Most people who know me know that I’m a bit of a Valentine’s Day scrooge. I’ve never been a fan of the day. Maybe it stems from my many years as a boyfriend-less teen, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, even when not single, it’s just never been my cup of tea. However, being a mom changes you ever so slightly and I enjoy holidays, even the super commercialized ones, for them. After hearing about (and buying) the book, Sacred Holidays, I thought I’d give this holiday a bit more of a shot.
*This post was sponsored by Party City and the majority of the products that you see were supplied for use in planning this party.
I love celebrating holidays. Not necessarily in huge ways but I do enjoy heart shaped items for Valentine’s day, green colored things for St. Patrick’s day, pumpkins, and fireworks…you get the idea. That’s why I started my cookie tradition with Gav. I was able to take those little pieces that I love and turn them into a tradition. There are a few holidays, however, that I enjoy more than others. Christmas is pretty obvious, but I also really enjoy the Easter season.
It was late afternoon on Black Friday. We had had a wonderful holiday the night before filled with family, playing, and even a little “slapping whip cream in the facing”. As we came back in from an errand, there they were! Santa’s scout elves had arrived! But there was something different this year.
First of all, there were two elves instead of just one and each came with his very own scarf. One with a G and one with an R so we can tell them apart. Gav immediately knew which on was his. And they also had a note, tell the boys who they were and why they were here. The note read as such:
All story telling aside, I’m so excited about doing kindness elves this year! I’m really working on getting Gav into the spirit of giving rather than getting this year. He’s almost five (insert big crocodile mama tears) and he understands a lot more now. It’s a super hard lesson to teach as a parent, heck, it’s difficult as an adult sometimes but the reward to so amazing. I want my boys to experience that, the joy you get from seeing the joy in others. And speaking of JOY, that’s another Christian lesson my hubby and want to instill in our children. It’s the Christian order of giving/caring/loving/etc. Jesus, others, then yourself – J O Y.
This year, since it’s everyone’s first year doing this and I have two young children, we’re starting off small. However, I don’t want my boys to see it that way. I want them to see that even the smallest thing that they do, if it is for the wellbeing of someone else, they can have a big impact. A simple smile can even make someone feel a little less invisible.
Some of the kindness acts on our list include:
Drawing pictures for others (Gav loves to do this!)
Making blessing bags
Painting word rocks to leave at the park
and a few more!
I plan to do one a week, and then leave Gav a piece of candy or a note of encouragement the rest of the time. They are still elves after all!
What are your elves up to this Christmas season?
PS: These are $3.00 ornaments from Target with felt wrapped around like scarves.
Last year, during a small group, we talked about traditions. As I thought about it, I couldn’t think of anything that was specific to our family and that made me a little sad. It also made me determined to start at least one! We were then directed to think about them less as “traditions” and more of “we always…” statements. Then I got to thinking about what I could do that would be very specific to me and my boys. What will they remember years from now, tell their kids about, and possibly carry on.
So what I came up with was cookies. For every holiday, we make cookies in fun shapes, decorate them, and enjoy! It’s pretty ironic too since my mother never fails to recall this one story of when I was younger and I told her that I was going to be a “real mom” and make cookies for my kids. *facepalm* I mean, come on…I promise I wasn’t always that awful!
I finally found a recipe that I didn’t have to completely make from scratch and works so well. The first time I tried it, my ghosts turned out a little portly and my pumpkins looked like blobs. *facepalm #2* Then I didn’t do it for Thanksgiving or Christmas. *ugh…#3* Anyway, once I got my hands on this glorious Betty Crocker mix (with a specific recipe for cutout cookies), I want to make them all the time! They’re super easy to make and a big hit with Gav. I definitely look forward to when Ro can join in and all of the cookies and memories we’ll make over the years!