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Friday, December 5, 2008

'Tis the Season

Unless you are new to my blog it's pretty obvious that I've spent a good portion of this past week teaching my kids about the true meaning of Christmas. One area that we're lacking is in the area of reaching out to those less fortunate.
The kids are too young for volunteering and financially we can't afford to adopt a family for the holidays. I would love to go caroling at a nursing home, but without a group that isn't very practical. Visiting a nursing home is also out of the question because my kids are extremely shy. Instead what we'll do is make Christmas cards for residents who might not get any otherwise. I'm going to talk to Sam about handing them out and wishing folks a Merry Christmas, but I'm pretty sure he'd hind behind me the whole time.

In college my roommate, Sarah, and I did this. It was fun and rewarding to know that we were doing just a little bit to brighten someone's day. We took white construction paper and tore it into circles to make snowmen. That's something Julia and Sam can easily attached to the front of a card with a Christian message inside.

Giving to others is a message they need to hear right now. Julia and I wrapped a present that she picked out for him while he was at school yesterday and as soon as she showed it to him he really really wanted to know what it was. He asked a few more times throughout the day so last night I put the gift out of sight. I probably won't put gifts out until a week before Christmas now that I know the effect it has on him. We'll focus on other aspects of Christmas first and save the gift anticipation for later. It's too hard for a four year old to understand that we'll open gifts in 20 days.

I'd love to hear your ideas for involving the little ones in the spirit of giving. I think I missed the Operation Christmas Child deadline this year so that one's out for us.

In the spirit of giving I would like to offer one reader a custom made gift tag design. No need to have a blog to enter, but I will need an email address so I can send the design via email. I'll be asking the winner to email me the photo they'd like me to base the design on so start thinking of which photo you'd like to use. One entry per person. New commenters welcome. I will draw a winner Monday morning. Good luck!

7 comments:

  1. I love your idea! That is great. Our 8 year old and my husband went with is Lutheran Pioneer program caroling to the shut-ins. They had a great time. Our kids tell everyone "merry Christmas", when they are asked what Christmas is about they all know and are ready and willing to tell anyone who will listen. We do the advent calendar. This year they all picked out some of their trucks that will be going to a family of two little boys who have no toys at all. (we asked the local headstart teacher (our friend) if there was a family that could use a few boys toys. We wont know any more than they don't have anything. He will pick them up and he will deliver them. They are not new but with as many toys as we have they are in awesome condition.) We clean out, someone else gets a little love this Christmas.

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  2. That's a really great idea. We're fans of donating to toys for tots. Last year we took K-Girl to the store and asked her to pick a toy she really liked and then we took her to a drop off site and she put it in the box. It was helpful to her to see where it was going and we talked about little girls and boys who didn't have much. My daughter's preschool also does a food drive right before Christmas and asks you to donate to that instead of teacher gifts. I like taking her to the grocery store to pick out some of her favorites. Last year she got them Kraft Mac and Cheese and her favorite cereal as a couple of the items. She liked that she was giving them HER favorites.

    I'd love to be entered too!

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  3. Hi there! Thanks for your comment over at our blog! I LOVE your ideas- and I am putting them in to our season too! Just yesterday I prayed over the first Christmas card that we received.
    I would love to be entered in to your drawing!

    Wishing you a very Blessed Christmas!

    -Jenni

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  4. That's a great idea. I blogged this week about how to keep the meaning of the season active in my kids' minds too.

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  5. When I was a girl scout leader we took our little brownies to a nursing home along with the cards they had made. Some of the residents were so eager to get a card that they literally took the cards out of the girls hands. To some of the girls it was frightening BUT it was also a good opportunity to teach the girls a lesson on how much just the smallest of things mean a great deal to some people. The residents really enjoyed the carols the girls sang SO maybe if you could get Brianna and some other small children to go and sing a song or two, it would be something they would really love.

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  6. We are big fans of Franklin Grahams Operation Christmas Child (shoebox ministries).
    http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

    Also, our local grocery stores have huge bins for us to put non-perishable items in. Or you could take some to a food bank. They are SO in need this year.

    LORI

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  7. We've always picked names of angel trees every year, and I've had the kids help pick out gifts. They really like to give to kids who might not get any presents. Thanks for all the good suggestions!

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