Friday, October 22, 2010

What Are Your Holiday Plans?

It's a question everyone will start asking very soon!

I love Christmas with a passion.
The whole Holiday Season, which starts the day after Halloween in my book, is just wonderful.

Well, it's wonderful for me at least.

It's an excruciating, painful time for many.  The reasons vary and are vast.

We are extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy this season- to give gifts, receive gifts, bake treats, plan outings... the list goes on.

But above all the delight and the excitement, the true joy is in remembering what I believe to be the reason for it all: The birth of a King who would one day save the world.

And because it's all about Him, I'm reminded to love as He loves.

One of the things that loving others means (and loving God means) is generosity in great measure.
And generosity is so very important at Christmas.

Generosity means giving readily and liberally, and this can be with your resources or with your time.

I have personally found that, unless you are a super fantastic person who always has others on the mind and carries around a wad of cash to hand out as needs arise (and I'm sure some of you are those fantastic people!), it's a good idea to plan generosity, especially at Christmas.

This doesn't take away the spontaneity or the heart of it. It just guarantees that you are going to make it happen.  If you are like me, you might have great plans for generosity, only to sometimes find after a little time that the opportunity has passed, the money is spent, the person is gone.

This is why planning really helps.
And our family has begun to plan, and it's so very fun! I absolutely love it.

I'm always on the hunt for great things moms and kids can do together to serve and show generosity. I know it's hard thing to balance with little ones.

As I come across any, or think things up over the next several weeks leading into the Holidays, I'll post them. (Of course, these would be great to do with the whole family, but if you are a stay-at-home mom and would like to create some great experiences with your children during the day, here are some thoughts.)

For now, here are a couple:

1) Pack a box together for Operation Christmas Child.
It's super easy, and a really fun way to start the season off.
The experience can even start with the shopping. Be on the lookout while you are out and about for small gifts and items to fill the box with. Every time you pick something up it's an opportunity to talk about why you are loving these children half way around the world that you don't even know.

2) Throw an Operation Christmas Child Packing Party!
Caedmon and I are having one in late November and have invited a small group of moms and kids that we've recently met (but anyone is welcome!). Alert your invitees early so they can be collecting items.
We are so excited! (Ok, let's be honest, Caedmon has no idea about it, and will remain clueless even after the fact, but it's about creating a pattern of giving in our family no matter what the ages.)

If you have other creative ideas on serving and loving others during the Christmas season let me know!

We've talked about Advent Conspiracy the last couple of years. Here's their video from last year. The new one from this year is not yet posted but we will share once it is!