Today is my Monday and boy it feels like one. One technique I’ve been using, complements of a Life School podcast I heard, is to take three deep breaths and repeat “my family is safe and healthy.” It really does help center me when life gets frenetic. This gentle reminder is also my way of maintaining a sense of gratitude and thankfulness during, what can be, a stressful holiday season. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the to-do lists and forget not only to be thankful but also to serve others this holiday season.
That said, with the holidays quickly approaching I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach the importance of serving others to our three children. Maybe it’s a sign of getting older or a sign of simply having too much stuff, but I’ve heard “I want…” (fill in whatever toy commercial or latest gadget they saw) way too much. The gentle reminders that Santa will NOT bring an endless supply of toys to fill the “I want…” list isn’t resonating with my five and four year olds. Thanksgiving and Christmas is about far more than turkeys, elves, and Santa. Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’ve never met a Christmas tree I didn’t like, but the life lessons the holidays teach us don’t lie under a tree.
After looking at options for age appropriate activities to do with my kiddos, I’ve decided next week we’ll color holiday cards for Cards for Hospitalized Kids. If you haven’t heard of this charity, please go check it out. Sending fun decorated cards to children spending their holidays in the hospital is a wonderful way for even the youngest children to get involved. My kiddos are veracious colorers lately, and armed with markers and stickers they’ll go to it. These cards will brighten the day of its recipients and provide an opportunity to discuss serving others as a family. By the time the Thanksgiving break is over we should have a stack of cards to mail out in time for Christmas.
Photo credit: Cards for Hospitalized Kids
The inspiration for this idea came from Andrea at the Momfessionals blog. She’s a full-time teacher, blog writer, card designer, and busy mom of three kids. I’ve been reading her blog for awhile now, and today’s post on serving others hit home. Andrea went the extra mile and provided templates for the cards, too. See what I mean? She’s a rockstar!
Andrea inspired me with this idea, and I hope we can pay it forward. If you have kids or if you yourself like to color, then please consider making a card for kids this holiday season. Next week, when our cards are finished, I’ll show some of the masterpieces my kids (and me!) made. Thanks to Andrea for the inspiration!