Like so many others, Christmas is our favorite time of year. There is something so magical about it and I just love the holiday spirit so much! I want my little boy to grow up knowing the true meaning of Christmas. That it's not just about a crazy amount of presents under the tree and "getting" too much stuff, but about "giving". I think when you really understand that, it brings so much more joy to the season.
Now that Parker is three, I think he is actually really able to grasp this concept. In November we attended Toys for Tots in Abbotsford (which Parker attends with me every year). But this year was different. The night before we were going, we were talking about the toys we were bringing for the kids and he started to cry. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he wanted to bring MORE toys so that every little boy and girl had something to open on Christmas morning. Well of course my heart melted. And right then I knew he "got it" and it was time to start doing more.
So this year we're super excited to add a few more holiday traditions to our list. The Giving Manger and our new Advent Calendar, full of ideas to spread love and kindness and make memories together! The Giving Manger is a family Christmas tradition that focuses on the real meaning of Christmas. It promotes giving back and spreading love. It's such a simple, beautiful idea and I absolutely love everything about it. You can head to www.thegivingmanger.com to find out even more about this beautiful tradition and purchase a Giving Manger for your family.
"The Giving Manger helps families shift the focus of Christmas back to giving. A piece of straw is placed in the manger for each kind deed or act of service performed. On Christmas Day, the Baby is placed in the manger filled with service and love. As your family works together to give gifts of service you will find your hearts and home filled with more joy during the holiday season than ever before."~ The Giving Manger
Along with our Giving Manger, I've created an Advent Calendar to help encourage the joy of the season. Some days are services and things we can do to help out others, and some days are just fun little ideas to enjoy the season and make memories together as a family.
Advent Calendar Ideas
1. Let's bake cookies and share them with our neighbours.
2. Drop off some warm clothes in a donation box.
3. Today we ride the Polar Express! We'll spread some love on our way there.
4. Bring treats to your teachers and thank them for all their hard work.
5. Buy coffee for a stranger... and have a Christmas music dance party after!
6. Draw a Christmas picture for a friend and tell them why they are important to you.
7. Family Christmas movie night!
8. Collect warm blankets to donate and we'll drive around and look at all the pretty lights.
9. Let's go to the mountain & play in the snow!
10. Buy a goat! www.bestgiftever.ca
I bought the Advent Calendar from www.target.com & just wrote notes on little pieces of paper (actually gift tags from www.michaels.com ). Then I also stuck a little "candy" treat in each pouch as well. These are just a few of our ideas... I'd love to hear yours! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas full of love and amazing memories!