Saturday, December 1, 2012

12 Days of Christmas

You've heard the folk song... about partridges in trees, gold rings and maids a milkin'.  Receiving from one's true love.  French in origin, it commemorates the days between Christmas and the Feast of Epiphany which celebrates the revelation of God in human form. 

As a child I can remember the anticipation of Christmas.  Wondering what would be under the tree.  All about me, me, me. 

As a parent, I've tried to instill the giving.  Daily they are bombarded with the opposite.  In a selfish, entitled, get-more society giving is lost.  As believers in Christ and as parents, we have to be intentional.  We have to be consistent.  And we have to be the example.

On October 10, 2010 (10/10/10), our family commemorated the day by giving.  10 random acts of kindness in our community.  The day is one I'll never forget.  The kids were giddy with excitement.  All done anonymously, we talked about who would benefit and how they would react.  It's hard to explain the feelings I had that day.... I was content.  I hadn't felt that way in awhile, but for the first time in a long time, we were serving as a family.  And it was wonderful.

The kids learned first hand, that pleasure in giving is not in thanks received.  It's not in accolades.  It's not in money spent.  It's not about the giver.  Joy comes in blessing we can bestow on another.  

This year will be the last year we will see three consecutive numbers on the calendar in our lifetime.  December 12, 2012 (12/12/12).  It also happens to mark my 35th birthday.  Each day leading up to December 12th, I'm going to share some ideas with you on how you and your family can give back this holiday season.  I encourage you to gather the kiddos and include them in your plans.  Let them brainstorm.  You might be surprised with a little encouragement, how these little hearts, truly want to contribute to the joy of another.

Intentionality is the only way we can help this next generation overcome entitlement.  Join me as we lead by example.

Day 1 of 12 Days of Giving

1.  Tape candy canes around town - on the ATM, on a shopping cart, on the gas pump... you get the idea.  Be creative.

2.  Color pictures or make cards and go hand them out at the nursing home, assisted living home, and/or the hospital.

3.  Go through the drive-thru and pay the ticket of the car behind you.

4.  Bake cookies and take them to the local fire station.

5.  Walk the parking lot of a grocery store and gather and put away the carts.

There's a few ideas to get those ol' cogs a working.  Keep checking back.  As we go along, I'll have some giveaways just for you, too.  And feel free to add your own ideas into the comments.  We're in this together and the more ideas we have, the bigger impact we can make in our communities. 

Happy Giving!!

“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
  ~Mother Teresa


marilyn luinstra said...

Becky! Fantastic ideas. I am going to use some of them you have inspired me:) Happy birthday to you and happy 12 12 12

Anne Peterson said...

Great post. I like the ideas you had.

One idea that really touched our hearts was when someone sent our family 12 gifts all the way up to Christmas Eve. Small gifts each day with a final one right before Christmas. The last one contained a fleece blanket which still drapes over the back of our sofa for those cold nights, a scented candle, cookies. It really was a wonderful idea. And one that touched our family deeply.

La Mc Coy said...

Lovely post!

katina Vaselopulos said...

Timely post with great ideas!

i was talking with my grandchilden a few days ago about gifts and giving. The great grandmother in our home, my mom, is already crocheting a warm scarf for that purpose!

God bless you Becky! I am in!

soZealous said...

These are great ideas:) Last year, our little family decorated cookies with the residents at a nursing home. That was an awesome way to get everyone (including our baby) involved.

Also, I think the new blog design is really nice! I liked reading more about you on your "About Me" page:)

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of doing that on 12/12/12. You have some great ideas! I am always looking for ways my children and I can bless those around us. Thanks!

Becky said...

Ok, I'm trying to figure why my reply button is gone on each comment. I'm working on that. In the mean time, I'll do it this way. :)

Marilyn - I'm so glad that you have inspiration! And thank you for the birthday wishes!!

Anne - what an amazing memory for your family! Thank you for sharing!

La Mc Coy - Thank you!

Katina - I wish I'd learned to crochet more from my grandmother. A scarf is a lovely idea!

SoZealous - I love the idea of decorating cookies! I may borrow that if I can. :) And thank you on the blog design. PS - I love following you and your sweet family!

7feetnorth - You're welcome! And I checked out your blog. Have you ever heard of geocaching? My kids and I love it!