Last year when I told our girls that they weren’t getting very many presents for Christmas, my (then) 14-year-old burst into tears and spent the next half hour crying hysterically. I then went on a mental tirade (complete with eye-rolling) about the selfishness of my children and how I had to do something about this RIGHT NOW.
So I called up a woman in our church who is associated with a women’s shelter and asked what my children and I could do to help. She arranged for us to go to the shelter where we organized Christmas presents that had been donated. They had a room that was filled with toys, books, and clothes for women and children. My three girls and several of their friends who we had invited to come with us, set about sorting and arranging the gifts so that the kids in the shelter could come pick out presents for their moms, and the moms could find some gifts for their children.
We had a blast and my oldest daughter (the one who was so devastated by the news of diminished personal presents) keeps asking when we can go back this year. (Now I’d like to extricate my daughter from under the bus. When I talked to her about her outburst afterward, she explained that she wasn’t being selfish about the presents. She was upset because I was taking the magic out of Christmas. Yes, I was ruining Christmas. And I was so quick and hasty to judge her, when she is actually not selfish at all, and loves to help others and give service).
If you and your family would like to give some service this Christmas season, I have the perfect suggestion for you. You can take part in the Light the World campaign. If you click on the link, you are taken to a website with short, inspirational videos for each day leading up to Christmas, along with simple ideas for service for each day. Here is the video for day 1:
Below each video is a button that says “view suggestions.” Here you’ll get ideas of ways to serve that go along with the theme for the day. Here are the ideas for day 1 that go along with the video above:
All the suggestions are super easy and take so little time. Things like apologizing, saying nice things behind other people’s backs (instead of negative things), inviting a co-worker to lunch to get to know them better.
Little things can make such a huge difference in the lives of others. Just a smile, kind word, or friendly text can really lift another person’s spirits. I encourage you to check out the Light the World website to be inspired and get great ideas of simple things you can do this holiday season to really make it bright for your family and for others 🙂