For the past few years, I have tried to really work on the idea of service with my kids at the holidays. I know it's just as important to serve others in June as it is in December, but I'm doing my best here and since they are once again about to be inundated with shiny new things wrapped prettily from all the stores, now seems like a great time to see how the other half lives, so to speak.
Thus began the tradition of the 12 Days of Service. For the 12 days leading up to Christmas, we try to do some small thing every day for a family to show that we love them. The hard part for me is coming up with things that my kids will be able to connect to and that don't cost a ton of money. I want them to see all the small ways that we can make a difference in someone else's life.
For our first day, we made dinner for another family. Easy, and appreciated, but I know we can do better. With the temperatures dipping dangerously low in our neck of the woods for the next week or so, I started thinking of the need to keep others warm. Here's where I need your help.
Tonight, for your own FHE or just because, I urge you to stop by our house with a blanket or two that you no longer need. Whatever we collect will be donated on Tuesday to a local shelter to hand out to those in need and since shelters all over the place are bursting at the seams, I'll take whatever you have. We will have a treat for you and your family to share as you come in and get warm. What could be better than that?
I did this a few years ago and managed to collect over 200 blankets (thanks to all you lovely people) which I then shipped to an orphanage in Africa. My kids were so excited every time we opened the door to some familiar face standing there with an arm full of blankets. We washed and counted, stacked and boxed and felt so good about taking the focus off of our family which is so richly blessed and placing it where it was needed. It was awesome and the feeling of making a difference was the best. I'm not expecting anywhere near that tonight, but I know whatever we collect will make the difference for someone who is currently trying to stay warm.
You know what would be even better that this? What if those of you who don't live locally did something similar? Collect blankets, hats, mittens, whatever is needed in your home town and give it away! I know we've all said it a million times but isn't it true? It's the giving that's important.
Please try to work us into your plans tonight. Stop by anytime between 6-8, make your donation, chat with some friends, munch on some yummies, and watch your kids glow as they experience the true meaning of Christmas.