12 Months of Christmas: February

I’m a bit late in posting this because, life.  But!  We completed our service project for the February edition of our 12 Months of Christmas initiative.

This month the girls decided to help a family that’s going through a rough spot with some medical and financial concerns.  More specifically, they wanted to bake cupcakes for the children of said family.  And they would have to be confetti cupcakes.  Naturally.

That’s the beauty of service, I think.  It doesn’t need to be a large-scale, grand gesture.  It can be something small that helps someone you know (or don’t know).  It can be a simple reminder that people care and want to help.  And I’ve learned that sometimes children have some of the best service ideas.

mixing the batter - Edited



We also realized that baking 24 cupcakes for 2 small children was probably not going to win us any brownie points with their mom, so we decided to send 6 along to them and send the rest along with the girls to the other kids at the babysitter.  Snack time went very well.

12 Months of Christmas: January

Well, our first service project in the 12 Months of Christmas Project is in the books!

I’m so happy to report that for the month of January, we chose to support an organization called “Project Night Night.”  A nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, Project Night Night serves homeless children around the country by providing a tote bag with a new blanket, book, and stuffed animal.  As a mom of two young children and having always had a heart for the homeless, this service project was a “no-brainer” for me.


I first learned about Project Night Night at one of my schools.  In the lobby, a pile of Project Night Night totes sat empty and waiting to be filled.  The name – Project Night Night – stood out to me because both of my girls called nursing/breastfeeding “night-nights” when they wanted to nurse to sleep.  So, I was intrigued and Googled it.  When I found out what it was, I was sold.  I grabbed two tote bags and explained the project to my girls.  They were totally into it.

We shopped on January 25th – our designated monthly service day – and both girls picked out the items to fill the bags.  Two unicorn blankets, two teddy bears, “Mr. Brown Can Moo,” and “The Pout-Pout Fish.”  Stipulations were in place:  we were shopping for others and there would be NO purchases for ourselves.  No toys, no treats, no snacks, nothing.

It was a good trip.  At 6 years old, Bean totally understands the project – but at 2 years old, Bug was a little disappointed that she wasn’t getting any books to keep.  Oh well.  She’ll “get it” one day.



We’re still pondering our service project for February, so if you have any ideas, I’d be happy to hear them.  Perhaps something “love” related?

In the meantime, if Project Night Night sounds like an organization you’d like to support, feel free to visit their website to see how you can get involved.  You can donate money, new items for tote bags, host a fundraiser, or order your own set of tote bags to fill and deliver yourself.

Happy Serving!

12 Months of Christmas

For the past 2 years, my girls and I have happily prepared little gift shoe boxes to be sent overseas through Operation Christmas Child to children that we believed needed them.  The boxes contained an assortment of things a girl or boy of a certain age range would find delightful or necessary.  A couple of toys, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a bar of soap, a washcloth, a small coloring book and crayons… you get the idea.  But after reading a few disheartening articles and blog posts early in the holiday season, and feeling ultimately confused and not 100% “on board,” I opted out of participating in Operation Christmas Child this year (side note: I am not posting any links to these articles because I don’t completely agree with everything each article stated… if you want to read some just google “Operation Christmas Child Criticism”).

My 6 year old called me out.

“Mommy, remember how we filled up those shoe boxes for the kids last year?  Are we doing that again this year?”

Cue the mom guilt.

But, I had a response!  Because after deciding to not participate, I felt led to do something… something local.  I prayerfully considered the decision and how I would explain things to my daughters.  I told them about what I had learned and the 6 year old responded with:  “Why don’t we fill up some shoe boxes and give them to some kids who live near us?”

Good idea, kid.

But, unfortunately, it was already too late.  Christmas was just a couple of days away and I was scrambling around with holiday preparations for my own family and I didn’t want to rush doing something meaningful for another family as a result.

I spent Christmas mulling it over.  I decided on this:  Instead of celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, how about the 12 Months of Christmas?  

Instead of being generous and getting the warm-and-fuzzies because we helped someone during the holiday season, why not do something for someone in need all year long?

And so, here is where we are:  We’ve decided that on the 25th of each month (regardless of the day of the week), starting in January, we are going to do a service project.  We are going to give to, do something for, or serve someone in need.  No, I don’t have 12 service projects already lined up.  But, I’ve got one and that’s where we’re starting.

We are going to keep it local, so we can be assured that our efforts are not in vain and that our resources are not misused for an alternate agenda (more on that at another time).   We are going to get creative because, budgets.  And yes, I’m also doing this so my children will learn the importance of serving others.

I will update after each service project is completed to let you know how it goes.  And if you have ideas for ways we can serve our local community, please share!