A couple Christmases ago–I noticed that me and the kids weren’t very merry. We had got caught up in listing all the presents we wanted, the decorations we needed, the movies we wanted to watch and the treats we wanted to eat. The kids came home everyday with a new thing they wanted to add to their ever growing Christmas list. And as much as I was surrounded by Christmas stuff…I didn’t feel very Christmasy. I laid in bed one night after the kids and I had gotten into a fight about them thinking they needed an oreo shake after a dinner out at a restaurant and I remember thinking, “I can’t wait for Christmas to be over.”
WHAT! Christmas! OVER!? The 10 year old me would have just smacked me with a broom if she could! I love Christmas. I love the lights and movies and hot cocoa and Bing Crosby White Christmas playing while we decorate the tree. I knew right away that the reason I wasn’t happy this Christmas Season was because I forgot the REASON FOR THE SEASON! I vowed right there in bed that Our Christmas would be filled with putting the CHRIST back in CHRISTMAS!
It has been so great! I am back looking forward to Christmas and get excited about fun opportunities to serve–because when you are out looking…they are there. Many Many Many ways!
Now…Don’t think that my kids are 100% perfection all the time. They still fight about really dumb things. BUT…the spirit that is in our home is undeniable.
My son got this idea to empty his piggy bank into the salvation army bucket. Made my mom heart swell!
When I got wind of the new #LIGHTTHEWORLD campaign I was all in! Each day broken into fun and easy ways to serve for all ages and capabilities! (you can check out each day on Mormon.org)
It kicks off Dec. 1st with a worldwide day of service!
25 days and 25 ways of serving others in big and small ways to LIGHT the WORLD! There is even an amazing free calendar to put on your fridge to help remind you! (bottom of the page HERE)
Today I’m focusing on Day 24–Jesus cared for his Loved ones and so can you.
“5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”
I love this one! I know I get so busy doing all the “adult things” I need to do that I overlook the people that matter most! My family! I haven’t sat down and played a board game with my kids in such a long time! Or watched a movie with them (like REALLY watch…not on my phone!) Or visited my grandma. Or even texted my favorite cousin!
Here are some of their ideas:
- Go around the dinner table tonight and tell each person why he or she is loved.
- Text an old friend who’s been on your mind lately.
- Send a handwritten note to someone.
- Protect someone’s good name. Don’t gossip.
- Try to be a better listener. Make eye contact, ask questions, and don’t just wait for your turn to talk.
- Help a friend who is going through a rough time by offering to make him or her food, helping around the house, or just taking time to listen.
See! Such easy things to do! I wanted to add a couple other fun things we do that have been a big hit!
*This one is one of my kids favorites. They each take a turn writing their name and decorating their paper. Then we send it around the table. Each person has to write one or more thing they like about the name at the top. I know I tell my son how awesome he is–but he doesn’t get to hear how great he is at legos from his little sister or how funny he is from his big sister. Each kid ended up taping it to their bedroom door because it meant so much to them!
* NO technology allowed! This is such a great idea! We like to play this at dinner–first one to touch their phones has to do the dishes! Make a perfect little spot to drop any phones, ipods, tablets…any distractions!
*One thing I do every year is 12 days of Christmas for my husband. Nothing big. Favorite chapstick and candy bar and jerky. My kids each have a day and they color him a picture as well as a letter from me. (that is 7 presents right there.) I wrap them up and slip them into his lunch pail each night (you can stick them in the car if he eats out) Funny story–I actually didn’t do it last year. I didn’t think he would even notice because he hasn’t really made a big deal in the past. HE NOTICED. and was a little upset I didn’t do it!
You can grab these free printables HERE.
*Love notes. Sneak little notes in backpacks, books, on the pillow, on the mirror…where ever! I actually added some heat transfer vinyl to my kids backpacks!
*Sending thank you notes is so easy and I cherish the ones I get! Have your kids make some thank you notes to send to grandma and grandpas and cousins! (We actually tried to get every grandkid and daughter and son (About 30 people) to bombard my parent’s mailbox the week before Christmas. Pictures, Drawings, fun little letters!
*This Secret service activity was just so darn cute! A great way to get your kids to serve others!
*BIRTHDAYS–who doesn’t love people remembering their birthdays? You can actually sit down and get all those birthday cards addressed at the same time you are doing Christmas cards. Add a stamp and you just have to mail when their birthday comes! The Birthday binder is super easy for keeping you all organized! It is broken up by month and has a pocket to keep the birthday cards in! Seriously a super easy way to make someone’s day!
These are also some super cute printables
(I actually have a giant list of fun ways to serve HERE)
- Tape candy canes around town
- Put quarters in the candy machines at the mall
- Deliver treats to the police station/fire station
- Go through your closet and donate warm clothes to a shelter
- Pay for someones past due library fees
- Hide $1 bills around the toy section of a dollar store
We are also doing this fun 25 Days of Christ set that I got in the mail!
It’s AMAZING! It comes with 25 different little characters and you can leave them as is or paint them (get the kids involved!)
There is a book that gives you each day, the appropriate piece and the scripture and story to read. It’s an amazing way to stay focused on what’s really important!
You can buy one HERE!
(I put mine in a shadow box from Expressions Vinyl
and Look at all the fun ways you can display them!
Another fun tradition we look forward to is reading a christmas story each day! You can grab all the printables here! They only take about 5 minutes to get through but my kids love having the time together all sitting around the Christmas tree!
Please check out HERE for ideas to serve! Let’s celebrate the REASON for the SEASON!
Visit JustServe.org for more ways to #LIGHTtheWORLD in your community (U.S. and Canada only).