Last year, the LDS church's Christmas initiative was to Light the World, the idea being to share the light of the Savior by doing kind acts for others. Sounds great, no? But I just couldn't. Could not. December is already crazy enough. Between the boys not even getting off the bus until nearly 5, their early bedtimes (thanks early wake-up times), and our own advent activities, I just couldn't add one more thing. And, of course, I couldn't help but feel guilty about it. I mean, erin, c'mon: you can't just open a door for someone one day? Give a compliment to someone? Help a lost stranger on the Metro? Well sure, I guess I could. But could I get my boys to? Could I get them to every day? No, sorry, I couldn't. So I didn't.
BUT you know when I did? February! Why February? There's nothing else going on. Weather is miserable (at least it's supposed to be). It's the shortest month. Also, Valentine's Day is in here! What a perfect opportunity to do it. So I got a big list of kindness acts kids could do, and each night at dinner we'd discuss what we're going to do the next day. (Although I will say, that after about two weeks, we just kind of went rogue and expected the boys to find their own opportunities). And of course, because they're little, there was a reward. At dinner, if they could share the kindness they did that day, they were rewarded one Hershey's Kiss from the jar (which is adorable, right?! Can you see the word "love" on it?).
Sure, sometimes we got to dinner and the boys had done nothing, so they'd run over and give me a surprise (!) hug, or decide to clear a brother's dinner dishes, but still. It was something. And something is better than nothing. It worked well enough that we think we're going to make it a forever thing.
And if I'm honest (which I hate to be, SIGH), it's been amazing for me. I've been able to look for opportunities in a way I've never made a habit of before. I don't always see them, but I'm thinking about others and keeping my eyes open for needs way more than I was before. And remember, something is better than nothing.