Welcome to my little corner of the world wide web. :) What a blessing modern technology is. I'm so grateful for the websites and ideas that others have shared that have helped them to be successful in their homes, their service in the church, or in life in general. Thought I'd pass on a few things I've learned along the way on my life-long mission to become a better wife, mother, and in my service in the church. Thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The "Holiday Cheer" Experiment

A few days ago I was browsing Pinterest, looking for ideas for Advent calendars to count down the days to Christmas. The only thing is that I wanted there to be a purpose behind the calendar.  I didn't want to just give the kids a piece of candy each day.  I wanted there to be more of a focus on the spirit of Christmas and why we celebrate it.  Then I came across this awesome idea Light Em Up and decided that this was the perfect combination.  Christmas is about the Savior and he spent his whole life serving. That is the best way we can honor him and his birth.

My mother-in-law had commented the other day that everyone these days seem so down and unhappy.  While I hadn't made that observation personally, I tried really hard over the past few days to be more aware of the people around me. While I can't say that I had the same impression (maybe Georgian's are just really happy people), I did make a greater effort to be warm and friendly in my daily interactions.  Life is hard and everyone can use a little boost every now and then.  So anyway, when I saw this "Light Em Up" idea, I thought this was the perfect way to try and spread some holiday cheer in our community.  We talked about it as a family and everyone was excited to put the experiment to the test.
Here's how it works:

I made a fun label to attach to the jar (feel free to use it if you want to join in on the experiment-just right click the image and save it to your own computer. I sized it to about 4.5" x 4.75" but you can resize it to whatever size your jar is)

I printed out the labels from the above referenced website.  It has tons of fun ideas of acts of service you can do.  The nice thing is that they are all simple enough that they are doable.  Our weeknight schedule is pretty crazy so I needed the ideas to be simple.  I think the point of the experiment is not to do grand, elaborate things but simply to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. After all, sometimes the little things are all it takes to turn someone's day around.

I attached one label to each candy cane in the jar (there are 25). Each morning before the kids head to school we will draw one of the candy canes out and whatever the label says, that will be our act of "service" for the day.  I figure if we pick it in the morning, that will give me ample time to prepare any items beforehand that may go along with the service, and help us to plan how much time we will need to set aside for the service, etc.

Below is just one cute idea of an act of service.  Another fun one was to go through your house and collect as much loose change as you can find.  Then go to the Salvation army ringer and drop it in their bucket.  I also threw a couple blank ones in there so that the kids could choose the act they wanted to do that day. 
After we've completed the act of service for the day, the kids will each get to pick a Hershey's kiss from the jar.  I lined the outside with the candy canes and filled the inside of the jar with the kisses.  That way they get a kiss for their act of kindness-both will make them feel good inside. :) 

I am so excited about this project and I think it will be a good way to help the family focus more on others this holiday-something that's hard to do sometimes when you get so caught up in the hustle and bustle.  Anyone care to join us in our "Holiday Cheer" experiment?