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Christmas time is beautiful. Especially because it has this ability to bring people together, to help us heal, and to remind us of the important things in life like faith, family, and charity. This year, it seems that the healing is especially needed and I’m grateful to be participating in an iniative that does just that: to “Light the World” with love and service through the example of Jesus Christ.
One of the things that can be hard as a parent is to teach children to service. It often is taught through our example but there are other ways too. We decided this year, instead of doing our normal letters to Santa full of “I want this toy”, we would turn the tables around and have our kids think about what they could give instead of receive.
Our kids are 4 and 7, the perfect age to start thinking about service. I created a letter template for them to use and we will be filling it out as a special family activity this week before they see Santa over the weekend.
The plan is to have the letters filled out, sealed, and have our kids tell Santa what they want to give instead of asking him for what they want. Every family handles the “Santa Claus” thing differently, but we told our boys that Santa already knows what they want but he really wants to hear about how they plan to help him make Christmas special this year.
When they ask about who Santa is, we have always explained that he represents the spirit of giving, the way Jesus Christ gave and still gives to us today. And that, just as Santa makes children happy, they can do the same thing through their own acts of service, no matter how big or small.
I hope you continue to follow along as people around the world share their ideas and thoughts about Christmas, using the hashtag #LightTheWorld. You could use this calendar when writing your letters to come up with ways to serve and give over the holidays. I have more ideas to come in the next few days too that are helping our family and will hopefully help yours too!
December 1 is the Worldwide Day of Service! The perfect way to kick off the season.
Find all of the themes and an advent calendar here. Every day from December 1-25, a new theme is available having to do with acts of the Savior. There are ideas and ways that you can incorporate those attributes into your own family for the holidays.
Another idea that ties in perfectly with this Santa Letter is this Family Service Kit from Collette at The Computer Is My Canvas. It’s an idea that brings the entire family on board! In fact, after your kids write their letters to Santa, you can have them write down their ideas on the service jars that are included in the kit.
The kit includes paper strips that everyone in the family can use to write down service ideas. When they are complete, drop them in the service jar (also included in the printable, a tag for the jar!), as well as lists of ideas to do in all areas of life. At the end of the month, the jar should be filled with acts of service perfromed by all members in your family. You could also have a jar for each indivdual. I love the quote that is included too. It would make a great neighbor gift! You can find more great ideas at The Red Headed Hostess too.
Grab your Santa “I Will Give Letter” below!