Christmas Bucket List
As a child, it seemed like most of the month of December was spent waiting for Christmas to finally get here. Did anyone else count down the days and imagine what that magical morning would look like with all the gifts under the tree? Then when Christmas Day came and eventually passed, it was suddenly over and so began the waiting for next year.
A few years ago I decided that I wanted the season to be more than just waiting for one day and I wanted it to be about more than just getting presents. Yes, the anticipation is fun and I love seeing my children’s excitement grow a little more each day. But I wanted to get more out of the entire month of December and really create a season of Christmas, while also helping my children to focus outward and not just on what was on their gift wish list.
So began the Christmas Bucket List.
I made a simple list that would hopefully create some fun for my kids and also encourage them to think of others during this time of year. I gave myself permission to NOT complete them all (because mommy guilt on top of Christmas time is not a pretty picture). The goal was to add more fun and giving, not stress and obligations.
Some of the items on our list include giving change to the Salvation Army bell ringers, donating toys, looking at lights, reading the Christmas story in Luke 2 (usually done Christmas Eve or Christmas morning), going caroling, and taking homemade cookies to friends and police officers. We also include “Polar Express Night” which has become a beloved tradition with me, my girls, and my dad. It doesn’t really feel like Christmas until we’ve watched that movie and drank hot chocolate together.
Another favorite item that makes it to the list each year is “spreading Christmas cheer.” I buy a couple of boxes of candy canes and each time the kids and I are out and about they grab a few to hand out. Some years I make little tags that say “Merry Christmas, Jesus Loves You!” and other years I don’t (again, no mommy guilt allowed), but my girls are always excited to find someone to wish a merry Christmas and offer them their little gift. It’s so simple, but the gesture really can mean a lot. It has become something that my kids look forward to and they really can’t wait to get inside the store and make someone smile. And it is such a fun way to unexpectantly brighten someone’s day!
This year I was a little behind on getting the Christmas decorations up and writing our bucket list. My oldest asked about it several times and when she came home from school and finally found the list sitting on the farm table, she squealed and rushed to tell her sister. We won’t be able to complete everything on the list, but what we do complete will be intentional memory-making moments.
You can easily customize a list for yourself and your family. Include moments that mean the most to you and create the focus that you want to have for this season. I want my children to know why we celebrate Christmas and look at it as a time of giving and not just receiving. My goal was to truly embrace the spirit of Christmastime and to have it last longer than just one day. I believe we do that each December, and in the process we have created traditions that my children will cherish throughout the entire year.
About Tiffany Miller :
Tiffany Miller is a wife, stay at home mom to three little girls, and a writer. She fell in love with Jesus at a young age and grew up wanting to make a difference for Christ in her generation. God called her into full time ministry when she was a teenager, and over time that call was defined more specifically to be ministry to women. It is her desire for every woman to know how cherished they are by their Creator, and that they are never forgotten and never hidden from the one Who loves them most.