Counting to Christmas

This time of year, every child has visions of sugar plums dancing in their head. Many of us indulge the sugar plums by counting down to Christmas by providing daily treats. We’ve done it at our house. Some years it’s a small piece of chocolate each day, some years it’s an array of prizes such as stickers, an extra story at bed time or mom cleaning up your dishes.

This year, I’m attempting to resist giving my children – who already have so much – extra treats, and instead I’m trying to focus on giving to others. After all, there are so many children and families in our community that are in need.

One day took son took mittens to his preschool for their collection program. Another day he took two boxes of pasta. My daughter took a box of fruit snack and cartons of milk to her school’s backpack buddies program earlier this week. Next week she will take pants to the angle tree at school, and a grocery gift card to her swim team program.

We’ve also got a list of thank you notes write. One for the mail carrier, one for the school bus driver, etc. And a few small toys to donate at the many Toys for Tots locations.

Truth be told, I am taking many of the ideas from Pintrest. There are printable calendars and idea lists that I’ve used, but I’ve also tried to tie in programs happening around them (like those at their schools and swim team).

To give this kids something tangible to help them count to Christmas, we are making a red and green paper chain.

I hope both of my kids remember this practice in years to come and that we can make kindness to others a holiday tradition. If you are trying something similar this year, or if you’ve been doing something like this for years, I’d love to hear from you – just drop a line in the comments section.


Sarah is a working mom, graduate student – and most importantly – the mother of two young children. Her daughter is quickly transition into the tween years and her son is enjoying his last year of preschool before heading to kindergarten.

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