How many of us have promised ourselves that we would have all our Christmas shopping done before December so we could focus on the spirit of the season or other similar promises? This has been my goal for 3 years now and I have failed 3 years in a row. The more Christmas's I have the quicker they go by, I know you can relate.
How do we focus on the reason for the season...The Savior? I don't have that figured out. If there were some special formula to be able do it all I would share it with you, promise. What I do know is that if you feel like you fail because you try things and they don't stick, don't despair. I have tried so many different things the past few years and truthfully not many really stick. I have found that the things that really stick are the ones that are built into my normal routine. I have to go grocery shopping and so it's easy to buy a bouquet of flowers and then give it to someone, this has stuck.
Back to Christmas, the thing is Christmas is a here it comes, enjoy it if you can, if not too bad so sad try again next year kinda deal. Having Christmas traditions that are focused on the Savior and serving our fellow brothers and sisters are huge in helping us feel the CHRISTmas spirit. Here are a few things I have tried over the years I will tell you what has stuck and what hasn't. What doesn't work for us may work great in your life and vice versa.
12 days of Christmas service....didn't stick. I think this will work great when I have older kids that can take more initiative on their own. It can be hard to do if you're not the greatest planner like me.
Kindness Elves...this is what I am dying to try! I love the idea of the Elf on the Shelf, but never got one. This has my kind of spin on it though! I also think it will be easier because it doesn't have to be a daily project. If we did 6 decent size service projects (as in making cookies for a neighbor size project) between today and Christmas I would feel successful. The Elves or whatever you choose to use can encourage kids to do other stuff between the bigger stuff. Miss Anna the fabulous creator of this idea (I could just hug her for this great idea) blogs at The Imagination Tree. She has started an Instagram hashtag so people can post what they have done which means you can get ideas :)
Thanks Janalee for sending me a link to this post!
The Giving Jar...yeah, were floundering on this one. We still have it on our counter, but it's hard to do if you don't use cash much. For those people like my dad who feel up a ridiculously huge container full of coins every year this is for you!
How is Christ Supposed to Compete With Santa? Giving a gift to our kids that focuses on the Savior...
This has stuck! The first year I found the biggest box (symbolizing that Christ is the greatest gift) I could and put pictures we had of the Saviors life in it and they opened it on Christmas Eve and we sat down and talked about the pictures. The second year I found a snow globe with the nativity in it and the kids opened it on Christmas Eve and then we all took turns bearing our testimony's about the savior. Excited to keep this tradition alive!
Good deeds paper chain...we did this for one year. I think it would be fun to do again, but since Zaya is already doing Service Beans it would be redundant. It's fun, simple and festive! This would be good to do for Russel though. He is always talking about Service Beans when he does something good...hum maybe we will have to revive this tradition!
What traditions of service do you and your family do this Christmas season?
Well, all we can do is try and let stick what sticks and not be upset when something doesn't. I don't want to be overwhelmed with keeping up with traditions, I want there to be balance in it all and we all know balance is elusive. Let's KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) and we'll all have it figured out by the time were 90 right?! Ha!
Merry Christmas :)