes.
  • Any used clothing/toys/etc. for the household.
  • Cash or a check.
  • Cards, etc. on the outside of the cardboard.