With this 'new' role of heading up a 'grand family' (raising grandchildren in the home) I had spent way too much time stressing about the gifts. How do you be the grandmother you want to me, you dream and envision of being (you know the vision: the little ones tearing into those presents followed by screams of "I LOVE IT, IT'S JUST WHAT I WANTED" kind of vision.) In my study time, God seemed to be reminding me of HIS GIFT - the perfect gift - what His Son gave us - and how that thrilled God more than anything we could ever do for Him. For we know that the true spirit of Christmas is in the GIVING, not the receiving, that makes Christmas the season of joy.
Armed with that thought in mind, I came up an inexpensive way that just might help to give my girls and grand girls the greatest gift of all - learning the joy of GIVING. Based on an advent calendar idea, I fashioned a little KINDNESS CALENDAR that has handmade cards, one for each day leading up to December 25th.
For every day leading up to December 25th, I cut small cards from heaving card stock paper, and glued a kindness deed inside the card. (example above.) Then I purchased small, inexpensive hangers (shaped like coat hangers to hang on the wires I inserted inside the cardboard shadow box I purchased at Joann's. I thought the little hangers were just perfect for a house full of girls and they remind me of Barbie hangers, just smaller.
After getting everything folded and glued, I attached a ribbon to the top of the box, to give us a way of hanging it up in the great room. So, on the morning of December 1 (first day), we will pick card #1, open it and read it, and then perform that act of kindness for that day! Everyday will be different - and I got some great ideas at RandomActsOfKindness.Org (which you can print out HERE).
We are hopeful this will be one way that we can begin to focus on the true spirit and meaning of the season by doing for others, celebrating what great joy it brings in pursuing a life of giving.
Our plan this year is to instill GIVING as scripture instructs, so that we leave a legacy of what it truly means to celebrate Christmas in God's terms.
I realize this may seem a bit girly - because that is all we know around the Hicks House! You could make this a little more masculine or more generic by omitting the coat hangers, using red yard ribbon, bolder graphics with trains or boy-toys, and more primary colors.
But I think you get the idea. Have fun with thinking up creative ways that you and yours can celebrate the giving season - but we can agree on one thing here. Jesus. And His amazing gift to each of us who choose to accept it. The Christmas Story is the true beginning of love and His life as recorded in scripture is our road map to living a sacrificial and giving life.
Oh, to be more like Him. May that always be our goal.
More joy for your journey,