We asked you to send in some of your favorite Holiday moment’s of Joy and you sent in some incredible stories and ideas. We are so proud of all of you!
My sister and I just put my Dad in the nursing home, so we won’t be able to have the usual holiday gatherings at his home this year. We have decided to spend time with him at the nursing home and then volunteer at a food shelter, serving dinner to those who are less privileged than us. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Every year I feel like a taker and not a giver, and I don’t like how that feels anymore.
Thank you for helping me realize, that no matter how bad things can get sometimes, we still have allot to be grateful for.
I’ve simplified my Christmas shopping by choosing where I want to spend my money. Instead of agonizing over what each person wants, I shop at places where the proceeds benefit others or a good cause. I think about each person when I’m there and I can always find wonderful gifts. Best of all, I no longer feel bad about all of the money I’ve spent.
Flying in Wisconsin
Dear Flylady and Crew,
I am a fluttering Flybaby of almost a year now. Just recently I have really started to spread my wings. I just read your email about the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Every year since I was young, my family has always participated in the Angel Tree program. My two brothers and I would pick out a child every year and we would be given our “budget” from our parents and we would go shopping and then come home and wrap the presents. I have continued this tradition now that I am married and starting a family of my own. For the past two Christmases, my husband and I have been stretched financially after saving up and paying for our wedding last year, but we have ALWAYS included the Angel Tree Program as a part of our Holiday spending. Another program we always include is Toys for Tots since my husband is a former Marine. This year our fiances are tough again but I am already anxiously awaiting the Angel Trees to be put out so I can go pick out my two children to bless. I have even signed up to volunteer at the Salvation Army this year to help wrap and hand out Angel Tree gifts. I guess what I am trying to say is that you don’t have to be a millionaire to help make Christmas special for a child who really needs it. And if you can’t financially afford to give this year, why not bless someone with your time? Its free! Thank you for all you do for us Flylady! You “pay it forward” ten fold everyday! Happy Holidays to you & the entire crew!
A Grateful Flybaby in Roanoke, VA
am new to the flylady way of doing things but I am flying a little even now. You really make it so easy to just start right where you are and not feel behind. My dh and I have two beautiful children, a ds and a dd. We have much to be grateful for and ever since our children have been born each Christmas we pick a boy and a girl angel off the tree and choose gifts for them. It always makes our Christmas and it would not seem right if we did not do this. It brings such joy into our lives and we girls always try to outdo the guys in having the best gift for our “angel”.
Thank you for all your wonderful advice and for helping us to fly.
a new flybaby in Kodak, TN
At the church where I work as a secretary, we started a project called the “12 Days of Christmas”. We fix gift baskets for members and friends that have lost loved ones during the past year. We take a large square basket and have a gift for each day beginning on December 14th. They get an instruction sheet that tells them to open a gift each day until Christmas Day. Each gift is wrapped with a number on it. For the last day, each one of us that participates has a Christmas card to the person and we wrap the cards in the gift for December 25th. This is such a great project!! As you said the giver is the receiver. We have had so much response from this project. Everyone that has received this blessing tells us how much this helped them and their families get through the holidays. One of the first ladies we did it for, took hers when she went to be with family in Virginia that Christmas. One of her friends asked if I would share the project with her. I did share it and last year she did 33 baskets and is planning more this year. I wrote “how to” instructions and sent them to her on a CD along with samples of some of our ideas for each day. Sorry this is so long, but this is truly the greatest gift I receive each year.
Blessings to you,
Every Saturday morning, my son and I get bagels and coffee and head up to a local park in the hills to watch the deer and quietly eat breakfast together to start our weekend off right. We have to pay $5 for a parking pass, which we buy from a machine. When we leave the park, we always find someone who is heading in and “pay it forward” by giving them our parking pass (which is good all day and has only been used for an hour!). The look of happiness on people’s faces is so wonderful. It leaves us with a warm glow for the entire day!
Have a great day!
Flylady and crew,
We have so much every day throughout the year. Some people are not that fortunate.. We pack several shoeboxes full of goodies and send to the Franklin Grahm shoebox greetings it is so much fun as a family picking out the things to go in them. We have done this for several years and it fills my heart with JOY to do something for someone else.
Jan in Kentucky
Thanks, all of you, for just being you. You’re wonderful!
Actually, it was for Father’s Day. I talked to my husband, since our children are almost all gone (one college students we see when he has dirty laundry,) and we decided to go to Food for the Poor and adopt an orphan child for the year at minimum. We, while we had the money, paid up front the entire year for the privilege of having one of these children to support. Now as it is Christmas, we will be sending money for presents for more than one child.
I like this organization as it allows a person to buy only chickens for a family, a goat, a sewing machine and starter supplies, up to a boat, a house or an entire family to support for the year. This is a 4 star rated charity and about 96% of it goes to the needy. It meets all levels of financial ability, and it feels so good to bless others.
Thanks for blessing us,
Mary from the Land of Clutter
How fun it was to see my DS6 scampering around the store looking for a pair of snow boots for a boy his age and lives on an Indian reservation. Our Chiropractor had a tree set up to provide snow boots for Christmas for the Indian Reservation that they had adopted. Our son was so excited to know that another little boy would be able to play in the snow like he does.
Flybaby Amy in PA
For the last three years, instead of more “things” I don’t need, I have told my husband that what he can give me for Christmas is his blessing to spend whatever I want on charitable giving. As a result, I have been able to give toys to kids who wouldn’t otherwise get any; clothes for kids and adults who need them; shoeboxes of gum, candy, and trinkets for children overseas; and even “baking baskets” of pantry staples and extra ingredients (chocolate chips, vanilla, sprinkles, etc.) so that a family without money for “luxuries” won’t have to miss out on the joy of baking cookies together. It has been the most fulfilling and rewarding gift I could receive, and since I get to do these things all throughout the holiday season, it’s a gift I get to enjoy for months and beyond, instead of in a brief flurry of wrapping paper. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea with all your FlyBabies. I hope that those who need some help this season receive it, and those who are doing well will bless themselves with the gift of giving generously.
You rock, FlyLady! Thanks for all the household help and life lessons!
FlyBaby S. in TX
The other day I had a good opportunity to be a blessing to someone. It was cold outside. I was driving to a doctor appointment and as I pulled to a stop at the bottom of the off ramp there was a man sitting there. We all know “those people”, the ones with the sign telling us they are homeless, jobless, disabled,,, whatever. We avoid eye contact and all the while telling ourselves that “they really don’t need the money, it’s all a scam anyway….” Maybe we say a quick prayer and then, off to the races and our busy lives once again. Anyway, I looked at the clock on my dash board (avoiding eye contact) and noticed that I was a few minutes early. I know my area well and so I made the right turn and pulled into a convenience store about two blocks from the freeway ramp. I bought a cup of hot chocolate. I took a brisk walk down to the corner and offered it to that man. He smiled a toothless smile and told me that he would just love a cup of hot chocolate.
What a great feeling. I blessed myself so much with that simple act. My routines were in place and so I was not in a hurry to get to the appointment. I got to bless myself with some loving movement AND best of all, I did not just ignore that man.
My prayer for all of us this season is that we can all just slow down enough to see the miracles all around us every day. Who knows, maybe we will be someone else’s answer to a prayer.
Flybaby in Seattle
I am a Big Sis in Big Brothers Big Sisters. There is no way to fully describe the rewards I continually experience from being a Big Sis and mentor to my awesome Little Sis who just turned 15. One of our holiday activities has been to adopt a girl about her age from a local radio station’s “Childrens Christmas Crusade” and go shopping for gifts for her. We go for a mix of practical and fun “girl” gifts. Besides experiencing, the joy of giving, I get to see my Little Sis experience the same JOY, and we are both looking forward to doing it again this year. Also, when she shows me what our adopted Christmas “friend” might want, she is giving me ideas on what to get her for Christmas. (I think she has caught on to this!)
The weekend after Hurricane Katrina, we made a shopping list and put together a care package for a Katrina victim, and labeled it “for a 13 year old girl.” When we dropped it off, a television crew was there, and interviewed us on the noon television news report.
Like I said, the rewards just keep coming. This may be called “paying it forward forward”. Thanks for letting me tell my story.
Last year a Child Advocate volunteer approached me about a foster family that had just taken in SIX siblings. Their various fathers had never been in the picture and their mother died of a drug overdose. They had been severely neglected and abused. She matched me with an 11 YO boy because my DS was 12 at the time. When I got this child’s wish list I took my DS shopping with me. It was such an eye opener for him. We were able to purchase EVERYTHING on that child’s list because the items were so inexpensive AND give the foster mother a gift card to help with other holiday expenses. It was a heartwarming experience for me to see my son experience the real meaning of Christmas. I think he was humbled by the huge difference in what was on his own list compared to this little boy’s list.
Needless to say when I was approached this year to help again, I jumped at the chance.
Flybaby in Conroe, Texas
We didn’t do the Angel Tree this year although the church group has in the past. This year I asked each of my children to fill a shoebox for Samaritan’s Purse. Franklin Graham (Billy’s son) heads this organization and every Christmas they pass out filled Christmas shoe boxes to underprivileged children all over the world. The details are on their website. I explained that I have so much and while they pick lovely things for me every year it would make me so happy to know that other children will be having a wonderful holiday this year. Five children somewhere in the world will be having a happy holiday because of our family. What better gift could you ask for?
Thanks for all y’all do!
Flying in Louisiana