Sunday, November 30, 2008

Countdown to Christmas Challenge

Alrighty, I've never partaken in a blog challenge (at least not officially), and have certainly never set forth a challenge of my own - but I'd like to offer one now.

One of my favorite traditions during the holidays is our "Countdown Calendar". Some years can be more challenging than others in coming up with activities, but now that both kids are reading, able to be semi-crafty, and capable of handling public events with a certain amount of respectable behavior, it's getting easier. The kids are so excited, and I'm pleased with myself for thinking of printing out two copies of each activity so they can both can read them on their own, as already the "who gets to read the first one" has become an issue. In light of this fun countdown, I'd like to suggest that you conduct your own in a different random sort of format. Here's the gist:

Each day up until Christmas, make it a point to intentionally make someone smile. It can come in any form you want it to, and be directed to anyone you want it to (I'm not big on rules), but as I've made it clear in previous posts, I'm generally pretty giddy this time of year and would like to spread the smiles.

Be creative, have fun - feel free to post your efforts (I'm going to try to detail the precious day's effort at the end of each post) or keep it anonymous. (However, I'd love to hear some good ideas, so please don't be bashful in an effort to be humble...).

Hard on ideas? Here's a few I just read in my Gooseberry Patch cookbook:

- send a handwritten note to someone who has made a difference in your life (I think you can trust that a smile happened upon delivery...)
- drop a coin in an expired meter
- secretly leave gifts for a special family
- run an errand for a friend, neighbor, or new mom
- deliver cookies to your local fire department
- shovel the snow from your neighbor's driveway (I wish.....!!!!)
- hold the door open for someone else, or give him your place in line

This idea came about for me last weekend when I was at Toys R Us. A gentleman who was with his family tentatively approached me because he was worried his asking for help would slow down my shopping. I wasn't in a hurry, and I was very pleased to offer some assistance. He explained they were up from the Coos Bay area shopping and wondered where they would find a "Bed, Bath, and Beyond" (or similar store) nearby. I gave directions to the location that isn't far away at all, and he was abundantly thankful. As I walked out to my car, I realized I had several 20% off coupons in my car, that had yet to expire, so I waited for them to leave the store (they were behind me in line) and gave them over (as I had no need for that many). You could tell it seriously touched them, however I think it brought me much more joy than them. Hence the idea, that I hope to really keep forefront in my mind as I remember what would most honor Jesus' birthday during this holiday season....


StephieAnne said...

Wanted to let everyone know that Michael is among the land of the living again! He walked in and talked to me a bit this morning which is 180 degrees from where he was for the previous 24 hours. Praise God!

Colie said...

I love your challenge. I think Caleb would have fun doing a few things like this. I'll let you know if we do. I did a similar thing to someone in Safeway. I had to spend $50 and I got $10 off but I didn't realize I needed $50 or something like that so I handed it to the person behind me who had that much! It made me feel great and saved them $10. I love stuff like that!

I'm so glad Michael is better. I hope he caught a little of the game although this was the one to miss!

beeeeeeeee said...

This is awesome - I'm in!!

JustMe said...

Yesterday in the checkout line I was the bad girl who didn't have the coupon I needed and while the checker hunted it down for me I noticed the young guy behind me only had 1 I made sure to look him in the eye and apologize for taking so long. He quickly said, "Oh-no problem" and I could tell it took the edge off. But no smile....Still I made Positive Human Contact so I will count it!

Beverly said...

Seriously...this brought tears to my eyes. I'm overly emotional this time of year, I admit.

I'm taking your challenge to make someone smile every day. You just never know whose life we'll touch!