A New Christmas Tradition For Your Family
Last year, my family and I started a new tradition. We called it giving Friday. To be completely honest, I have no idea the date of said giving Friday, but I do remember exactly what we did on this day.
We set out to fill shoe boxes for Samaritans purse so we could send them off filled to the top to kids who otherwise would not get gifts for Christmas. Then, we filled stockings for a local family who just needed a little help so they could also enjoy the Christmas holiday. We also visited one of our tenants to let them know that they would not have to pay rent for the month of December, a tradition we started a couple years ago that we still do to this day. We pick one of our tenants and we let them know that they don’t have to pay rent for December.
I remember the first year we did this, unknowingly, our tenant had just lost her job. They had been praying for a new job for her and when we knocked on their door to give them a gift for their anniversary and the card letting them know that they didn’t have to pay rent for that month, she broke down in tears. We had no idea this had just happened. Her husband said “See, I told you God would provide.” Greg and I left in tears that day.
The Sparkle Box
Last year, we also decided to start another new tradition and this one is based on a book that a friend of mine wrote. It is called The Sparkle Box.
If you have ever struggled with the thought of making sure your kids know what Christmas is all about, this book will help you with that. This is a tradition that Jill has done in her family for years. I remember her speaking on stage about the book a few years back and I remember her saying that this tradition has changed the way she and her family do Christmas.
In a nutshell, you create a Sparkle Box (which is available in the book if you buy it) and during the holiday season, you go out and do the good deeds that Jesus would do and you write those good deeds down.
Then, you place those the pieces of paper with the good deeds written on them in the Sparkle Box and open it on Christmas morning to remember Jesus. It is a gift to Jesus on His birthday with the acts of kindness that He would want us to spread.
It was so amazing to see how excited our kids got about it and how proud they were of the good deeds they had done. I want my kids to enjoy Christmas like I did as a kid, but I want them to also know what it feels like to give back during the holiday season. I want them to know that serving others is a gift too.
If you have not heard of The Sparkle Box and you are interested in reading it, you can actually read it for free now until December 31st. If you are interested in purchasing the book, creating your own Sparkle Box and starting the tradition, you can grab a copy of the book here.
I shared the book with my sisters this past weekend and on Thanksgiving, we will be talking about what we all can do to put in The Sparkle Box this year. If you are are hosting Thanksgiving this year, it would be a great time to talk about new Christmas traditions with your family. Since we have already done The Sparkle Box, we are participating in The Sparkle Box Challenge this year. You can learn more about that here. And if you take part in the challenge tag me and use #thesparkleboxchallenge. I would love to see all the good we can do this Christmas season!
What You Can Do To Give Back
If this is a new tradition for you, it does not have to be hard. I promise this is easy. Here are a few ideas of ways to give back this holiday season:
Give some canned goods to a food pantry.
Donate coats you don’t need to a homeless shelter.
Donate your time to a local nonprofit.
Check with your church for any holiday initiative they have going on.
Bake cookies for a friend.
Make cards for nursing home residents.
Give a little gift to your child’s teacher with a note of thanks for all they do.
Give a thank you note to your mail person.
Volunteer to help a friend.
Make a meal for someone who has just undergone surgery.
There are a variety of ways to help out and I think that just showing love and kindness to others is what Jesus would appreciate on his birthday.
We got our Samaritans purse boxes and filled them last night because they are due at our church next week. We are already talking about other things we can do to add to The Sparkle Box.
What Christmas traditions do you have?