During this time of year it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the season. We need to put decorations up, we need to buy gifts, we need to wrap gifts, we need to bake yummy treats, we need to deliver all the baked goods, we need to go to this Christmas party and this Christmas program and we need to address and mail all of our Christmas cards. When we have so much to do it sometimes gets hard to keep the true spirit of Christmas.
To combat the craziness, I like my family to do something that my mother taught us 9 kids to do when we were little children. During the month of December (ideally we would try to do this every night) we would write notes to each other, including to the parents, and put them in each other’s stockings. We weren’t allowed to read them until Christmas, although I remember some years I would sneakily take down my stocking and run to the bathroom so I could peek at the notes I had. (Sorry mom !)
You didn’t have to write a note to everyone every day, but you were supposed to write at least one note and you were supposed to rotate to whom you wrote. They could either be simple notes about thanking someone for doing the dishes when it was supposed to be your turn to do them, or they could be more involved letters where you told your sibling or parent why you were grateful to have them in your life. There would be times when we would really get into it and we would write several notes throughout the day. And of course some years we did better on writing these notes than other years.
On Christmas morning it was a tradition in our family to “open” our stockings before we opened any presents. I still remember the special feelings of love and warmth I would get when I read all these notes that had been written just to me! Writing these notes and receiving these notes really did help us to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas and it also taught me many valuable lessons. Above all it taught me how to enjoy doing quiet/anonymous service for others and it taught me to love the feeling I got inside when I did something nice for someone else.
**This post was originally published in 2006.**
For more Christmas activity ideas, check out Scribbit’s Winter Bazaar. For more Holiday Traditions, check out Banana Migraine. For more Works-For-Me-Wednesday ideas, please visit Shannon of Rocks In My Dyer.