Many families have their Christmas presents wrapped and under the tree; their holiday plans ready to set into action on Monday.
But for the 26 families of the victims of the Newtown elementary school shooting, their holiday plans were ripped away from them on that fateful Friday.
"I couldn't imagine not having my daughter around for Christmas. That's... I would cry," says Jennifer Sadler, a University of Memphis student and mother to a four-year-old girl.
Sadler was inspired to make up gifts for each of the families, filling them with not just presents but also hope, saying, "It's really about each individual family and just showing them that we care about you, we care about your son, your daughter, your sister, your brother."
The Newtown tragedy also hit home for Kimberly Hooper, an elementary school teacher in Memphis.
"The teacher, Victoria, when I heard her story I was like, 'That would have been me,' because in that classroom, you are there to protect those students," says Hooper.
Hooper was one of the volunteers who handwrote Christmas cards for the families. She says initially it was hard to find words to say to the families, especially in tragic situation like this. Eventually she asked herself, "' 'What would I say to the family of another teacher?'"
Sadler also wrote a poem to wrap around candles for each gift bag. The presents also included Memphis memorabilia and a stuffed U of M tiger.
For Sadler and the other volunteers, doing this for the Newtown families put their holiday in perspective.
"It's not about the presents and I think this especially during the holidays allows us to really know that it's really about your family," says Sadler.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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