It is that time of year again. Whoever said that the years go by more quickly the older you get sure knew what they were talking about. I love Christmas…I mean I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas…the traditions, the lights, the baking, the shopping, the sappy Christmas movies, etc. It is such a fun time of year for our family.
By the end of this past summer, I was already telling Nick a list of new things I wanted to start with the kids this Christmas. Lauren is only two, and believe it or not, she still remembers some things about last Christmas. We have had so much fun talking about Christmas with her, watching Christmas movies, baking, and singing Christmas songs. I know she is just a toddler, but this past week I have been so bothered by the fact that I keep having to remind her that Christmas is our celebration of Jesus’ birthday. It is discouraging because I want her to enjoy all of the fun things that go along with this season, but I don’t want those things to outweigh what Christmas is really all about. (As a side note, I think we may do a cake/cupcake on Christmas day to help her relate to the actual celebration of the birth of Christ.) It is hard enough to teach her not to be selfish during the rest of the year. We are only in the first week of December, and I am already thinking, “What kind of monster are we creating here?”
A few days ago, I was on Pinterest…I know, I know, Pinterest…I saw the sweetest pin about random acts of kindness. It was originally from another mommy blog called Lil Light O’ Mine. The author of this blog started a project called “Light ‘Em Up.” It is for families who want to teach their children the importance of giving to others (rather than receiving) during the holiday season. She has made a list of over 100 different things to do as random acts of kindness during the holiday season. Really, you should take a look at her blog to read all about it. She has such wonderful ideas and even includes cute printables to get this project going in your home. The ideas include anything from having O.J. and donuts ready for the garbage truck men, to giving flowers or candy to the “free cookie” lady at the store… or even just challenging your family to give out as many candy canes as possible (with sweet notes on them) during the month of December. The point is finding people who are behind the scenes or unnoticed, and letting them know that your family is on a mission to make sure they have a wonderful Christmas.
Over and over again in the New Testament the Lord teaches about giving to others, helping the weak, loving our neighbors, and providing for the needy; but somehow in this life I am living, that has become one of the furthest things from my mind. Me, me, me, me, my husband, me, my children, me…and oh ME again, that is the general flow of my thinking. How can I teach my children the importance of giving if I am not living that way myself? The more I read about this idea, the more excited I become. What better opportunity to encourage others in your community and open the doors for a gospel witness! No, our family will not be doing 100 things this month, or even 50. However, we will pick several that will work for our family and run with it. I can’t wait to spread the joy of this Christmas season with my little family and let Lauren see the happiness that giving can bring. As we give to others this holiday season, may we each remember that Christ gave the ultimate Gift… Himself.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!