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.
Advent Calendar 2020
- Make donations for Giving Tuesday
- Hand out local gift cards to someone in need.
- Give gift cards to trash and recycling collectors.
- Help Theo make a Christmas card to send to someone who lives alone.
- Drop off donations for Lighthouse Mission.
- Sign and mail Christmas cards. Let Theo sign his name.
- Donate clothes to Labels so credit can be used for DVSAS clients.
- Take Theo shopping to buy Christmas gifts for friends at local stores.
- Drop off donations for Lydia Place and DVSAS.
- Make cornbread for meals to deliver to people without homes. Light candles for first night of Hanukah.
- Visit lighted trees at the Bellwether, to benefit Skookum Kids.
- Lighted Christmas Stroll Through Pioneer Village.
- Visit Santa at Bellewood Farms.
- Deliver food to Bellingham Food Bank.
- Make cookies to drop off at Lighthouse Mission.
- Give gift cards to mail and package carriers.
- Bake and decorate this gingerbread barn. Wish me luck.
- Create a Winter Spiral celebration with homeschool friends.
- Visit The Lights of Christmas.
- Deliver pecan roca to neighbors. Watch a Christmas movie.
- Drive to see local neighborhood Christmas lights.
- Visit the Port of Bellingham Snow Globe.
- Walk downtown and hand out gift cards.
- Make cookies for Santa! Watch Christmas Eve church service online.
- Merry Christmas! Call the people you love.
Merry Christmas, friends!