Monday, December 10, 2012

the 12 days of [simplifying] Christmas: service

I've shared our neighborhood service project before. It's one of our family's favorite activities and in my opinion, one of the greatest ideas and ways to simplify. This year, one of the scouts in our ward, John Fluhman, is taking over the event as his Eagle Project. Isn't that a great idea? He's donating everything to the Santa's Workshop and Crisis Nursery at the Family Support and Treatment Center.

Service is a large part of our lives and a value we most definitely want to instill in our children. Our bigs got it. Our little (Ella), is struggling this year. I know a large part of it is her age. She wants everything to be "fair", and it's not fair if someone else gets something she wants. So she chooses toys she doesn't like. What a little snot you are! Not exactly the attitude I was looking for. :) But she'll get it--eventually.

So we changed things up a bit. I helped Ella choose the toys we'll donate and she can take them to FSTC to give to Eric, the Santa's Workshop Coordinator (who she adores!).

Last year, after an afternoon of sledding, we headed to the grocery store and let Ella choose all her favorite foods to give to a little girl whose family needed help buying groceries. She loved it, and was excited to choose each item.

Her list included these non-perishable items:
Ritz crackers
Juicy Juice drink boxes
peanut butter
Simple Fruit spread
canned pears
Grape Nuts
Spaghetti Sauce and noodles
Skittles. Yep, every little girls needs Skittles. :)

It was a very simple family activity that builds awareness of others needs and sends a powerful message that this is what we do--help others when we are blessed and when we can. We're doing it again this afternoon. Service doesn't always have to mean planning a big event or outing. All those small and simple things add up in the lives of others.

12 Days of Christmas Family-Style
I watch Studio 5 while on my treadmill in the morning. Mandy Douglass was on recently and shared a "12 Days of Christmas" service idea. Each year, she and her siblings and their families, put together the makings for a 12 days activity. Then each family goes home and chooses their special recipient. It's their Christmas gift to each other. I love it. You can watch the segment here.

Happy Holidays!  


  1. I had to pop over and say your little red head cutie reminded me of an elf! So adorable - I also had to comment on your crossed out sentenced! I laughed out load! Thanks for the smile~

    1. Hahaha! She does look like an elf! And yes, she is a snot. I cannot lie! :) Thanks for popping over, Vicki.

  2. I love this! Such a great way to include the kids in the spirit of giving! You are amazing!