Tag Archives: Christmas

Day #18 GOODchristmas:: International Migrants Day

Did you know that every year there are about 4 billion T-shirts sold worldwide? When was the last time you thought about who made the shirt you’re wearing?

When we think about the people that make our stuff overseas, we may think of large, urban factories in developing countries like China, India, and Bangladesh. But did you know that most of the stuff made in these urban factories is made by migrants that come from rural areas? Migrants are people who must move place-to-place for work because they can’t find work in their own communities. Having to migrate for work has created cycles of poverty in these rural areas as well as other issues such as:  abandon children, broken families and communities, and increased vulnerability to crimes of injustice like human trafficking.

Today, wear your shirt inside out to help bring awareness to International Migrants Day. Take time to reflect: there is a face, with a family, with hopes,  dreams and a future that made what you’re wearing. Also, check out FACES Apparel. They are a wholesale T-shirt company that uses fair-wage Mobile Factories that bring work to struggling communities globally.

           “Factories don’t make products, people do.” – FACES Apparel

For the next month, or maybe even the next year, wear all your shirts inside and talk to people about why. Do some research. Find out more about how you can help be a voice of change and hope for the migrant worker. How will this impact the way you shop throughout the year and the clothes you buy?

Day # 13:: GOODchristmas:: Hope

The attention of the world might sometimes be elsewhere, but history is watching. It’s taking notes.

 And it’s going to hold us to account, each of us. – Bono

Wear a red ribbon on your wrist, or another red article of clothing/accessory today as a reminder to remember and pray for all the victims of AIDS – both locally and globally.

When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more

 than anyone could have imagined. – Bono

HIV/AIDS has been a stigma in the Church for too long. Our goal is to encourage others to show the love of

Christ by caring for those infected and affected by this pandemic. – Rick Warren

 

An Experience Jar:: A Teacher’s Christmas Gift

Every year teachers get so much STUFF during the holiday time. Mugs, candy, bags, etc. I really enjoy giving a gift that has a special meaning attached to it, but don’t usually have a lot of money to make that happen.

This year, as my husband and I started talking about ideas for Christmas gifts we came across a few posts about “minimalist gift ideas.” They are a little different then you might think. One of my favorites ideas was to focus on giving gifts that create experiences. I thought this would be perfect for a teachers gift… but how to do this on a small budget?

This is the idea that came to me::

What’s in the jar::

1. cranberries

2. popcorn cornels

3. 1 needle

4. bakers twine

5. mason jar (I thought the blue was festive)

It’s a gift of memories with friends and family. It includes all the “ingredients” needed to spend time with someone(s) special in their life. Either to make a holiday decoration, or a special snack with the yummy smells of the holiday. It’s simple, but meaningful.

Day # 12 GOODchristmas:: Feed The Hungry

The alarming results show that 1 in 6 Americans is still food insecure and now more than 50 million Americans. This includes 1 in 4 children. – Feeding America

GIVE UP YOUR BREAKFAST TODAY. Reflect on local kids that go to school hungry everyday. Ask your local public school if they have a program that provides breakfast for kids from low-income families and how you can help. Or visit FeedAmerica.org to find out ways you can help.

Give up your breakfast for the whole week!

Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me. – Matthew 9:37

 

Day # 11 GOODchristmas:: Neighbor

A smile is the beginning of love. – Mother Teresa

 

Smile and say “hi” to 10 people you don’t know while you are out and about today.

Smiling is infectious,

You can catch it like the flu.

Someone smiled at me today,

And I started smiling too.

~Author Unknown

 

Day 20: Kind Words Towards the Ones We Love

All I have to say is that this Christmas season has not gone the way I was expecting. It’s hasn’t been bad, just not as “planned”.

I started prepping and planning early this year in hopes to relish-in and embrace every moment. I had “GOODchristmas” experiences planned out and was determined to blog or at least post everyday. I envisioned expected everyday to be infussed with this joy that carried me through this season like I was floating on clouds {sigh}. But then…

 LIFE happened.

 

As much as I prepared and made a conscious decision to not be caught-up in the hustle and the bustle; I did! I was busy with work (not my “mommy” and “wife” stuff, my “nurse” stuff {wink}). I fell behind on some projects and prep, which left me being more like my normal procrastinating-rushing-last-minute self.

Then sickness set in for the whole family. And that really annoying  kind too (not like there’s any other kind). Just sick enough to make the day difficult, but not enough to need to see a doctor because there just isn’t anything that can be done except to rest and hydrate. BUT… now it’s less then a week before Christmas, I have 2 night shifts to put in at work and a LIST of “fun” things to do with the family as well as finishing up a few gifts I’m making this year. “REST” and “hydrate” was not on any of those lists.

Anyways, today’s GOODchristmas experience was what I needed. I was loosing it yesterday…being frustrated and angry with my kids and husband. It wasn’t pretty. (confession – I thought this “experience” was going to be easy by this point; remember so much joy…“floating on clouds!!!!). God knew I was going to need this experience for myself when he placed it on my heart back in October/November.  So here it is::

Day 20::  Kind words towards the ones we love

Christmas is getting closer and we maybe starting to feel the pressure of “time running out”. Resist the urg to be rushed, upset, or easily angered with your spouse, kids, family or friends. Try to go out of your way to be extra kind to someone close to you, without using a bought gift or with expecting anything in return.
I’m glad my heart can be changed TODAY!
How about you?
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Day 10::

Last Saturday marked the first weekend of the Christmas season. It was a little busy, but is was so much fun. In the morning we had a family pictures taken by Sam Song of Christmas Mash Up/ Love Mash. CHRISTMAS MASH UP was an alternative to crazy parking lots, long lines and cliche holiday photos. They had 2 beautiful portrait stations, fun props, kids craft table, food, drinks and entertaining holiday movies playing. The best part was that all proceeds from the event went towards funding HELP PORTRAIT | LAUNDRY LOVE: SANTA ANA, they will be giving free portraits for families and individuals in need. It was such a fun morning, and the pics turned out great! Take a look:

Love Mash 2011

After, we went over to our friends house for a cookie making and decorating party!!!! JC loved rolling the cookie dough into candy cane shapes.

 

It was the best way to start out the month – remembering that the season is about spending time with family and friends as well as loving others in need and sharing hope and joy.

 

Today is the 3rd annual Progressive Posada in Santa Ana.

Posada is a Mexican tradition, a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph’s cold and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter; in Spanish, the word means “lodging.”

Traditionally, a party is held each night in a neighborhood home. At dusk, guests gather outside the house with children dressed as shepherds, angels and sometimes, Mary and Joseph. An angel leads the procession, followed by Mary and Joseph or by guests carrying their images. The adults follow, carrying lighted candles.

The “pilgrims” verses of Las Posada asking for shelter, and the hosts sing a reply, finally opening the doors to the guests and offering hot ponche, fried rosette cookies known as buñuelos, steaming hot tamales and other festive foods.

The party ends with a piñata in the shape of the Christmas star.

It’s a great way to love on the community and their culture. We love meeting our neighbors and being about to build relationships with them that continue on through the year.  I can’t wait to hear the stories that come from this years Posada. Last year the neighbors that joined us said that thing they loved the most was how they we made to feel like “family” even though most of us had just met for the first time. BEAUTIFUL!

 

So if you are in the OC think about joining us tonight at our Posada  – Party starts @ 5pm. Hope to see you there.

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Day 3: World View

Today {Day 3: World View} we remember our beautiful girl Rakhelda we spounsor through World Vision. Three years ago we made in ornament with her picture on it and we hang it up on the tree and say a special prayer of bless on her and her family. It is also her birthday next month and today helps remind us to put her gift in the mail. We’ve been sponsoring Rakhelda since she was 5 or 6 (I was in college @ the time) and now she is turning 15 years old!!! She is a beautiful young lady now with dreams of becoming a teacher. She works so hard @ school and has a shinning smile that will light up your day.

 

We try to talk with the boys about her as much as we can. We have a flag with a push-pin to mark where Rakhelda lives on the map in the boys room. I hope to learn and teach the boy more about her and her culture over this next year.

Dear Rakhelda-

you are a beautiful addition to our family! We love to look at your picture and see how much you have grown and changed over the years. We are so very proud of you. We pray that God will pour down blessings on you and your family over this next year. We pray that you will hear and know the voice of God in your life and you will follow after it with all you heart soul and mind. We love you so much!

Love: Scott, Shannon, JC & Micah

Do you have a sponsored child? Do you have any special traditions you do with your kids to help them connect more with him/her? 

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Day 2:: second chances

“A Christian being stingy with grace is like a firefighter being stingy with water.” – Mike Foster

Christmas = the birth of the ultimate second chance for you, for me, and for ALL people.

Think of someone that wronged you or hurt you deeply – Ask God to forgive your anger or bitter heart, then pray that God pours out blessings over them this Christmas season and this coming New Year.


What better gift could you receive this Christmas then a heart freed from chains of anger/bitterness.

“Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.” Luke 17:4

Have you ever been overwhelmed by another’s forgiveness of you?


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Day #3:: WorldView

Worldvision muac
Image via Wikipedia

“Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” – St. Francis

Make an ornament with a picture of a child that you sponser – involve the members of your family (or roommates). Pray throughout the day for him/her as well his/her family and village. If you can, buy a special gift through the sponsor organization for his/her family or village. If you don’t sponsor a child choose a country to focus on, or start sponsoring a child today.

World Vision

Compassion

“The world of the generous gets larger and larger;
the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;
those who help others are helped.” Proverbs 11:24-25

“Love put into action is a compelling and attractive worldview”. – Rich Sterns

Have you ever experienced a random gift that was just what you needed at the moment?

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