Happy December! There are 31 days in this month; 13 days to do for others, 13 days to do for family and 5 for yourself.
Some of these will overlap...others, family and self and that's all right. If you don't do them all, that's all right, just try your best. If you choose to not doing any of them, it's your choice and that's all right. No condemnation here, no judging; I'm just trying to help you have a pleasant Christ centered Christmas or, if you're not of the Christian faith, a pleasant season. Some of these things cost money, others are free so lack of money is no excuse for not sharing love this season.
*Donate a bag of cat or dog food to the local or county shelter.
*Buy food coupons to hand out to folks standing on street corners asking for help.
*A package of 3 wool socks may be purchased from Sam's, probably Costco and other places, for about $15, including taxes. Buy one package, give 1 pair to each Salvation Army bell ringer you see. It's going to get cold between now and December 24th.
*Contrary to what's been going around on facebook, don't send cards to Walter Reed Hospital. If you'd like to get involved with helping military personnel, please visit your local Veteran Amin. hospital here.
*Buy a fleece throw (Dollar Store, Family Dollar, etc.) and take to a nursing home. Ask staff who receives no visitors, cards, etc. and leave a card and the throw for them.
*Ask forgiveness of someone you've wronged.
*Give a magazine subscription to someone who doesn't get out much; it will delight 12+ times in the coming year.
*Send a card to an elderly person, enclose stamps.
*Shovel a neighbor's sidewalk or clean off their car of frost or snow...before they wake.
*Fill a book bag, back pack or purse with items for either a female or male (toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine products, brush, new underclothes, sweater, socks, hat, bag of mints or candy, etc.) and take to shelter or give to someone on street.
*Let someone in front of you in line or buy the person behind you a coffee.
*Write a thank you to someone who has done a good job or been kind to you. If it's a store employee, get their name and give the card to the MOD (manager on duty).
*One night, turn off all media, sit around the Christmas tree and tell each other why you love being in your family.
*Bake cookies, it's all right if it's from a mix, keep some for your family, share some with a neighbor.
*On Christmas Eve, read Luke 2 or A Christmas Carol while gathered around the Christmas tree.
*Watch an uplifting DVD with your family then share the DVD with another family.
*Count your blessings, write them on a piece of paper, at Christmas morning breakfast, read them aloud.
*Take your unwanted, clean, warm clothes to a shelter.
*If possible, call or visit your parents.
*Buy a white tablecloth and with an indelible pen, have each person write their favorite Christmas memory, sign and date it. It's the start of a new tradition.
*Don't go into debt for Christmas.
*With your family, put together a food box and give to a family in need. This can be done through your church, a shelter, etc. Don't forget names on the Angel Tree.
*Don't allow other people's expectations to determine your quality of Christmas.
*Re-think your gift list. Just because you've always bought a gift, or gifts, for someone, doesn't mean you have to continue. Consider exchanging only gifts that can be tucked into a stocking.
*You don't have to go anywhere for Christmas; ask other family if they want to come to your house or simply stay home and celebrate with your immediate circle. It's your Christmas too.
Turkeys that got away last week.
*Get enough sleep each and every night.
*Eat healthfully; limit junk food.
*Every day, spend quiet time to center yourself. Meditate, pray, read the Bible or uplifting, positive devotions.
*Don't forget to practice deep breathing, all month long.
*If you need help, ask for it.
I've got a number of things to giveaway this month. The first is J. Stephen Lang's The Christian History Devotional: 365 Readings & Prayers to Deepen & Inspire Your Faith. It's one of my favorite devotionals and puts me in touch with Christians gone before...that great cloud of witnesses, some known, others unknown but all fascinating. If you want to enter, please tell me what you're doing this December for others, for your family and for yourself and leave a way for me to contact you. Make sure your comments are 'reply to' or leave your e-address.
A name will be chosen by Random.org on Thursday, 5:00 p.m. and person will be notified by e-mail. If I don't receive a response, another name will be chosen and the person notified.
Blog2Print has a 30% discount; just use promocode STARTSHOPPING but the discount is only good for today.
Finally, Jenny Woolf has a delightful video of 12 year old Julie Andrews singing an aria. I had no idea she had such a voice, especially at such a tender age.
Blessings ~ December ~ Christmas ~