I love the Christmas season! The smells of cinnamon and cedar, the decorated homes so warm and inviting. I love how the spirit of giving comes out and is evident everywhere. It is such a beautiful time where people come together and reflect on the goodness of the season. But there is also so much commercialism, busyness, and crazy expectations that I can get caught up in too.
A few years ago I decided I wanted to find a way to be intentional about the things that mattered most to our family. I found that if we weren’t intentional it was easy to get caught up in being far too busy to enjoy things and spend way too much money buying things we don’t need. I searched Pinterest for ideas and found so many great ones but nothing exactly like what I wanted, (it may be out there but I didn’t find it then!) so I created something for my family!
Before I dive into the details, I want to say this- I created this for my family and I am sharing it because it has been a blessing for us. What works for us may not work of you, so if you read this and have any kind of guilt about what you are not doing, just stop! I have done that to myself so many times and it is not worth it. You loose too much feeling guilty and miss out on all the goodness that is right in front of you. And if you read to the end, you will see we don’t do this perfectly!
When we talked about what was most important to us in the Christmas season we decided it was Jesus, family, & giving. Each day there is something in our envelopes that reflect those things.
Inside each envelope there is a piece to the Christmas story. We read it, reflect on it and discuss what it means. I love hearing what my kids have to say about it and reading it in sections really helps us focus on each part! I found my free printable Christmas story here.
The second part of this, is focusing on family time. Each day we have a family fun activity. These are things we enjoy doing together. They range, anything from watching Christmas movies to looking at Christmas lights, minute to win it games, to decorating my Poppy’s Christmas tree for him.
And last but not least, we have an act of kindness each day. Some of these things don’t require us leaving the house, like mailing a hug to someone or writing letters to everyone inside our home telling them what they mean to us. These acts of kindness range in price too. Some of the things we do are take hot drinks to people working outside, leave an extra big tip, donate blankets, and shop for the angel tree.
When I plan our December and the count down, I look at all I know we have going on and I try to plan each days activities on that. I know we will go out to eat after church, so I plan to leave a big tip on a Sunday. Our church does a gingerbread house competition so I made sure that I made that our family fun activity that day. Although when I plan it I don’t know everything that will come up so we are flexible with it.
Our kids get so excited to open the envelope and see what we are doing that day. They love the surprise!
We go into this knowing we will not fulfill each act of kindness and every family activity. We set the expectations for this up front, letting the kids know that we will not be perfect in this. Some days we end up doubling up on acts of kindness because we missed the day before and sometimes we just don’t do it at all. The last thing I want to do is add unneeded stress to a busy season, so we do our best and don’t worry too much if we miss it.
I know that this is not for everyone but if you want to know more, feel free to ask! This is something you can modify to meet your families needs/desires/schedules.
Let the count down begin- 24 days until CHRISTMAS! We are excited to celebrate the birth of Jesus! Merry Christmas!