Light 'Em Up

Courtney from Lil Light of Mine started this tradition last year with her family called Light 'Em Up.  As I was searching around for service ideas this year, I came across her blog and loved LOVED the idea.  What is it? Intentional gratitude with legs, (you know how I feel about intentional gratitude. . .) which actually equals kindness.  Courtney does such a great job explaining it, I'll just point you at her site.  The best part about this is that you can take the bull by the horns and plan out a whole month of kindness, or you can just get up one day and say to your crew, "Who do we think needs cheering up today?"

There are some great printables on the Light 'Em Up page, and I did print and use some, but I realized we're going to be doing impromptu work as well.  For example: Monday, my kids were just sick enough that I decided to keep them home from Classical Conversations.  It also happened to be a gorgeous day.  Cold, clear, sunny, and not windy.  In other words, the perfect day to leave a sign on the garbage and recycling bins.  We cut up some cardboard and got to work making giant thank you cards for the workers that collect our garbage and recycling.  The kids thought this was the coolest thing ever.  (Bonus for moms: this particular card design uses up leftover Halloween candy.  I know, I should have had a nutritious breakfast treat instead.  'Tis the season for refined sugar?)  I have been talking to them about our sneaky Christmas plans since right before Thanksgiving, but we didn't sit down and have a big conversation about giving and service.  We just went for it.  I wasn't planning to really start until December, but this just worked.

Too bright!  Too bright!
I was really nervous that the workers wouldn't see the signs and my poor kids would have to watch the tragedy of the candy getting squashed up with the garbage, so we hovered around the windows for an hour or so keeping watch.  So worth it.  When the garbage collector came, the kids were hiding around the side of the car, clearly visible to anyone who glanced at the house.  The worker just about bounced out of his truck.  He thanked them and waved as he grabbed the sign, and the kids came hopping back up the walkway, so thrilled they couldn't hold still.  Same story with the recycling man.  Such fun!  Ava mused later about how the men probably didn't ever get cards.  As a parent and educator, I love activities that do the teaching for me.  My kids felt the joy of giving and learned to pay attention to people we might not normally notice, and I barely had to say a word.  (By the way, there is a printable for classroom teachers too.)  I can't wait to see how the rest of the month goes.

Go check it out!  So much of the prep has been done for you, with lists of ideas, printable thank you cards, and more.  And one more thing, do what you can (even if it's just saying a prayer over the project) and don't worry about the rest.


  1. This is awesome! I love the sign. So proud you guys. And I LOVE the phrase "intuitional gratitude with legs". Blessings to your sweet family for focusing on others.


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