One of the traditions that we’ve started with our kids, which has fast become our favorite tradition, is our annual Christmas party. Every time we do this, we get more and more excited about it, and I feel less and less intimidated.
The party is more than a simple gathering of neighbors, family and friends, though that is a lovely benefit. This is a chance to unite with the people around us in a way that makes an impact. While needs and hardships are a reality every day of the year, they are often magnified during the holidays. A child in the hospital is always traumatic, but especially so at Christmas when you long for nothing more than the comfort of sitting at home.
So what better way to bless a family in need than to bring Christmas to them?
I love throwing this Christmas party. It’s so fun to watch the kids get it. Children get a bad rap for being selfish, demanding and bratty at Christmas, but I can guarantee that if you give a child a chance to give to others, they will surprise you every single time.
For the past four years, Lee and I have used our Christmas party as a toy drive. Guests bring new, unwrapped toys to the party, which we then take and deliver to The Ronald McDonald House. These gifts are given to families who experience lengthy, expensive stays in the hospital with their children. It’s hard to describe the delight we see in our children, and our guests, as they place their gifts on the growing pile.
They love to know they’re making a difference.
This year, we’ve decided to up the ante on our annual Christmas party. We want to show our children that we can make a difference in the world, and we can having fun doing so!
We will not only be accepting gifts for the local Ronald McDonald House, but we’re also asking guests to bring an old pair of jeans, and a pair of scissors. Working alongside Sole Hope, we will be making shoes for children in Uganda out of our old, outgrown pairs of jeans.
I learned about Sole Hope a few weeks ago at Allume, and I was blown away by the simplicity of this organization. Following a simple pattern, you cut out your old jeans and mail the cut pieces back to the organization. They then send the patterns to Uganda where they have trained workers who use the rubber from old tires to turn the jeans into shoes.
Brilliant and so, so easy!
So not only will our little band of neighbors and friends be impacting our own city, we also have the privilege of blessing children half a world away. Changing the world isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems, and the earlier we can show that to our kids, the better they will understand that making a difference is as easy as having a party in the back yard.
What are ways that you celebrate giving during the holidays?