Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Fun and My Giving Update

I can't say I was a complete success with the 30 Day Giving Challenge.  I had fun trying to come up with new ways to give and it pushed me to do some things I may have normally claimed were "too much work."

I managed a "Ring and Run" (actually a Ding and Drive) with an anonymous gift; I made cards for Operation Write Home and proceeded to use the cards to give to others; I left a treat for our mailman which he must not have realized was for him and left it there; and other miscellaneous things to help out neighbors and family that had more or less success.

About halfway through the month I slacked off.  "Recording" my giving started to feel pointless as I realized a lot of what I was doing was stuff that I would normally be doing anyway.  But what I took from it was not the benefit of "giving" for 30 days straight, but some encouragement to occasionally go above and beyond what I normally do, even if it's out of my comfort zone.  (I must say it's kind of uncomfortable ringing a doorbell and rushing to your car, trying not to look suspicious, but not knowing what you'll do if they come to the door before you can get away.)

On to Christmas!

I've been wanting a Christmas tradition that would add some fun, but couldn't quite describe what I wanted.  Stockings on Christmas Eve; Christmas breakfast and presents together as a family before church and the busyness of the day; it's some nice time together as a family but it still wasn't quite what I was hoping for.  But I didn't know what I was hoping for.

And then I discovered/thought of/combined from a million sources a form of an advent calendar combined with a Christmas countdown.  But I didn't want candy or trinkets.

So we have 25 days of activities for our family to do.  And it fits perfectly with what I was hoping to accomplish.  A tradition that makes this a season of fun and giving and not just a whole lot of commercial hoopla over one day of "gimme gimme" gift receiving.

I made bottle cap magnets with the numbers 1-25, cut out squares of Christmas paper (that I had to print from my digital supplies), and wrote our activities on the back.  My original plan was to use a cookie sheet since our fridge isn't magnetic.  Unfortunately my pans are airbake and also not magnetic, there weren't any at the second hand store when I looked, and I didn't feel like buying a magnetic board right now.  So I used my mini muffin tin, flipped it over and stuck them to the back.  Although I may need to clear if off or change one of my baking items I had planned for Christmas...

I explained the calendar to Henry yesterday and he went, "Oh, yaay!" and clapped.  I'm not sure he completely understands what we're doing as he's responded this way to random things throughout the past few weeks, but I know he'll enjoy it.  And I'm excited too, especially since I usually put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and this year I've had to wait!

Anyway, check back as I'm excited about this and will be posting regular updates on our activities.  Not sure I'll post each day, but I'll do at least a summary each week.


Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

What a really neat "giving" idea! Traditions are great and I love your creativity in beginning new ones.