Celebrating Christmas 25 Ways

The holidays are a busy time of year for me. I’ve written posts about that in the past, and this year will be no different. We have a whole slew of traditions to follow through on, decorations to put up, and lifelong memories to make. (No pressure, right?) So I would have to be really imbalanced to want to add a monthlong routine to the mix.

And yet that’s exactly what I’m going to try to do.

The Mormon church did something like this last year, and they’re bringing it back this year. A campaign for Christmas, where they’re encouraging people to take time each day (from today until the 25th) to think about giving and doing service for others. It’s called the #LightTheWorld campaign, and they’ve got handy calendars that help you get ideas for each day.

Up today? “Freely ye have received, freely give.”

To act as a hook for the concept, the church did a bit of a social experiment last year, setting up two vending machines outside its temple in Manhattan. One was your typical “buy stuff from a vending machine” rig. The other allowed you to buy stuff for other people. Donate clean drinking water to a village, or a goat to someone on another continent. And the one that let you donate to others became way more popular than the standard setup. Here’s the video, which I really enjoyed:

Honestly, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to stay on top of it. I like the program in theory, but I know how easy it is for me to get swamped with things that have to get done this time of year. So I’m committing to do at least this much: have a conversation about the topic each day with my kids. Discuss it over dinner. Maybe read the scripture that inspired the theme, and talk about how we do as a family living up to that principle. If I can incorporate an activity into the mix, so much the better.

Why do I want to do this? Because I think it’s important to get outside myself. Because when I take the time to do things for other people, I’m a happier person myself. And because as much as I love the season of Christmas, I know I have a tendency to get bogged down in the commercial side of it. I would love to do a better job avoiding this, and I hope this idea helps.

Wish me luck.

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