Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Kindness Challenge

Every year when Christmas comes around I am always asking myself how I can teach my kids a more Christ centered Christmas.

This year I want to help them and myself to understand the true meaning of Christmas and the real magic of it all. Sometimes I worry so much about teaching them and making sure they are doing what they need to be.  But am I?  I want to lead by example, like the Savior did for me.

Christmas is such a magical time of year.  It can be a busy time of year though.  And in that busyness, do we sometimes forget what we are celebrating.

In my thoughts as I have been thinking about how I need to remember the simple joys of Christ's birth and not get caught up in the pressures.  I decided to make this challenge.

President Thomas S. Monson said, "Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior. Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. We feel more kindly one to another. We reach out in love to help those less fortunate. Our hearts are softened. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ."

What was something that I could give the Savior for celebrating his birth.  I want to give back.  I want to live through his example.  What could I give?

Christina Rossetti said,
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.

So here is my challenge to myself and to all of you.

1. Contact 5 people that you have not talked to in a while.  We all have that someone that comes to mind during the rest of the year.  Sometimes we think about them and just don't let them know they were in our thoughts.  What more perfect time than to let them know they are in your thoughts and prayers than now.  Lift their hearts, find out how they are doing, give a helping hand.
Ideas - 
 Send them a private message on social media
write them a good old fashioned letter
Make someone dinner
Drop off a Christmas treat
Give them a Christmas book
Give them a hug 
2. Do 5 random acts of kindness for a stranger.  Sometimes it is easier to do something nice for a stranger.  I don't know why this is, but everyone needs something to uplift their day.
Ideas - 
Donate to a charity
Give a candy cane to the clerk at the store
Pay for the person behind you at the smoothie or coffee shop
Make sure they know you see them, Say hello, give a smile!
Leave an extra tip or just a special note for your server.
Buy a gift for a child in need.
Give an coat or boots you are not using to someone who could greatly use them.

3. I know that both number 1 and number 2 can't be done right away.  It may take a week or two to get both 5 kindness tasks done.  So instead of waiting until you are done.  Let's make sure this challenge gets to as many people as we can before Christmas.  Share the image below on your social media site with the rules of the challenge.  Then tag 5 people who are in your circle that you would like to take on this kindness challenge with.

President David O. McKay said, “True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.  It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men.”

My hope with this challenge is to find the real Joy in Christmas.  Make the Savior the focus.  What better gift to give him than to follow his example.  Gifts of Service, friendship, compassion, kindness and compassion have a greater value than any gift that we can buy.
By any means, this challenge does not mean that you need to spend more money of someone that you didn't originally plan to.  There are plenty of things that can be done that do not cost a dime. 


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