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Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanks for Giving

FYI This year's "Thankful Door" project turned out to be an amazing work of art. In fact, our door is so crowded that the sticky notes full of our blessings fly off the door. It's a new tradition for sure.

  It has been so fun to watch the kids run to the door each day to put their blessing sticky note up. They also have been reading each others notes to make sure they aren't duplicating any. So maybe this experiment really is making an impact.

Now that Christmas is right around the corner, we wanted to create some new memories, and carry on our family tradition of an annual service project. I've created "Good Neighbors Night," a new spin on an old neighborhood tradition of coming together to help others, and get to know each other better. This is one day during the holiday season that we gather (in my driveway) and share stories, treats, hot chocolate and bring donations for local charities. We are getting to know our "good neighbors" as well as "being a good neighbor" by sharing and donating, but most of all creating new memories. It's a full-on family affair- literally the entire neighborhood is invited. Each person is asked to bring a treat to share, and a donation of a winter clothing item and/or new hygiene items. We are donating them to a few places including the Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the winter homeless shelter, the food bank and possibly a few other places if we get enough donations.

We've had a lot of awesome new people move into the area, and I am not very good at getting out there and getting to know people. So here's my chance, and for those of you who live close, your chance, to widen your circle and hang out with great people.

I think neighbor gifts are super fun, but can be super stressful and expensive too. This event is an opportunity for those who chose to fore-go the neighbor gifts, and make a very helpful donation instead. It also creates the opportunity for us to really have a minute or two to chat around a warm fire (in a totally safe pit to keep the kids out of the ER), and get to know each other, rather than dropping a gift off on the porch and having no contact, besides the gift tag, to share our appreciation for each other.

Blizzards withstanding, this will be a fun night of casually gathering to share a thought, make an impact, and create a memory or two. I am really hoping my kids realize these Christmas memories can't be bought, and really are more important than anything that could be.

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