Thankfulness and generosity seem like they should go hand in hand. What do you think? The more you realize what gifts you have, the more likely you are to share with the world around you. I for one am really thankful here! Sunday we had a tornado go through the area. I know people who were hit, and while no one was hurt and it wasn’t as bad as the ones in other states, this is still the closest I would ever want to get! I really feel blessed that my home and my family is safe and sound. That being said, sometimes at this time of year it is really easy to forget how much we have while we are making lists and checking them twice! I mean, I don’t know about you, but my pintrest boards are starting to fill up with amazing things to make, good things to eat, and pretty gift to give. While I look and plan I can already feel the stress building and it isn’t even thanksgiving yet. So last week, we spent the whole week purging the house of things that we don’t need. It took a lot of work, and a few tears, but the house feels lighter, I feel lighter, and I cant think of a single thing that I need! We are just so blessed! Another thing that we got to do last week was our annual Stone Soup Party with our homeschool group! The concept is simple, we all bring something for the soup pot, read the story together and make soup as we go! The story helps us to see that when we all bring a little bit, we can really make something amazing!
Another tradition is that each family makes some shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. Some of us make them up some bring stuff to make them there, but we always seem to share items and make the boxes the best we can. For those of you who don’t know what Operation Christmas Child is, it is a ministry that collect shoe boxes filled with gifts for the less fortunate children around the world. My girls LOVE trying to see what they can fit into the box and what they think that the child is going to need! This year I asked them what they though a child would want if they had nothing at all. They told me a toothbrush, a hairbrush, and the Good Shepherd! So their boxes were packed with all of those things plus crayons, coloring books, ponytail holders, balls, tops, an handmade dolls! Plus Bunny was able to share some stuffed animals that we purged out of her closet (they were brand new still). The kids drew pictures and wrote notes to add to boxes for the kids that receive them! It was a lot of fun for everyone! After that it was time to eat our yummy soup!
I love this get together because it is a great way to kick off the holiday season with a real look at where our focus should be, on others! So we start it off by working together, giving to others, and spending time with great friends! Do you have any good tradtions with family or friends that allow you focus on the bigger picture?