Archives For Traditions For Little Ones

A bunch of willing helpers!

It never fails to amaze me how much fun I seem to have when I am doing something for others. While participating in the latest Simple Service Project with Champions for Kids, I had an absolute blast.

Who would have dreamed I would enjoy being in the parking lot, at Walmart, in the toy aisles…with eight children??

Yet, I did.

You know how some things just seem meant to be? Well, this time was no exception!

Backstory:

Champions for Kids has a network of willing helpers and resources and I love their idea of getting people involved in “Simple Service Projects.” Each month, they have a special project and individuals can do one little thing, so that when everyone coBmes together, it makes a huge difference!

Our Simple Service Project is the Disney Stocking Stuffer!! We got to create a stocking for a child in need in our own town.

I mentioned I would be doing this to my small group at church. The youth pastor is a member of our group (lucky us) and she was excited to help the children in our group get involved. She also knew a particular child, whose family is having a difficult time due to a mother’s chronic illness. Another member of our group will be taking the stocking to the child this weekend (Thanks, Ann!)

Anyway, so we had a plan. Then, we talked to the kids and saw that they were ecstatic about helping. That in itself, was wonderful.

And, in the end, we all had a very good time. We went to Walmart together and let the children search for Disney goodies for a special little girl.

our shoppers took this very seriously!

Apparently Squinkies are a big deal this Holiday Season!

I know I haven't had this much fun at Walmart in a long time~it was like being a kid again:)

They got excited and did another stocking!

The kids were such great helpers...

To see more photos of our trip, see my Google+ photo album!

All in all, this was a very good experience for the children, but also for me. I noticed everyone was very helpful at Walmart and I saw a lot of smiles. I think usually, I must be frowning because this seemed special. So often, I hurry around when I shop. This was great!

It just really is nice to be able to do things like this. Thanks Disney and Champions for Kids! #DisneyCFK

Sign up today to join in the SIMPLE Service Project of the month!

Visit the Champions for Kids website to find out more, or see them on  Facebook and Twitter (@champions4kids) .

PS: There will be Champions for Kids Twitter party on December 15th at 9:00 EST. Join us! #CBias, #DisneyCFK.

“This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.”  All opinions and photos are my own.”

 

 

 

Track Santa along with NORAD!

Heather —  December 9, 2011

So much fun! (and some science:)

We have enjoyed this site for a few years!

Go browse and check it out, the site is NORAD Tracks Santa. Kids can play and listen to Holiday Music in Countdown Village, and learn all kinds of things about the world! See why Norad tracks Santa, and adults, take a look at Operation Goodwill.

Something new for this year (to me!)
“See Santa on your mobile phone
This year you can count down the days to Santa’s takeoff with the official NORAD Tracks Santa app. Enjoy playing “Elf Toss” throughout the month and then on December 24th, follow Santa with Google Maps for mobile.” See their website for details!

Have fun!

Such a fun Christmas Play!

I still remember being eight and hearing Santa’s sleigh bells on our rooftop. I was shivering, but ran to the window to see if I could see him! Although I looked all over, I couldn’t get a peek. I went back to bed so thrilled that I had heard Santa Claus!

Years later, as an adult, I watched my father take a set of jingle bells and climb up on the roof to shake them. I started to laugh—it was so cold and late! I said, dad, what are you doing?? He replied that he was letting grandchildren know Santa was coming.

What an awesome memory. What an awesome Dad.

I really had such a nice childhood and Holiday Traditions are a big part of who I am. As Christmas rolls around, I love to pull out “our” traditions and share everything with my children.

Some of my favorite traditions include:

  • Participating in  a Toys for Children Drive or Angel tree ~ over the years, we have participated in things like this. Often, it is through church or my husband’s workplace. We like to really get the kids involved and let them pick a family or child to help and pray for that family and/or child throughout the season.
  • Setting up the Tree Day ~ on this day, after church, we will all come home and get the tree up, decorate it and decorate the house as a family. Afterwards, we will have treats and hot chocolate, while watching a Christmas movie. For the last few years, the movie has been Elf!
  • Participating in a Church Christmas Play or Choir Event ~ this year, two daughters each participated in a special event. This is a good opportunity to spend time together, and get dressed up and have a late night.
  • We really like to do the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Drive ~ our kids love each doing one special box for a child.
  • Singing carols at Church
  • Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army and working in a food pantry
  • Celebrating Advent with the candles and a little reading each evening after dinner as a family.
  • Going to Christmas Eve or Christmas Service at Church and having a big family feast late on Christmas Day!

Now, I wish I could say that I am a perfect wife and mom, and every year I get all these things done flawlessly. But that would be a lie! Haha.

No, each year I have had different successes and failures. Some years, we have been hard pressed just to get presents for my own children, rather than being able to give. Other years, we have been blessed and had the time and resources to share with others. Lately, though, when i think I am too busy, I remember this that happened:

One year, we had an elderly woman who lived across the street. I knew she was often alone and I remember noting that no one came to visit her on Thanksgiving, but she was home. I thought about bringing over a plate of food, but never got around to it. The next year, I saw her again the day before Thanksgiving. This year, I made up a big plate of food and sent my boys over to bring it to her. They rang the bell and knocked, to no answer.

Later that night, we noticed cars at her house and then an ambulance. Apparently she had died! I was shocked and so sorry I hadn’t tried earlier to visit and share with her. 

This experience really made an impression on me.

I think, sometimes it is hard to add giving to others into an already jam packed schedule. And, if you have the time, do you have the money to give? Or, are you just shy (I am).

When I was younger, I did less for others. I felt overwhelmed just taking care of my family. I think there is definitely a time for everything. But now, as my children get older, I am so blessed to see them also taking part in giving to others. I love that.

I am glad that there are people and organizations that want to help make it easy to help others. I just heard about www.ChampionsforKids.org, and I am absolutely thrilled to be participating in a Champions for Kids Campaign!

So…What exactly is Champions for Kids?

This is a charitable organization with partners throughout many organizations with the goal of mobilizing millions of people by the year 2020 to improve the lives of children in America and beyond.

They have a wonderful network of willing helpers and resources and I really like their idea of getting people involved in “Simple Service Projects.” Each month, they have a special project and individuals can do one little thing, so that when everyone comes together, it makes a huge difference!

For the month of December, this Simple Service Project is the Disney Stocking Stuffer!! You can create a stocking for a child in need. My women’s group just completed our stocking campaign, so I called our youth group pastor and asked her what we could do. She was wonderful and found a family who could use some love for the holiday!

So, she and I and a small group of children from our church will be going shopping at Walmart to fill a special stocking and get some presents for a family she has chosen. I am so excited! I can’t wait to see how this all comes together, but I know every little thing does matter!

Want to do something, also?

Sign up today to join in the SIMPLE Service Project of the month!

Visit the Champions for Kids website to find out more, or see them on  Facebook and Twitter (@champions4kids) .

PS: There will be Champions for Kids Twitter party on December 15th at 9:00 EST. Join us! #CBias, #DisneyCFK.

“This shop will be compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, but all opinions are my own.”

 

We are excited that Christmas is almost here! My daughter, Emma, felt that everyone should know that you can Track Santa on Christmas Eve! So we are sharing this video:)

We have done this for several years and the kids always enjoy it! Thanks for reminding me, Lifehacker!

You can check out Lifehacker for more great details about ways to track Santa.

Also, check out Marine Corps Nomads for a sweet Polar Express Holiday Tradition!

Also, looking for YOUR perfect mix of Holiday music? I have fallen in love with Pandora radio.

While I am not posting much this season, I’ll be posting little bits of important things like how to track Santa, here and there:)

Merry Christmas to All!