Children are naturally self-centered. Let's be honest here - I AM self-centered.
Now that we're in the season of "make a list of everything you want for Christmas"it's like pouring gasoline on an existing inferno. I really have to fight to remember that the month of December is about Jesus, celebrating His birth, not fulfilling all the material desires of Julie.
And how do I help my children understand this? That is not a rhetorical question, I really would like some ideas.
Adorenaments (love them) and reading Prophecy Envelopes (Old Testament prophecy on the back, New Testament fulfillment on the front), both are products published no longer by FamilyLife. We are singing and listening to Christmas songs and watched the cute yet accurate cartoon, The Very First Noel.
I've wanted for years to get my act together and pull off a Jesse Tree; it's not happening again this year. Two years ago we put together a fun Punchable Advent Calendar.
One idea that we're kicking around in the Majors' household is being intentional with random acts of kindness. A few weeks ago I was inspired by this blog post about what a woman did for her birthday. That post had an overwhelming response she launched a website around the idea.
So...we have been talking about doing random acts of kindness and gearing up to do something for other people...to get eyes off self and onto others.
For example, the cookies we made were packaged in cute bags to be ready to give away. When Mr. Intensity's BFF left with his, I made sure that he understood that he was to give some away.
We visited a nearby elementary school and blessed the teachers with treats (cookies and popcorn popped in coconut oil). Mr. Intensity sorted through some stuffed animals to donate to the school counselor to use as rewards.
Down the street a widower got a visit from our whole family last Sunday afternoon. He really appreciated us coming. I must admit I was hesitant about taking the whole family, fearful that we would rock his world. We stayed about an hour and he was thankful that we came.
A single mom in Hubby's department has a need for meals (she's actually single, no kids, but has temporary yet extended custody of her brother's two small children). I had some extra in the freezer from the batch cooking day that I was able to give away.
There have been a few others, but one that is funny: I walked into the grocery and jumped in front of an elderly woman to get a cart for her. I grabbed a cart and extended it to her. Honestly, I wasn't thinking about trying to be good, or doing a random act of kindness. She was very surprised by my gesture and said, "Is this your good deed for the day?"
Busted. I said, "I sure hope there are more good deeds for me today."
Other things on our list (we are striving for more!)
- Mr. Intensity wants to bake more cookies to take to our Rwandan friend, Alphonse.
- There are leaves on the ground in our elderly neighbor(s) yard(s). The whole family can rake.
- One day we will go on a walk and pick up trash.
And we are praying for more ways to bless others. I'm all ears for you ideas.