Christmas is approaching, and it’s been a really wonderful season so far. Our kids’ excitement grows exponentially each year as we continue traditions and make new memories.
This year, I was thrilled to discover The Giving Manger for our holiday season. To be honest, I find it exhausting to take on all of the responsibility of the season, and it seems to grow each year…which is why I love this new tradition. It’s completely a family endeavor.
The premise is for our family to create gifts for others the entire month of Christmas – by doing and saying kind and helpful things. Each time we do something nice, we put a piece of straw in the manger. The intent is to fill the manger with straw for Jesus by Christmas Day.
Already, Connor and Brenna are enamored with the idea and have been setting out to do acts of kindness each day. I love this activity and all that it encompasses, and in particular, how empowering it is for the kids. It shifts the season from what can become “entertain me! surprise me! give me!” to “what can I do for others?” Doesn’t get any better than that!
Here’s a round-up of some of my other favorite things going on this month…
I feel like I’m in the middle of a million and three books right now, and I guess I’ll see what sticks. (I no longer push myself to finish a book if I can’t get into it!) Some notable books that I just finished and recommend include Refugee (kid lit, so gripping!), Ordinary Grace (historical fiction that I flew through) and The Happiness of Pursuit.
I’m in the early stages of How to Raise an Adult and in the middle of the thriller The Break Down right now. I’m also listening to All the Light We Cannot See on audio in my car – a new habit now that the kids are in school and I’m driving by myself!
We also just started Ann Voskamp’s devotional Unwrapping the Greatest Gift as a family for the Christmas season, and it’s so beautiful.
Wanting to be intentional about your holiday shopping for the kids in your life? My post about purposeful gifts has been hugely popular – here is a comprehensive list of gifts for kids that spark imagination, offer exciting experiences, help others and last beyond Christmas Day!
While we’re on the subject of holidays… we’re doing a lot of reading on holiday topics in our house right now. Here’s a great list of beautiful children’s books that focus on Jesus’ birth for Christmas.
Planning holiday menus? I’m a sucker for a good appetizer. If you’re looking for a new recipe, here are some of my go-to appetizers that get gobbled up immediately: cheesy crab points, pepperoni pizza dip, and buffalo chicken bites. Enjoy!
Thanksgiving. Family. This holiday is quickly becoming one of my favorites!
Enjoy this beautiful month of love and giving and celebration!