I am always looking for ways to not just tell my kids about giving to others but actually doing it. This was a perfect way to tangible make that happen.
I have a range of ages of kiddos but this seemed to fit a variety of ages and personalities. The basic idea behind “Light ‘Em Up” is to do some simple random acts of kindness to a variety of people in your community. I explained it to my kids by saying when you do something nice for someone you will see their face or heart “light up”. We also talked about how Jesus is the light and we are trying to share His light with others.
Here are the steps I took to make this happen in our family.
1. Take the No Guilt Pledge
Light ‘Em Up 2013: No Guilt Pledge
1. I am a mom with mouths to feed, etc. – this isn’t the #1 priority
2. I have other Christmas traditions that are good and worthy
3. If I don’t implement this, I am still a great mom
4. If I try this only on one day, I am still a great mom
5. If I see a mom that goes big with this, I can celebrate her and not
6. I do not have to plan every detail, I can leave room for what might just
happen if our hearts are open to the needs around us.
7. No matter my budget or ounce of craftiness, I am open to see how this
might work – my family, our way.
And, then you realize. It’s the purpose of life.
And we have all year.
And our whole lives.
Let your light shine. Matthew 5:16
Please don’t add this to your plate if it is too much. What I love is that you can do how ever many things that you want to do.
2. Make a Family Plan
Talk together as a family about why it is important to give to others this Christmas season. We sat down two different times to look over the list of 100 ideas from Courtney’s Light Em Up ideas.
I asked the kids to let me know if it was an idea they wanted to do. It was fun to see who was attracted to different acts of kindness. To be totally honest my kids were not completely engaged the whole time.
I have to remember that I am modeling for them the idea of giving to others. It doesn’t come naturally to put others first.
So don’t think it was all sweet with Christmas music in the background as my selfless kiddos joyfully were excited to give to others. Just keeping it real.
3. Narrow down your list
We decided as a family to try to do 12-15 ideas from our brainstorming session. I looked at the list and narrowed them down.
I needed to be realistic about what we would actually do. I then made a list on our chalkboard in the kitchen with the ideas. I LOVE this! It really helps me to have them in my sight every day.
As we do them I mark them off. Last year we didn’t get to all of them. That is ok!
4. Get supplies
Decide on your budget as a family. There are plenty of ways to Light Em Up without spending lots of money.
I headed to the store to get Gatorade (for gardeners), OJ and donuts (for the trash guys), gift bags and a few gift cards.
It is really helpful to have your supplies ready so you can be ready to hand treats out when you are out doing shopping. I also had my kids make some poster cards with “Thank You” written across them. These were given to many different people.
5. Share, share, share
It has been really fun to share my experience with others.
I would love for you to comment below and tell me your stories or tag me on Facebook with your cute pictures. I am hoping to post here our family’s experience this year too.
Check back and follow our adventures. It is my hope that we help each other out as we spread the love of Jesus this Christmas season by teaching our kiddos to think of others first.
So excited to see what God has in store this Christmas season as we Light ‘Em Up.