Creating a Heart for Others in Your Children This Holiday Season

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Maybe you are like me and your Christmas tree has been up since Black Friday…. But, as I was decorating my home this year, I realized that this is the first year that I have a child that can somewhat understand this holiday season.

Which got me to brainstorming on how I can begin to involve her, and even my one and half-year old, to make the holidays meaningful. More than just having them hang the star on top of the tree, although we did do that… and it was a great moment. But I wanted to start doing things that would create lasting memories for us, that impacted and helped others feel the holiday spirit too.

heart-for-others

I want my children to have a heart of service and gratitude, for what we have already. These things can be accomplished however you see fit for your family. But, we choose to do it in an advent calendar type format which works well for getting your children excited about what they are going to do that day, or they can be more spontaneous–the point is that we all get out there and give some holiday joy! 

Here are ideas that I’ve gathered from Pinterest, from other’s around me who gave me the idea, or my own ideas. 

  1. Salvation Army Bell Ringing. We chose to sign up for a time slot that worked well with our family’s schedule, on a day that hopefully won’t be freezing, and outside a store that we love–Hobby Lobby, but any store will work! I know that my kiddos will love to ring the bell and greet shoppers as they are coming and going. Hopefully we will be able to do some good, stop the hustle of the season for just an afternoon and spread some cheer to the people. Click here for a link to Salvation Army’s sign-up for bell ringing.
  2. Random Acts of Kindness. This one is going to be the most fun, I think. There are so many ideas for this one! They can be simple like taping quarters to meters downtown for people to park for free. Or more detailed where you have your kiddos create holiday drawings and write encouraging phrases and leave them around town for a random person to find. Just to leave some merriness around! The main rule of this one is that it cannot be traced back to you by the one receiving your kindness–which is the best part, because we all need #faithrestoredinhumanity right now. 
  3. Buying toys for local toy drives. I got this idea from my sister-in-law, it is a little bit more detailed than just buying a toy and dropping it in a bin, although that is still wonderful! Before her kiddos let her know what they would like for Christmas she enlists their help with a toy drive. She explains to them that not every little boy and girl have the blessing of having toys that they want under their tree this year, and then they go to the store and pick out great toys that they think another kid their age would love to have under their tree, bring it home and wrap it, then take it to their local drive. Once that is done then the kids can make their requests. I think this is one the most touching things your kids can do for other kids this season…and typically their list is a little more realistic after learning about being generous and being thankful for what they do have. 
  4. Baking with your children. I think this was my favorite holiday memory growing up! We have family sugar cookie recipe that we make every year, and let me tell you it is a labor of love! It requires an entire afternoon, or evening to accomplish. But it is time spent with your loved ones gathered in the kitchen, singing Christmas songs, drinking hot cocoa and creating relish treats! When I was too young I helped a little during the baking process but was always allowed to create masterpieces with the frosting on the cookies! I think it is important to not underestimate sowing seeds into your own family, so that you can continue to spread joy to others! With the lots of extra goodies you baked you can give some away to neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family. 
  5. Call relatives & friends.  This time of year really can fly by, and with so much on your to-do list, we can all get lost in doing the things, and forgetting the people we care a lot about. While everyone loves a good Christmas card, it is pretty much guaranteed that you are one of many who received the exact card, greeting, and message attached to it-while still a great gesture, taking time out during this season to stop and give a phone call to relatives who live away from you, or friends you haven’t heard from in a while, can be so much sweeter than a card alone can convey. Spend some time catching up with them, let them know this time of year that you love them, and really appreciate them, even though you can’t be near to spend time with them. It will warm your heart, and theirs, especially if you hand the phone over to your kiddos and let them talk that persons ear off! Some of my best conversations have started with, “I called because I have been thinking about you lately…”

While we still enjoy the popular holiday activities and traditions that come along with the season, we wanted to begin to incorporate traditions that served others and put others before ourselves; especially during this time of year. So, how can you and your littles spread some holiday cheer this year? 

Happy Holidays!  From your local COSMB writer! ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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Katie is a Colorado Native, only knowing CO as home. She loves to travel though, but seeing the "Welcome to Colorful Colorado" sign will always be her favorite thing to come home too. She met her CO Native husband when she was 14, & they have been together since she was 15. They are best friends, tackling parenting their kids together. Norah (4), Jonah (3), Micah (1), & Maggie (coming in January) grow and stretch her everyday--literally. Katie is passionate for interior design, photography, and anything pretty. There's always music playing in her home, or a good podcast. She's a sucker for a good classic movie, and knows every part of "Sound of Music" by heart. This is her first year winging homeschooling her daughter, mainly to avoid learning how make cutesy lunches & continue serving those Dino nuggets daily. Solid in her faith, she gives all the glory to God for any grace, kindness, or love in her life. Writing for the Colorado Springs Moms Blog has blessed her more ways than she can count, and is proud to be apart of this tribe of mamas creating community in her hometown!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great ideas, Katie! What you are planting now will continue to grow as your kids continue to grow. I used the Advent calender with my boys until they were in college, then with my grandsons. It was something to which they always looked forward. Bless you!

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