Do you understand by one simple gesture, one kind act, one remark, one genuine “thanks” … your family can change your neighborhood? In fact, your family can change a community. There's an army of moms around the world that lock arms during Christmas to say: let’s focus on GIVING, not GETTING! Let’s teach our kids through experiences vs lectures.
The program is Light 'em Up and they support the Art of Neighboring and it's gone viral! Once you start you can't stop. You continue to serve and love your neighbors in amazing ways. You'll show your kids just how GOOD it feels to give and a way to shine God's love into your community.
I've been reading Courtney DeFeo from This Little Light of Mine blog and am so encouraged by the resource and advise she freely shares with everyone to teach our kids in the way they should go to be a light of the world. She's author of In This House We Will Giggle.. I can't wait to read it too!
Get those little hearts engaged. Let them help you with the planning. Let them brainstorm and make their list. Give God a chance to move in their hearts. Help them have the courage to follow through on their ideas.
Top Light ‘Em Up Ideas To Try
1. Love Your Garbage CollectorsHere are kids from Raleigh to Orlando making it happen. They made posters and gift cards along with donuts and coffee for them to enjoy... anything works!
Kids will love this sneaky adventure. Just put $1.08 (so tax is included) in a baggie with the “surprise” gift tag and tape them all through the dollar store. Can you imagine finding free money as a child? Or even a struggling adult that could use a break? When one family was doing this they met a homeless woman in the parking lot as they left and of course was out of money – so they drove up to her and just told her “Ma’am – we just hid dollars all through that store.” And she lit up to go find some treasures. The point is often not the others – it’s how he works in us and our kids.
2. Hide Dollars With Love
3. Dazzle the Mall with Candy Canes and LoveStroll through any mall and be a candy-cane-giving-machine. Hand them out with gift tags attached. And simply said “thanks” to anyone working the week before Christmas. From security guards to makeup artists. Be prepared for tears and hugs. “No one has ever thanked us.” The kids may be shy at first but soon they'll RUN to find the next person. Your heart will melt.. and don't forget to love up on Santa too!
4. When a Tradition Meets Your PassionsFind a way to merge your passions with a tradition. Could be you enjoy caroling so why not arrange with an assisted living home in your neighborhood and plan a visit! It can be so simple. This sweet family is helping out the salvation army with the bell ringing!
5. Pay It Backwards (or Forwards)!Did you hear about the family that paid for a Starbucks customer behind them in the drive through window line? She went back in the next day and the employee let her know that her kindness rippled on – it went on for 40 cars!!! People kept paying it back and paying it back – or forwards! Incredible. In Tampa is summer – it went almost 400 cars.
Don’t forget to DITCH the guilt! No guilt mommas!
If you get to one – that is enough.
If you do it every day – that is great too.
Don’t compare. Let God and your kids guide this –
so it is a rich experience for all.