Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Family Challenge!!!!! How do you count down???

I absolutely love Christmas time! I love the smells, the decorations, the excitement, but I think my favorite part is the added love and happiness that seems to accompany the season. This year I have been trying to come up with fun ways to spread the true meaning of Christmas to and through my family. As I've been looking, I've ran across a ton of ideas about how to count down to Christmas that are so much fun . What I love about these is that they are not just candy or toys, they are experiences that will actually enrich and build your family, PLUS make awesome family memories. Some of the ways to count down to Christmas that I've found are these... "25 Acts of Kindness Until Christmas." I love this! What a perfect way to spread Christmas cheer and remind your family what Christmas is really all about. Here are some kind act ideas:
  • Bake something yummy and surprise someone with it.
  • Bring a present and a kind note to your teacher.
  • Visit a widow and sing her Christmas songs with your family. (Make sure to let her tell you some of her favorite Christmas memories.)
  • Bag groceries for another customer at the store.
  • Take a few minutes to open and hold the door for people at a restaurant, office, or store.
  • Buy lunch for the car behind you at the drive-through.
  • Leave a note and a treat in the mailbox for the mailman.
  • Hand out a note and a balloon to kids that you see.
  • Tape quarters to bubblegum machines. (How fun to watch this one from around a corner. :)
  • Call or write letters to family members just to say you love them.
  • Take clothes to a homeless shelter.
  • Set up a free hot cocoa stand.
  • Bake cookies for the local police or fire station.
  • Give a candy cane to your cashier and bagger at the grocery store.
  • Clean up an elderly persons yard.
  • Go to an assisted living facility and sing Christmas carols. (I have done this and the residents always LOVE it!)
  • (More great ideas can be found at Lil' Light O Mine Blog.)
The next idea I found was to do "12 Days of Christmas for your Hubby". I know this is only one person in your family but I am a firm believer that strengthening your marriage affects everyone in your family! Each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas you do something for your hubby that corresponds with the number of that day. So for my husband, I might do...
  1. One Clean Car
  2. A Candlelight Dinner for Two
  3. Three Ironed Dress Shirts
  4. Four Back Massages
  5. Five Peanut Butter Cookies
And you can fill in the rest! I've also seen this idea done for another family, maybe one in your neighborhood that might not be having such an extravagant Christmas. Obviously you would have different gifts for them than you would your hubby, but I've done things like this with my family growing up and we always loved it! A few ideas for a "Family 12 Days of Christmas" are...
  1. One Christmas Movie
  2. Two Plates of Cookies
  3. Three Christmas Books/Poems
  4. Four Pairs of Christmas Socks
  5. Five Packets of Hot Chocolate (Complete with Marshmallows:))
  6. Six Homemade Ornaments for the Tree
I love all of the above ideas but my personal favorite advent calendar idea is the "Experiences Rather Than Things, Christmas Countdown." Here you write activities for you and your family to do together for the 25 days leading up to Christmas! I think we're going to do this, this year! Here are some of the experiences we'll be having:
  • Drive around and see the lights.
  • Watch a Christmas movie as a family.
  • Decorate gingerbread cookies.
  • Go to a nativity scene.
  • Unwrap a new book and read it together.
  • Write a letter to Santa.
  • Have a family game night.
  • Make gingerbread houses as a family.
  • Have hot cocoa and cookies with neighbors.
  • Read the Christmas story.
  • Make ornaments for the tree.
I am definitely going to include some of the acts of kindness ideas from the above list to my Christmas experiences for my family. I am so excited to make great memories and fill everyone with the Christmas spirit in the things we are doing!

So our Monthly Family Network Challenge in this season of all seasons is to create a new Christmas count down tradition for your family! It could be one of the ones we've suggested, or another one of your choosing, but please do share! We'd love to see what your family is doing to count down for Christmas!

Share your ideas by:
  1. Posting on our Facebook page.
  2. Leaving a comment right here on our blog.
  3. Or even better, linking up with a picture of your family doing some of your advent ideas!
What ever you choose to do, we here at the Family Network hope your holiday season starts off with lots of Christmas cheer!!!
True Aim Education
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