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The Christmas Service Tree

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There are many gifts at Christmas time so lovely to behold,

But the greatest gifts that we can give are the gifts that can’t be sold.

I love to do more service at this time of year and I have been trying to think of ways that I can teach this virtue to my children as well.  I have come up with a fun activity to do just that.
The Christmas Service Tree (click for printable)
I made a little printable tree and ornaments with a huge list of service ideas that are easy to do with kids. You can print one out for your family to use, or do what I did- just draw one. (To print, click on the link above and it will take you to the document.)  I wanted one that was a little bigger and easier to work with.  Each time they do something nice for someone, they can add an ornament to the tree.  I printed out and a bunch of ornaments from clip art and puyt them in a little bag taped next to the tree.
Here are our ideas for service:
(I am sure you can think of many more ideas, too!)
  Give money to the Salvation Army (Ring their bell for a while!)
Put money in someone’s parking meter
Let someone in line behind you go first
  Do someone else’s chores
  Leave a love note for someone
  Write letters to grandparents or other family/friends
  Clean the bathroom mirror/sink
  Do the dishes (without being asked!)
  Set the table
  Fold the laundry
  Pay someone else’s library late fees
  Bring treats/cards to public service people (post office, firemen, police, librarian, etc.)
  Babysit for someone for free
  Do yard work for someone else (shovel snow, rake leaves, pull weeds)
  Decorate a nursing home for Christmas-bring treats/cards
  Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans
  Take flowers to someone in the hospital (or toys to kids!)
  Make a treat for neighbors
  Give somebody a compliment
  Clean trash you see outside
  Go Christmas caroling
  Give to Toys for Tots
  Make a special lunch for somebody
Pay for someone’s order behind you in fast food line
  Donate to the food bank
  Volunteer at homeless shelter/food bank
  Collect carts in the parking lot
  Take dinner to somebody
  Smile at strangers
  Buy toys at the dollar store for others
  Make homemade cards for friends/family
I hope you will take some time during this month to serve others around you. Maybe this list will inspire you to think of things you can do with or for your family. I have found that I am much happier in my life when I lose myself in serving others.

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  1. What a wonderful idea Karyn! Our family always sings carols at our local retirement home, takes cookies to our local police and firemen, and purchase toys for Toys for Tots but I have always been trying to find a way to do something daily during the month of December that teaches my children a way that they can give back every day (even when it not Christmas time). Thank you for linking up this week to my Enchanted Thursdays Blog Hop.

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