The Spirit of the Season: Service

This year ALL of our children are old enough to understand and appreciate the beautiful dual nature of service.  By this I mean that both the person performing the service AND the person receiving the service benefit and feel a warm feeling in their hearts as a result.

They have seen acts of service being rendered many, many times over the course of their lives, but I’m not sure the lesson touched their hearts like it did this season.

This season we talked to our children about the giving of both our time, and our means.  And then we put that talk into action.

We made a list of people we thought would be cheered by a family of seven appearing unannounced for a little caroling, and by caroling I really mean singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”, and then handing them a poinsettia as a sort of peace offering for allowing us to descend upon them.

The response was overwhelmingly positive.  So much so that the kids asked to go caroling every. single. night.  We are not a musical family, so it’s not for the love of music that makes them want to carol each night, it’s for the warm feeling they felt when the person we caroled smiled at them, thanked them, and told them how much they loved seeing their smiling faces on their porch.

My heart was touched beyond measure when I saw the way our (I have to give Jeff so much credit here because HE taught them this) children wanted to help others, even if it meant a little less for themselves.  I’ll forever have the memory embedded in my minds eye of them singing to strangers and giving of their means because they knew it was the right thing to do, not because they were told it was, but because they felt that it was.

I love that the Holiday Season helps bring the best out in all of us.

You can help too, with the click of the mouse.  iVillage is encouraging parents to have “The {FINANCIAL} Talk” with their kids/teens.  For every badge shared via Facebook, iVillage will donate $1* to the Junior Achievement Scholarship Fund!*(up to $5,000) iVillage  Facebook App.


  1. 1


    Hey you remind me of a year we learned by heart the words to “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas!”

    We sang a few standard carols to a couple friends homes and then belted out the Hippo one! Totally unforgettable for them I’m SURE! 🙂

  2. 42


    Good for you, and even better for the kids.

    We’re going to the food pantry this year w/ the whole fam. It’s become a tradition.

    Hey, you didn’t tell me about Dee! Awesome news.

  3. 56


    This is an incredible story! My husband & I have done community service throughout our marriage and we recently talked about doing more together as a family now that our youngest will be 4 and will soon “get it.” Thanks for sharing this idea!

  4. 57


    Oh that is so wonderful, Angie. What a great memory for the kids, and what a neat way to celebrate Christmas and spread joy. Have a beautiful holiday!

  5. 58


    We really were on the same page, weren’t we? 😉 I would love to have seen your family out caroling! I bet you brought lots of smiles to people’s faces!!

  6. 59

    Candice says

    I love it when they can feel the true spirit of Christmas. Sounds like a lot of fun. That is one thing we have never done as a family…Im a little scared of what we might sound like:)

  7. 61


    How wonderful! Though I’m sure I would have people paying my family to leave them the heck alone! : )

    I need to start getting my Little One more involved in giving back. We do a little bit with him but I think it is time to do more involved and “strenuous” activities.

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

  8. 62


    Hey that sounds like so much fun! I just dont think I could get my boys to stand still long enough to do it. Or come out from behind my leg because they are soooo embarassed!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  9. 63


    This is definitely a great cause. I’m getting some of my friends and family involved with this ASAP. I just hope it’s not too late!

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for the post!

  10. 65


    What a fun way to teach your kids about service. It never occurred to me to do something as simple as caroling, and I’ll be the people really enjoyed that. You could bring your little cuties around anytime to carol at our place.

    Hope the rain has finally gone away. Our son just bought a new house less than a month ago and they had a bit of minor flooding in their new livingroom from all the rain – what a pain!

  11. 66


    Sydney is also home to some of Australia’s best museums that have iratnective displays and the newest technology to keep everyone busy and entertained. Don’t miss the Australian Museum , the Powerhouse Museum, the Museum of Sydney and the Australian National Maritime Museum . You can take the kids on a quirky ghost tour or a safe cycling tour of the inner city; head to the beach by ferry and go swimming, snorkelling and surfing at family-friendly beaches.

  12. 67


    For some year this has been busier than usual for us too. What IS it about 2008? It’s fun, and I don’t want to miss any of it (well, excpet Husband’s office party. yawwwn.) but I need to nap for the entire month of January to make up for it!


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