Hi friends!! Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. For some people your house has been decorated since Thanksgiving and you’re in the holly jolly spirit of it all. For others, the holidays bring us feelings of grief, sorrow, and reminders that things are not what they could, or should, be. And for a lot of us, it is a mixture of the two. I love this time of year. The cold, crisp air (Florida boycotts this sadly), the cozy sweaters, the twinkling Christmas lights on houses and businesses - it creates a sense of peace and rest in my heart. That’s not to say my life is restful during this season - it’s anything but. However, my soul feels rest as it recalls the reason for all of this jolliness - not an old man in a red suit, but a perfect, innocent baby born to be the Savior of my sin!
Several years ago, my family began a tradition we call “Elf Deliveries.” Around Thanksgiving we decide on 15-20 homes that we will deliver to over the month of December. We deliver cookies, rice krisipie treats, reindeer food, fudge, peppermint bark, etc - basically, whatever Christmas treats I can whip up. Each home will get a little assortment of the goodies - typically wrapped up in the holiday baking bags/boxes sold at Walmart in the holiday section. We decide on the homes using some very “specific” criteria - ready for it? Who is the Lord leading us to show a little extra love to this season? That’s it! Based off that question we compile a list of co-workers, pastors, neighbors, good friends, & acquaintances and set out to deliver goodies to 3-4 homes each night over the course of several nights in December.
We never let people know if they’re on the list, and we change the list up each year. We also don’t call ahead. We simply plan out our route (Thank you WhitePages.com, and the internet in general, for helping us collect addresses) and head to the homes. If they’re home - awesome!! If not, we take a picture of the kiddos holding the bag of cookies by their front door and send them a text saying “Elves stopped by to say Merry Christmas and to remind you that you are loved!” My son loves this tradition, and it was so fun to include our baby girl in it last year. I can’t wait to watch her actively participate this year! It really is the highlight of our season!!
I realize not everyone is up to doing 20 homes and baking lots of goodies. However, I do think that we can all accept the challenge of serving 12 different types of people over the span of the next 25 days! So!!! Here it is….drum roll please!!
The Tw-Elf Days of Christmas Challenge!!!
Who: You!!! Bring along your kids, your dog, or a friend if you want :)
What: Deliver treats to 12 different people, from the groups listed below, this holiday season.
When: Anytime between now and December 25th
Where: To these 12 groups of people — you probably know someone in every category. If not, or there’s someone else you feel led to serve, great! Go for it!
The 12 groups:
Your Choice!! (This would be a great option to let the kids pick who to serve that day!)
Why: Because loving others is a biblical mandate…and because these simple acts of service are a fun way to show hospitality and involve your entire family!!!
Ok! Got it?? It literally is as simple as baking some break-n-bake cookies and delivering them to a police station or a widow. Or pick up a coffee for a co-worker or new mom (or mom in general lol!) 12 acts of hospitality completed sometime in the next 25 days! It doesn’t have to be huge, and it doesn’t have to be one act per day…you can do it however best fits your life!!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!!!!! (pardon my “as seen on TV” audition there)
If you click over to my shop, you can download free printable gift tags that you can attach to your goodies!!
I also have a free printable in the shop for the Tw-elf Days that you can make into a paper chain. This is a great way to involve kiddos! Let them pick a person/strip for the day. Help them form the chain and hang it somewhere as a reminder each day. Such a fun, tangible way to see the impact you are making during the holidays!!
ALSO! Post pictures of you or your family delivering your treats and use the hashtag #elfdeliveryproject so that we can all be inspired and encouraged by each other!! EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATES (and posts about using the hashtag) IN ALL TWELVE CATEGORIES will be entered to win a fantastic prize. (I’ll post more about that on social media in the coming days!)
Are you excited!!???? I hope you’ll join me in showing hospitality and making “elf deliveries”