Sunday, December 11, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas, with a Twist

From December 2011
(This picture has nothing to do with anything. Just more proof of Ezra's insane destructive power!)

I've been mulling over my Christmas spirit these past days.

You see, I don't feel Grinchy, or Scoogy.

I don't feel quite on the Buddy the Elf level either.

I'm sort of...happy but uncomfortable. The season has just begun, and I'm glad I have time to sort of ease into it all. My decor is ated, my cookies have been begun baking, "The Polar Express" station is cranked, and our Advent is off with a bang.

And I'm settled in a place of discomfort.

We as a DerekandMorgan are trying to avoid commercialism as much as possible this year. This translates to few gifts and at this point, none purchased from "Big Box Stores."

But does buying gifts from somewhere other than Walmart assure the spirit of Christmas is alive and well  in our home?

No. It does guarantee that the Ghost of Walmart Christmas Past is kept away this year, but that's all,. Besides, where else will I get stocking stuffers?

So, we adopted a Senior off the Angel Tree. Her name is Nancy and she's 82. Goodness I love her. I don't know her at all. And I never will. But I love her. On her Christmas list this year: a wall calendar, barrettes, shampoo, lotion and perfume.

Do you see why I love her?

That helped break me out of my Christmas-Spirit-Discomfort, but no. I'm not *there* yet. I'm not spreading Christmas cheer yet.

This year has been HARD. Wonderful, fulfilling, challenging, beautiful and hard.

And I've been selfish, sort of wrapped up in "My life is this" and "My life is that," and all I can conclude is that I gotta give more than receive.

God has blessed me and children and my husband immeasurably in the last year. Truly my cup overflows with the bounty we've received.

And it's not even remotely financial in it's goodness. Meaning, I want to give, but we got NOTHIN' to give.

Instead, we've got Nancy, our angel, and we've got some time between now and Christmas.

Thus the 12 Days of Service was born.

We (as a family) will be spending the days from December 13th to December 24th engaging in some act of service every single day.

No, these are not projects that take all day, and again, with finances being so very tight, we're looking at non-costly options.

Here are the things we'll be doing (one each day):

Ding Dong Ditch an elder neighbor with a basket of goodies
Leave a Christmas greeting card on a stranger's windshield
Grab your change jar and hit as many Salvation Army buckets as you can find around town
Have your kids each pick something from the toy box to donate on Freecycle or Craigslist.
Make cookies for your garbage man.
Clean up the trash on our street (there really isn't much, but we're gonna do it anyway)
Invite a friend (or friends) over to give their mom a few free hours
Everywhere we go today, hold the door for people
Pay for some of someone's stuff behind you in line.
Make cookies for the fire station near your house
Write letters to your great grandparents
Send a Christmas card to a solider
Donate some canned food to a food drive

So, we'll put all the ideas in a jar, and each day pull one out. We'll talk about how this is helping us to remember Jesus and that at Christmas, service is a good way to share Christ's love for people.

I'm not sure I can convey to you HOW excited I am about this idea. My children love to help people and serve, and so to give them a little guidance will help them really get into it. Oh it's going to be so fun.

So, there ya go, our 12 Days of Service.

Help yourself should you want to get in on the action. Please see the Random Acts of Kindness website for ideas.


The Wolford Family said...

I love you so much!! Thank you for being such a good example!!

Jae said...

Because I'm completely emotionally unhinged, just reading your nancy's wish list made me cry. What simple stuff to be happy.

Kara said...

I've seen this idea, and I totally love it. I think I might have to throw that together today and we can talk about it for FHE tonight and do it. I love the simplicity of it, but the great effect it can have on everyone in the family. Thanks Morgan!!

Lori said...

Further proof that you are one of the best eggs around Morgan Hagey!! I seriously adore you ... this is lovely, and brilliant, and so, so, so good! And I have tears in my eyes right now and I want to hug you (or Nancy) ... more you though. Much love to your sweet family during this holiday season.

Anonymous said...

I just love your idea! I wish you guys good luck, and I hope you brighten the lives and days of all that you share this with. I look forward to reading about how it goes!

Matt and Carolyn said...

I love this idea. We, like you, have tight limited funds this year, but this is a great idea! Love your blog, love you morgan!

Jen said...

Love those ideas! You are awesome! Hmmm...I'm a day behind (but we did bring canned food to donate at the zoo last night), but maybe I can still try to do this.

Thanks for sharing!


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