Each year my family and I try to do something additional we haven’t done the year before for the holidays. Something to make this holiday ‘different’, or ‘more special’.We’re people who always help, always donate, but we take it a step further for the holiday. We’ve always had a ‘closet clean out’ in which the excess would get donated. We’d have a ‘toy fling’, filling up boxes with toys they no longer play with or want to donate. Adopting a family, donating to Red Cross, Toys for Tots, etc, but it really didn’t feel like enough. This year, we decided to do “Secret” Good Deeds. We’ve yet to come up with a name for ourselves (Secret Good Deed Do-er seems too long and complex). We wrote each name in the family on a piece of paper (except the 3 year old and 11 month old) and drew names out of the hat. We are to do secret good deeds for the person on the paper. We will write, anonymously, the good deed we do on a scrap, and put it into a jar. Each month, at the end of the month, we’ll open up the jar and read aloud the good deeds done, try to guess who had us, and then pick names again. I don’t want this to just be a holiday thing. I want it to be an ALL the time thing. We’re a pretty close family as it is, but the large age difference between my 12 year old and the two 7 year olds, then the rest, is becoming very big all of a sudden, as she’s reached ‘pre-teen’ status and is starting to like more things outside the home than in. I thought this would be good for family unity. The best part is, that they are really open to do good deeds for whomever, even neighbors, other family members we might be visiting for the holidays, friends, teachers, etc., and that even helping someone else doing a good deed is a good deed. I told them that we are to keep quiet what we do, because it isn’t about doing good deeds and being rewarded for them by praise or boasting what we’ve done, our reward is having done something good for someone other than ourselves and keeping that warm fulfilled feeling close to us. The kids were off with a flurry last night, doing good deeds. I came into my room to see my clothes put away in my drawers. Wrong, mind you, and not folded up, horribly wrinkled, but it still made me giggle long after they’d gone to bed.
I love my children. I love this time of year, and I really hope we can continue this on to keep this time of year all year long.