give+celebrate+gratitude – seattle style

02 Dec
December 2, 2013

i started this last year… and was somewhat half hearted about it (see: pregnant). but what i did love, is if i found the energy, i had some activity or idea for every day of the month.  the idea wasn’t to spend all that much money, but just to put it out there that i was thankful for all i had, give something back, and in the process, celebrate the season.  spending the darkest month doing some spirit brightening things FEELS GOOD.  join in with me, and tell me about it.  do you have favourite activities for the month of december?  are there things you look forward to every holidays?

day 1 (sun)- holiday photos –  i wasn’t completely on it this year, my photos are happening late, but… i did feel like things could be more christmas-ey in the pictures, and it felt really good, since they were here at the house, to start the month with a completely clean house (and yard!).  that feels amazing.  also- to get us all in the mood- i made this amazing christmas simmer.  so easy, and SO good!

day 2 (mon)- plan for holiday movies- good day to scroll through the guide, and record a bunch of holiday movies for the month- my faves- white christmas, love actually, meet me in st. louis, bridget jones, the holiday- this year i’m going to add in the kid movies.  and while i’m at it, cocoa is always a good start to december- love this pin of cocoa party ideas!

day 3 (tues)- make a treat for the closest firemen– i was thinking rice crispy treats (toddler friendly to make), the local firehouse is mere blocks away.  we could even walk over to deliver.  what better way to say thanks- you know for that one time i tried to inadvertently kill my husband (unknown allergy), and they showed up, and put it all to right.

day 4 (weds)- big tip day– i was a server in a restaurant for many a year (and worked retail- hard job to have during the holidays) this is the day to give it back.  i usually get breakfast with a girlfriend on wednesdays- time to leave a big fat tip at one of our favourite places.

day 5 (thurs)- assemble survival packs.  a friend gave me this one.  it’s basically this– and you keep them in the car.  if you see someone who can use one, you hand it out.

day 6 (fri)- food bank donation- not sure if you’ve ever experienced not having a lot of money for food (i received food stamps in my early 20’s, while i figured some things out) and this article really sums up how people you know could be affected.  i tend to do my grocery shopping later in the week, and plan to drop off a few bags.  i’ve found the nearest food bank to where i live, and have added some of their most needed items to my grocery list.

day 7 (sat)- bake some cookiesmy toddler loves to help in the kitchen.  he especially loves the stand mixer, and the step stool.  he’ll love getting in there and helping me with some cookies for the…

day 8 (sun)- cookie exchange– i did this one last year.  i don’t know if you ever grew up around women who baked, and baked like there was no tomorrow, but i don’t have the stamina.  however, i do like a variety of christmas cookies (haystacks, thumbprints, chocolate crinkles, no bakes? YUM!) basically you make one (double or triple batch) and invite 6-10 ladies to swap with.  LOVE!

day 9 (mon)- find a giving tree – they always had these at work, i never really had to seek them out, but surely there must a tree somewhere with a tag on it of a present i can buy for someone.  last year i picked a child tag and an adult- this year i was thinking of looking into a senior home to give something.  easy to add into my christmas shopping.

day 10 (tues)- kids to santa– easier to go on a week day.  time to get the photo for grandparents and great grandparents (plus i secretly love getting them dressed up).  might have to make it into a couple hours and go ride the carousel and check out some gingerbread houses.

day 11 (weds)- christmas card- compile the list and order the cards, one of my favorite things to do every year.  also a good time to update our photo share site with all the last couple of month’s photos.  i might even do one of those letters that sums up the year… we’ll see.

day 12 (thurs)- donate books to the library– we have hordes of kids books.  some duplicates.  i usually tuck them away, so i can take them in to the library all in one trip.  hard for toddlers to do, but it’s time to share.

day 13 (fri)- make an ornament– really wanting to make these– i love the idea of the house smelling like cinnamon.  i also have everything to make these– might be a little more kid friendly.  perfect little something to tuck into boxes to family.

day 14 (sat)- make this year’s christmas music mix– i haven’t met anyone who loves christmas music as much as i do.  as a kid, i was banned from playing my gene autry christmas record, and usually took to playing it when no one was home.  at any time of the year.  now, every year i buy a new christmas cd, and make the new mix.

day 15 (sun)- watch a christmas movie with the kids– i recorded some movies, now it’s time to watch!  and possibly- make snowflakes– a great tutorial for shapes here.

day 16 (mon)- buy the coffee for the person behind you– ONE OF MY FAVOURITES!  i love doing this.  i don’t know why… it seems so ninja.  and what a pleasant surprise to get up to pay, and it’s free!  easiest in a drive through, i’ll most likely do this a few times this month.  i hope it sparks a chain of i’ll-get-the-next-person’s-coffee…

day 17 (tues)- find a piece for snow village– my mother-in-law passed down some of her snow village to us.  for the last couple of years, i’ve taken to adding to it.  i’d love to include our oldest into picking out the newest piece, and setting it up together.

day 18 (weds)- coffee card for the mailman– he’s such a nice guy.  and he knows not to ring my doorbell (see: sleeping baby).  that alone is worth free coffee.

day 19 (thurs)- take daddy to lunch– we don’t get to see daddy during the weekday.  what a treat to all get lunch together one time during the month.

day 20 (fri)- daycare thanks – easy to take a treat, maybe some pretty flowers, and thank our daycare friends.

day 21 (sat)- pet food to a shelter– this was another one i found online.  i think i remember reading that during the holidays, shelters experience a lack of donations?  maybe… either way, every dog i’ve had has been a rescue.  easy to search online and see what’s needed at the closest shelter.

day 22 (sun)- drive around and see some lights – olympic manor is great, and i hear that there’s a few blocks around 85th near 15th that’s good too.  easy to pack a thermos and some cookies into the car and take a walk (last year it was with an umbrella).  an easy event to tag onto the end of a work day if it’s a clear night.

day 23 (mon)- time to wrap.  i used to love wrapping.  i got lazy.  i’m going to get inspired by some of these ideas, and bring back the wrap!

day 24 (tues)- order food to be delivered at the closest ER– another online find.  you have to call and see what (or if) they can accept it, but i was thinking qdoba this year- they do a great buffet style burrito bar set up.  it’s nice to know they’re there if needed, but at the same time… working on christmas eve.  i want to thank them.

i hope you all have an amazing month.  even if i don’t get to every single one of these, i love just celebrating by turning on the lights, the tree and making cocoa.  what makes december so magical?  i just want to soak it up!


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