#ChristmasGive Challenge

Join Amy + Jacky's #ChristmasGive Challenge to share happiness through delicious homemade gifts.

Jacky’s Lost & Found – A True Life Story

21 years ago, I met my homestay family for the first time. They were the nicest and tallest family I have ever met.

I barely spoke any English, but it didn’t matter. They welcomed me like family.

I was a 12-year old, super shy 4 feet Asian boy, but it didn’t matter to my 17-year old 6 feet 2 homestay brother M. He took me under his wing and showed me how it’s done in the western world.

They taught me so many valuable lessons in life. In fact, they made 1996 – 1997 the best childhood year in my life!

After that year, my mom came to pick me up and moved to a big city.

I still remember a brief conversation with Brother M before I left…

Brother M: “Jacky, you have to come visit us next year”

Jacky: “My mom won’t let me. I will come visit you guys when I grow up.”

Brother M: “It will be very different by then!”

Unfortunately, life got really tough for my family and we kept moving from place to place. Eventually, I lost contact with my homestay family because they also moved away from the small town.

From time to time, I would eagerly search for their names on the internet to no avail….But I never gave up.

Until recently, I FOUND THEM!!! All thanks to Brother M finally registering for a Facebook account.

Amy and I quickly booked our plane tickets to see them.

For the first time ever in 20 years, I reunited with my homestay family. You can imagine the flood of emotions going through each of our minds.

Homestay Dad teaching me how to bike. He is a real life Super Hero, currently on the quest to defeat lung cancer.

They are still super tall. Just like old times, they welcomed me & Amy like family. We even got to meet their 12-year old 5 feet 11 grandkid.

We spent HOURS chatting, laughing at the funny stories, and reminiscing the good old times. Gallons of happy tears were shed in those three days.

Brother M: “Hey Jacky, how much were the plane tickets?”

Jacky: “You are silly. We would come even if they were $5000.”

Hey Brother M, I kept my promise. 🙂 I just didn’t realize it would take me 20 years to grow up.

Happiness comes from the simplest form in life. People & Connections.

Amy & I brought along two Instant Pots and some toys as gifts.Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cookers

Auntie D (homestay Mom) unpacked the Instant Pot and immediately whipped up a comforting bowl of split pea soup for us.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup made by homestay mom

While Auntie D handed me the soup, she said, “Thank you for the gift Jacky. I love it. This pot is so much easier than my old pressure cooker.”

No Auntie D. I should be the one saying thank you. Words cannot describe how blessed I am to be your homestay son. Thank you for all the wonderful memories you have created in my life.

Thank you for the “gives”, my homestay family.

It was so difficult to say goodbye. But we know we will meet again.

We promise we won’t wait another 20 years. 🙂

Jacky has learnt so much from them – their generosity, care & love for others, warm hospitality…

We are deeply touched and inspired by this loving family that keeps on giving. Without them, Jacky wouldn’t be who he is today.

This Christmas, we are launching this #ChristmasGive Challenge to honor this extraordinary family who showed us what it’s like to generously give and love strangers like family.

Happiness is a gift that keeps on giving.
Happiness is contagious, and it multiplies.


What is the #ChristmasGive Challenge?

2017 was a tough year for some of us. Hurricanes, earthquakes, loss of loved ones, illness, the list can go on forever. And it doesn’t help when we’re bombarded with negativity and terrorizing news.

So, we’ve decided to try something new & exciting with you.

For the whole month of December, we’ll publish a series of new Instant Pot Food Gift Recipes.

Our hope is to encourage you to make these delicious homemade gifts for your family, friends, or even strangers.

We don’t know where this will go, but together, we can (and we will!) spread some love and happiness in our local communities.

Come join us! 🙂

Together we can make our world a better place.
Share Happiness One #ChristmasGive at a time


How can I Participate?

1. Think of Someone in Need

It can be neighbors who have families far away, seniors living alone, international students, waitress at your favorite restaurant, delivery guy, nursing homes, caregivers, teachers…anyone you’d like to appreciate.

Just imagine the smile you’ll bring to their faces 🙂

2. Make Them a #ChristmasGive!

Pick a recipe & make it! You can even get creative and host a #ChristmasGive party with your friends.

#ChristmasGive Ideas:

*Note: we’ll continue to update this list as we publish our New #ChristmasGive Recipes throughout December.

Free #ChristmasGive Printable Gift Tags

Decorate your holiday gifts with these adorable exclusive Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags: join Amy and Jacky’s Pressure Cooking ChristmasGive Challenge

We’ve designed some Exclusive Printable Christmas Gift Tags for you to decorate your #ChristmasGive.

Instructions & Download Here: Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags

3. Snap & Share Your Stories on Social Media

Don’t forget to snap some pictures of your #ChristmasGive & show the world!

You can share your photos & stories on Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) with the hashtag #ChristmasGive or you can email usWe’d love to see your photos & hear your stories!

As we gather your awesome stories + photos, we’ll feature them on this page.

*Note: You can email us if you like to keep your photos anonymous but hope to inspire others with your story. 

Let’s unite as a pressure cooking community &
Spread happiness like wildfires!

Share Happiness
One #ChristmasGive at a time


Want More Christmas Recipes?

Check out our Growing Collection of Instant Pot Christmas Recipes!

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Christmas Recipes: make your Christmas holidays memorable with our handpicked collection of recipes!

We wish you & yours a lovely Christmas Holiday! 🙂

Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Thankyou for this story. I’ve got your pea snd ham soup in the pressure cooker right now and clicked the link to read up on it.
    I have tears running down my face after reading about this reunion. Wishing you many more meetings with your homestay family and meals shared together.

    1. Dear Phoebe,
      Thank you for your heartwarming & sweet wishes & precious tears. It was indeed an amazing miracle that life has unfolded this way.
      Life really is unpredictable. Circumstances often catch us by surprise. But this is what makes every day & everything & everyone around us so very precious.
      Sometimes, there’s no next time, no timeouts, no second chances. sometimes, it’s now or never.
      I wish you & yours the very best! Much blessings, love, and joy in the many years to come! 🙂
      Love,
      Amy

  2. Thank you for sharing. We can all use more positive, uplifting and inspirational stories such as this in our lives.

    I bid you peace.

  3. You are both LOVELY in all ways. What a moving story. I feel SO lucky to have stumbled upon your work. This will save me hours and hours of research of the “best,” tested recipes. I have a long line of RV’s down the block from me that house homeless people. I have been driving by and wondering what to do all of the holiday weeks but was TOO BUSY to do anything and I didn’t quite know what! You have inspired me – particularly after my first few recipes with my new Multicooker – so easy and fast and I am a pretty good home cook. I am going to use one of your recipes and will deliver to these folks. I know whatever I decide it will be delicious! Just because it is past Christmas doesn’t mean that there is not still need for people to know that we care. Bless you and Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Happy New Year! Thank you for being so sweet <3 We're so glad you found us & are with us in this journey.
      We're both super thrilled to hear this!! And thank you for making this world more beautiful with your kind heart & warm love. Bless your heart. I'm sure they will appreciate whatever you make. 🙂 Let me know how things go.
      All the best to you & your loved ones - many blessings, joy, and great health in 2018!
      Take care,
      Amy

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. It was very moving. I am planning to make your Lemon Curd this week to give to some friends along with scones from my son’s bakery.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Ann! 🙂
      That’ll be lovely! I’m sure your friends will feel your love for them as they enjoy your yummy treats.
      We wish you & your family a very Merry Christmas & many blessings to come in the New Year!
      Take care,
      Amy

  5. Amy ❤️ Jacky, Thank you for sharing how your hearts were touched by this amazing family, and how God used these people in your lives! Your story is beyond inspiring! As I am making Cloud 9 to give away tomorrow, I am asking God to bless you and your homestay family with health, hope, and happiness. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

    1. Dear Patti,
      Thank you for your heartfelt blessings & warm love.
      We much appreciate your prayers and well wishes, especially for Jacky’s homestay family. Thank you!
      Let us know how it goes with the dulce de leche. 🙂 Enjoy~
      We both wish you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & many blessings shower upon you in the New Year!
      Take care,
      Amy

  6. Having just helped to move a disabled senior I am pressed for a bit of time to make something for family and friends. Just got all my Christmas packages in the mail and still so behind. I think I will be trying several of your Christmas gives ideas. Thank you so much for putting them out there just in time for my big save. Have a wonderful holiday season you are so appreciated.

    1. Thank you for your kind words CLF!
      I’m sure they’ll enjoy & appreciate whatever you make them for Christmas. 🙂
      Wish you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & many blessings to come in the New Year!
      Take care,
      Amy

  7. …and the tears are running down my face…such a beautiful story, and thank you for sharing it. I am entering it into my gratitude journal so that it will continue to inspire me.

    1. *big hug* Thank you Kathy. I love your idea of a gratitude journal!
      Sometimes we forget how blessed we are as we live our busy daily lives. It’s so important to remember to give thanks and appreciate all the people around us & everything we have.
      Wish you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & many blessings to you in the coming New Year! 🙂
      Take care,
      Amy

  8. And I already have my first ‘Christmas Give’ recipients in mind! Thank you for sharing your wonderfully heartfelt story with us. Bless your homestay family for setting such a terrific example to follow…<3

  9. What a beautiful story. I love your posts regardless, but this one was very special! I am serving dinner for 40 people in our synagogue’s shelter this month and will make your mac & cheese to go with the main dish (my husband’s smoked chicken). I also am making infused honey made in the IP for gifts for neighbors. They’re not done yet so no pics, but I’ll get there! Happy Holidays to you both!

    1. Thank you for all you do to make this world more beautiful Sharyn! 🙂 And thanks for sharing your story. Do share you photos with us if you like – it’ll help inspire others to do the same. 🙂
      Have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones & many blessings for you in the new year!
      Take care,
      Amy

  10. Thank you for sharing you heart and life story to us. It makes me feel like we are family too. With tears in my eyes I wish the twp of you the very best.

    1. Hi Bonnie,
      Thank you for your heartfelt words. We always find it amazing how our little kitchen appliance have brought us so many new friends from all around the world – who we wouldn’t have met otherwise.
      This is what makes running our site so special and precious. Thank you for being a part of our journey and a part of our lives, Bonnie. 🙂
      Wish you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & many blessings to come in the New Year!
      Take care,
      Amy

    1. Hi Emine,
      Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
      Our wish is to make this world a better place little by little. 🙂 Let’s do this together!
      Wish you & your loved ones a Merry Christmas & Blessed New Year!
      Amy

  11. This is such a wonderful idea , a loaf of bread and a container of soup would bless someone beyond measure. Let’s all do it!

    1. Hi Terri,
      Thank you! Yes!! Let’s do this together! Our wish is to make everybody’s Christmas extra special. 🙂
      Feel free to send us some photos or stories if you wish (it’ll definitely be an inspiration for others).
      Wish you & your loved ones a Merry Christmas!
      Amy

  12. I have read and used recipes from your site for a while now, but reading this page brought a whole new dimension to who you are and what you stand for. Thank you for sharing you homestay and homestay reunion experiences. Both your family and your homestay family are an inspiration to me.

    Sincere best wishes to you for this Christmas season!

    1. Hi Bruce,
      Thank you for being a part of our journey and thanks for all your well wishes.
      Jacky & I are grateful to be able to do what we love because of all our sweet readers like yourself. 🙂
      Wish you & your loved ones a Merry Christmas & many blessings to come in the New Year!
      Take care,
      Amy

    1. Dear Deretta,
      Thank you for your sweet words. 🙂
      Let’s do this together & make this world a better place!
      Wish you & your loved ones a very Merry Christmas & many blessings for you in the coming new year!
      Take care,
      Amy

  13. Such a beautiful and touching story, Jacky. I’m so glad you were able to catch up with them.

    I love the idea of the Christmas Giveaway, but I have friends from all faiths and all walks of life. Would it be possible to have a sheet of tags with a more generic winter theme? Maybe snowflakes, pine trees, a burning candle or lantern, a hat and mittens. Sayings could be things like Cheers! Greetings! Joy! Happiness is Homemade! etc, etc.

    1. Thank you for reading the story and your kind words Jan 🙂

      Thank you for your suggestions as those are all great ideas! I will have to discuss with Amy to see if we can squeeze more gift tags this year.

      Take care & have a wonderful week
      Jacky

  14. That was such a inspiring story to read it let us all know how lucky each and every on of us are. Will be making something for some of my customers from work that need a little help.

    1. Hi Jackie,
      Thanks for taking on the #ChristmasGive Challenge!! 🙂
      Excited to see what you’ll make. I’m sure they will love your homemade tokens of love. Do share some photos with us if you like.
      It’s a bit early but we hope to wish you & your family a Merry Christmas! <3
      Take care,
      Amy

  15. What a beautiful story Jacky. I’m new to IP’ing but excited to join in sharing blessings with my friends and neighbors. Such a great idea!

  16. What a beautiful story with such a nice ending. I hope the next chapter brings you all much happiness. The world gets smaller every day.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read the story Joanne! 🙂 And thank you for your blessings.
      I do believe when we unite together and love those around us (no matter how small the deed), we can make this world more beautiful each day!
      Take care,
      Amy

  17. I am very new to this group! My heart is so touched by your story and this wonderful giving idea! Thank you! I can’t wait to make a difference in someone’s life!

    1. Welcome Julie & we’re more than grateful to have you with us on this journey! 🙂
      Let’s do this together to make everyone’s Christmas extra special <3
      Have fun & have a great week!
      Take care,
      Amy

  18. Thank you, Amy & Jacky, for sharing your homestay family story, the Christmas Give Challenge, recipes, & printable Christmas gift tags!! And thanks for saying Christmas, and not just holiday! ??❤️️

    1. Hi Cindra,

      thank you so much for taking the time to read the story 🙂

      Hopefully everyone will like the Christmas gift tags and the challenge!

      Take care & have an amazing week
      Jacky

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