We are thrilled to share our latest guest blog post from Charlie over at Living Tickled. She is a mom of 2 little ones, a wife of 1, and athletic trainer. She is a lover of baking, running (in that order), laughing, Gifs, God, new adventures, being outside, and spending time with family and friends, and is just trying to navigate through life with a little happiness and positivity. A soldier in the fight against anxiety and depression, she is a believer that we can create better lives through self-love, life purpose, organized chaos, and a positive mindset. She started her blog to empower mothers to create happy, positive, and more fulfilling lives, battle their depression and anxiety, and remove some of the negative stigma surrounding mental health.
We are so appreciative that this beautiful soul decided to share her favorite holiday service-based tradition with Little Hands Can. Thank you, Charlie!
Simple Service: Light the World
by Charlie Alexander
I’m so excited that I get to write this service post at Christmas!
I love Christmas time!
I love presents, decorating, lights, eating too much holiday food and NOT feeling guilty for it (okay maybe a little guilty, but what are New Year’s resolutions for?).
Most of all….I love the feeling of love and giving in the air.
People are kinder, friendlier and more forgiving. They try to put others first. It’s a great feeling!
One of our recent family traditions is to participate in the #LighttheWorld campaign.
What is Light the World?
Light the world is a campaign that promotes love and service around the world for Christmas. You can read more about it here.
I love it because it’s a handy dandy Christmas calendar that gives ideas on how to serve others, so you can make the most out of each Christmas season. It is also accompanied with scriptures and videos. It’s very uplifting. Following the suggestions in this calendar makes it easy to feel like I’m truly contributing to the Christmas spirit in the air.
Here is this year’s calendar. It changes every year but it always starts on December 1st and ends at the new year. This year the tasks are presented in a weekly format.
Last year’s calendar included daily goals/tasks such as “do an act of service in your immediate family” and “volunteer at your local community center”.
Last year was the first year that I felt like my daughter really appreciated the idea of Christmas. She was excited for presents! She understood who Santa was and actually wanted to sit on his lap instead of run away! So I felt that last year was a good time to start a tradition of serving for Christmas, so I could teach her the true meaning of Christmas.
So we took the #LighttheWorld challenge to heart last year. We missed a few days here and there, but for the most part, we completed the daily tasks. It was fun, my daughter looked forward to each day and each new activity, and I think she learned a lot about sharing love and feeling the joy it brings. (I hope she did)
We have just started this year, so we haven’t done much yet, but I would love to share with you some of my favorite memories from last year!
Light The World Campaign 2017
One day we called a few of our local women’s shelters to find out which donations they needed most. My little girl was able to help pick out and deliver the items to the women’s shelter. This is a great service because you can learn about your local women’s services and be aware of their needs. They are always in need so you can provide assistance year-round.
Another day we made cookies and took them to some of our friends and people we wanted to thank for being in our lives. We appreciated all they had done for us. My little girl loves baking with me so she loved this! I let her pick some of the people she wanted to deliver to and I was surprised by some of the people she had noticed and wanted to thank.
We also wrote letters and drew pictures to give to our grandparents. We so often forget to appreciate our loved ones and I could tell that we were all uplifted by this activity.
One of my favorite days was taking toys to the children’s hospital. I explained to my daughter that we needed to take toys to children who weren’t able to be home with their families for Christmas because they were so sick. She enjoyed picking them out and then on the drive over kept saying how much they would like what she picked. She was disappointed when she found out that we couldn’t physically hand them the toys. I hope we can do that one day because I think she would love to see their faces light up.
Some of the other days included:
Call a friend
Donate to a charity
Invite a friend over for dinner
Share something positive on Social Media
What I like most about #LighttheWorld is that you don’t have to spend any money to do it. There are so many options that don’t require you to buy anything.
Last year my husband and I decided to lower our present budget and set aside that money in order to help others around Christmas, and it wasn’t even that big of a budget, maybe $50. So if you have just $50, it can go a long way to buy some toys for children, some donations for local shelters, or Christmas cookies to give away.
You don’t have to do it all to make a big difference.
“Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big that we fail to notice all the little things that give life its magic.” –Angel Chernoff
#LighttheWorld is now our family tradition that I look forward to every year. I hope as my kids get older they will feel that special feeling that comes when you give service to others. I felt so much Christmas joy as we completed each task and I bet you will too!
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