#JOY

#JOY

advent

"Mom, I want.... "

"Dad, tell Grandma I need..." 

So much  "I want" and "I need"  has been said around here on past Holidays and there's no fault just an adjustment of parenting on our end. We've taught politeness and manners, and for the most part the older three are wonderful about using them. But, we've noticed they tend to expect something in return. 

Changes were made this Holiday season for us as parents too. Not to over consume because the herd is doing it. To choose experiences over things. Let me also clarify... buying your kids presents and gifts is NOT a bad idea! I love shopping (too much probably) and giving too! It just wasn't the right choice for us this year. With four kiddos and lots of loving family our house is full of toys, books, art supplies, and digital fun. I'll post more later because it's a surprise to the kids but we actually leave Christmas day for a week long experience and that will be their gift (eek!). 

In the meantime...the countdown to the 25th is always a joy and I found a way for us to intentionally live each day until we leave. My hope is that our family also grows into doing more for others, beyond these 25 days of paper instructions. Fingers crossed. 

advent

Here's the list of our daily goals for the next 25 days!

  1. Give a compliment to a stranger. 
  2. Write a letter or make a card for a friend. 
  3. Choose a toy to donate. 
  4. Volunteer to make meals for those in need. 
  5. Do something nice for your siblings today. 
  6. Pick up litter in our neighborhood. 
  7. Call and say 'hello' to someone today that you haven't spoken to in awhile. Leave a message if they do not answer. 
  8. Make a Holiday card for a Police Officer or a Fire Fighter, put a stamp on it and mail it!
  9. Leave a treat in the mailbox for our mail person. 
  10. Make cookies for our neighbors. 
  11. Make a care package for a child at the Children's Hospital. 
  12. Gather non-perishable food from neighbors to give to a food shelf. 
  13. Hold the door for someone. 
  14. Make a thank you card for Waste Management. 
  15. Write a letter to someone you have a hard time getting along with, tell them something you admire about them. 
  16. Offer to help a neighbor. Play with their kids? Dog walking? Shoveling?
  17. Make a card for a stranger, leave it in a public place. 
  18. Make a Holiday card to send to the VA Hospital for an anonymous veteran. 
  19. Round up old blankets and towels from friends and neighbors to donate to an animal shelter.
  20. Decorate five brown bags to look festive. 
  21. Fill your decorated bags with cookies, hand warmers, apples, crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, candy, a card and $5.00 (from Mom). Drive with Mom/Dad and give them to those standing on corners asking for help. Tell them Merry Christmas. 
  22. Make a gift for a friend. 
  23. Read to your little brother/sister.
  24. Write a letter to your nanny, explain to her why she's amazing. 
  25. Merry Christmas! We love you. Today we are leaving...but you'll need those cards under the tree to give to people working today!
advent

Some of the daily intentions were picked based on things that I have already set up, like #4.  A friend and I are taking them to volunteer to make meals. I also am putting a notice up in our community board for food and blanket donations, that way the kids will be safe and the neighbors will be ready for them!

How are you spending this Holiday season? I always love to hear how other parents and families are doing things. This year is definitely different for us... but man, giving to others feels so good, random acts of kindness makes my heart swell and I HOPE that our pack feels the same. 

So let's raise our phones to day one! May I have the time and patience as a parent to help them achieve and follow through with their daily intentions. (clink)

Painted Sugar Cookies

Painted Sugar Cookies

Back to School 2016- Mall of America

Back to School 2016- Mall of America