DSC05873I don’t know about you, but we are always struggling with a balance of giving/doing fun things to/with our son, while instilling the idea of thankfulness and downplaying materialism.  It’s hard, because we love to see the excitement on their little faces!  Of course, we, as parents, love to make our kids happy.

But, lately, we’ve noticed a shallow and temporary excitement in our son.  The whole “you’re never satisfied and always want more” line has been discussed with him more than a couple of times in the past few weeks.

So….this year, instead of doing our regular advent calendar, where he opens the door and receives a treat each day, we are starting something a little different.  We are doing a giving and receiving advent calendar.  We are alternating the giving and the receiving each day.  The first day will include a note explaining the idea and will give the special act of kindness we will do that day.  The next day will be a special treat (I buy a small Lego set and divide the pieces among each day, so that he adds a little to the creation until the 24th, when it’s finished!).  Maybe I’m still too much of a guppy, but I do want him to have a little treat each day.

I’m so excited to, hopefully, encourage the spirit of giving (more than receiving) this Christmas!

Here are the ideas we have this year:

Dec. 1st – This is the first day of December!  Everyday you will open a door, but this year will be a little different than last year.  Some days you will receive a treat, but other days you will get to go and do something for others!  Just think how excited and surprised people will be in our town, when we give them something to show how much we appreciate them!

Tonight will be the first act of kindness! Tonight, after church, when we go through the drive thru at McDonald’s and pay, we will also pay for the person’s order behind us!

Dec. 3rd – This morning we will bring Mrs. Bundy (Carson’s Kindergarten teacher) coffee and a muffin to help her start her day off better!

Dec. 5th – We will hang candy canes in all of your class mates cubbies!  Shh, don’t tell!  It will be fun to watch their faces and wonder where the candy canes came from!

Dec. 7th – Today, we will bake cookies and bring them to the ladies who work in the Children’s Department at the Library, to tell them thank you for being kind and friendly when we come to look for books.

Dec. 9th – After school, we will take warm socks and cards to some lonely people at the nursing home.  We will ask if they can be given to someone who doesn’t have family to visit and take care of them.

Dec. 11th – After school, we will be sneaky!  We will take a few dollars to Dollar Tree and hide the dollars in the toy aisle for kids to find and then buy something!

Dec. 13th – Today, after school, we will go help get supplies ready for the kids at Food on Foot, where Mrs. Jett helps take care of the kids who don’t get food over the weekends!  We will help hand out the bags to the kids!!

Dec. 15th – This morning we will bring treats for your classmates in Sunday School. We will also bring the hand/foot scrub to Ms. Christie, Ms. Jill, and Ms. Jodi.

Dec. 17th – After school, we will take quarters and notes and tape them to the pop machines and game machines at Food City!!  People will get a free pop or a turn to play the games!

Dec. 19th – When Daddy picks you up, you will be getting donuts and surprising the guys at Bill Moore’s (a car mechanic who has helped us and my husband’s business out countless times)!!

Dec. 21st –Today we will write a note and put it in Mawmaw’s mailbox with some chocolate to surprise the mail carrier (since we will be in Indiana at this time)!

Dec. 23rd – We will surprise Mawmaw today with an early Christmas present, to tell her thank you for all she is doing to make Christmas special!