Yes, this Christmas season looks different. But some things are the same. Like, my friend Sarah's thoughtful and evocative reflections during advent, which I look forward to every year. And, how we can still find meaning and joy during this time, even in very small ways. If you are hurting and grieving right now, I am praying for you. I you are someone who can offer comfort or prayers, I am with you. We are all in this together.
My plan for advent this year did not go exactly as planned. I really wanted us to all sit down as a family and write down 25 acts of kindness + joy, things to do together as a family. My expectations were too high, I suppose, because four year olds don't like to plan. They live in the moment. So, I made the list. And Elie gave an enthusiastic "let's do it!" to everything I suggested, bless him.
While Theo was not excited about planning, he has been very enthusiastic about actually doing the activities on our list. We took him to Costco to purchase items for several service organizations in town, and he thoughtfully selected the blankets and pajamas he thought people would like. He wanted to join us to drop off the donation items, carrying things himself. And he loves running out to catch the trash and recycling collectors, to hand them their gift cards. It's a good way to introduce a four-year-old to giving, and thankfulness.
And of course, he loves the fun Christmas activities. It feels like a good balance--acts of kindness + acts of joy. If you're looking to do the same thing with your family, here is our list. Many of these are specific to Bellingham, but you can look for similar activities in your community. You can also look at my gift guide, which also lists ways to give to the community this year.
In the week after Christmas, we're also going on a pony ride, and visiting the Seattle Zoo WildLanterns exhibit.
Merry Christmas, friends!