Remember when Christmas was really about bringing family together, the birth of Christ, and encompassing the spirit of giving?
I do... But just barely.
These days, the Christmas season seems to be all about Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday Madness, and making sure we have more Christmas presents under the tree than last year.
Society makes it way too easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. We so easily become consumed with pop culture telling us that if we don't camp out in front of Best Buy and get that flat screen TV, well then, we might as well sleep through December 25th.
But my question is this: Since when did we need to 'buy' love from the very people that already love us unconditionally? And why can't showing someone how much they mean to us consist of quality conversation and random acts of kindness...rather than topping last years Christmas gift with an even more extravagant one this year?
I am disappointed in myself for getting caught up in this materialistic version of Christmas, when I know deep down it should be about spending time with those I love most and giving to others less fortunate than me. I don't want to get swept up in the shallow shopping frenzy anymore. That is why I came up with a project designed to shift our focus from what society tells us Christmas should be all about....to what the true meaning of Christmas really is about....
and that is the spirit of giving.
**THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS**
Disclaimer: The 12 Gifts of Christmas was designed to help us focus on what truly matters and get in the spirit of giving that Christmas was meant to inspire. Each day, for the twelve days leading up to Christmas (*December 13-24*), I ask that each of us do one random act of kindness. Simple as that. I will post the ideas I have for each day, but feel free to be creative as well.
I only have one request:
*Document your experience. This can include keeping a journal, or even taking pictures of your personal experiences. That way, each of you can submit to me your finished product anytime during the week of Dec. 26-Dec. 31.*
On January 1, I plan on creating a separate web page explaining what The 12 Gifts of Christmas Project is all about. I will post each of your projects to the website in hopes that we will inspire people all over the world to join in the same experience next year.
I am hoping this encourages everyone to live out the true meaning of Christmas. I believe with all my heart that it will transform countless lives for the better. In fact, I'm even going to go as far as to say that it will most likely be those of us that are participating that end up being impacted more than the individuals we are actually doing the favors for. It's amazing how giving to others changes our focus from "me" to the overwhelming needs of our world.
Anyway, thank you in advance for participating!!! Merry Christmas to each of you! I hope you have as much fun with this as I have had creating it. =)
So here it is..... Enjoy!
THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS:
DAY 12: (DECEMBER 13)-- Buy food for a homeless person (or someone in need). This does not have to be expensive. $5 should cover lunch.
DAY 11: (DECEMBER 14)-- Write a kind, hand-written letter to someone that changed your life for the better. And no, I'm not talking about an email or a text...I'm talking about snail mail people. ;) (This can be to a childhood friend, a teacher from the past, or even an old baby-sitter that impacted your life for the better.)
DAY 10: (DECEMBER 15)-- Pay for the person's order in line behind you in either the coffee drive-thru, fast food, a tollbooth, train ticket, etc. (There are a LOT of options here...)
DAY 9: (DECEMBER 16)-- Put grocery carts away in a random parking lot for other shoppers or find carts that others have left behind. It will help the employees out by bringing them indoors where they belong.
DAY 8: (DECEMBER 17)-- Write a letter of thanks to the armed forces. (Yes, even if you don't support the war. Remember that these people are risking their lives daily in order to ensure our safety and Freedom).
Here is the address:
A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861
DAY 7: (DECEMBER 18)-- Buy or bake something for a neighbor. You may know them well, you may have never even introduced yourself. So here's your chance;)
DAY 6: (DECEMBER 19)-- Buy a $5 or $10 gift card for a grocery store, gas station, coffee place, etc. Leave the gift card on a random park bench or windshield of someone's car.
DAY 5: (DECEMBER 20)-- Do something kind for the elderly. This can be anything from helping them to their car with heavy groceries, holding the door open for them, volunteering at a retirement home, or even raking their leaves.
DAY 4: (DECEMBER 21)-- Tape quarters to a vending machine. So simple, yet so convenient! I honestly cannot count how many times I have wanted a snack or a soda, but could not dig up that last quarter to satisfy my craving.
DAY 3: (DECEMBER 22)-- Leave a generous tip for a server, barista, or bartender--along with a nice note. This will most likely make their night. Having been in all three of these positions, I know how easy it is to get discouraged when guests are difficult and do not tip. This could turn their entire day around!
DAY 2: (DECEMBER 23)-- Purchase a gift card at a local grocery store (of any amount). Turn around in line, and hand it to the first person you see. Then walk away. No explanation is needed. I'm sure their expression will say it all.
Day 1: (DECEMBER 24)-- YOUR turn to choose a random act of kindness. I thought it would be fun to see the different ideas everybody comes up with for this last day before Christmas. Be creative. The sky is the limit. =)
*So that's it. I hope these ideas will inspire you to get out there and participate. Think of how many lives we have the potential to change by doing one random act of kindness a day for 12 days straight. I can't even imagine how many people will be impacted by our selfless actions.
I'm excited to start receiving your journals detailing your experience with THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS. =)
*IF YOU WISH TO JOIN US IN THIS PAY-IT-FORWARD JOURNEY, PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO JOIN THE OPEN FACEBOOK EVENT:
*FINALLY, TO SUBMIT YOUR BLOG ONCE IT IS COMPLETED-- EMAIL IT TO ME AT: CHAINLINKS08@GMAIL.COM