"On the first day of Christmas" begins a refrain many are familiar with. Recently, I realized that this song actually goes against the very Spirit of Christmas. It's all about what the lover gave to the singer. What about the singer? What about me? Christmas is a time of year when we can practice looking "outward." In that spirit, here are some revised twelve days of Christmas that my children (ages 6, 4, 2) are doing to remember that it is better to give than to receive.
The Twelve Days of Christmas, service style!
1. Leave a positive note in a library book.
2. Deliver a plate of goodies.
3. Make Christmas cards.
4. Go caroling.
5. Make pictures for a nursing home or adopt a grandparent.
6. At home service (clean a room, help a sibling-something for a family member)
7. Donate old/gently used toys.
8. Participate in a Christmas program.
9. Deliver a present to a friend.
10. Pick up trash at a park.
11. Visit someone who is sick.
12. At home service.
If you've counted, you'll know that there are only ten days left until Christmas. Yes, we've already started at my house and I can tell you that my four year old has enjoyed doing the service the most. Her service extends far beyond the one task we plan out--she helps at home and on her own initiative. My six year old is in school, so he has not been able to participate in everything (and I started while he was at school). But he has enjoyed the "fruits" (treats we make for others) of our labors. And my two year old just loves being with us and doing what the "big kids" are doing. He is so proud of his efforts and it's fun to watch him have fun with us.