So… this post is a few days over due… my apologies!

Each year for Christmas our family does something for someone else as Tom’s Christmas gift.  My husband is an amazing man, and he decided quite some time ago that he didn’t want any “thing” for Christmas.  I can still remember the first time that Kendra, Matt and I did this.  We adopted a family through ATLAS and dropped off a bunch of gifts at our church for them to pick up.  I also remember the tears in their daddy’s eyes when he read the note that we gave him as his gift.  You know it is a great gift when it makes a grown man cry! 

Anyway… every year it is a challenge to find something that I think will be special to him.  I’ve been praying about this… and then it came to me.  Our kids have been loving the 25 days of Christmas commercial on ABC.  (Also their every night Christmas shows have found us in front of our tv as a family (minus the big kids:-(ALOT more than usual!)  Here’s a link to the song.  It’s not uncommon to hear one of the little Sandbulte’s running around the house singing this tune… 

http://abcfamily.go.com/specials/25-days-christmas/videos-details/promos/the-band-perry/pl_PL5564978/vd_VD55153398

As Emma was singing it the other day, it came to me.  25 days of Christmas.  25 days of giving of ourselves.  Each day Tom tells the little kids to be Jesus and make a difference in someone’s life today.  When I drop them at school, that’s the final parting…

So what does 25 days of Christams look like as a gift?  Well… that’s where you all come in.  I’m challenging our kids (big and little) to do something that makes a difference in someone’s life each day until Christmas and to record it.  I’d LOVE for you to join us.  Maybe challenge your family as well.  And I’ll be posting here each day and on facebook.  Join in and share your comments.  And then, when we celebrate the arrival of Jesus as a baby on Earth to reign as our Savior, we will have a heart that is operating in loving our neighbors. 

Please keep in mind it doesn’t have to cost money, or be a “thing”.  It’s really just about looking around us with different eyes and doing things for others. 

So…

Day 1 – Dec. 1 – Thursday night is Harp & Bowl night.  I had the privelage of leading prayer.  As I closed, I felt the Lord speaking a verse to me about the hem of his robe.  I prayed into that at the closing not knowing what it was really about.  My friend Wendy was there and I hadn’t connected with her since before Thanksgiving.  Wendy is going to India for Christmas to minister to disabled Orphans.  Instead of being with her family.  WOW huh???  Well… As we hugged and chatted briefly she shared that verse had spoke a great deal to her.  Where was it from…  Believe it or not… I had forgotten by then – Isaiah 5 I think.  When I went back to my seat I looked it up.  Isaiah 6.  nuts… so back to her I went to share the right reference.  It was really a little thing.  REALLY.  But as I think of Thursday and what was a blessing to someone else, that is definately what comes to mind.   

Day 2 – Dec. 2 – I was with a couple of friends and we went to DesMoines to meet with our COMPEL Conference (www.compelconference.blogspot.com) speaker.  I bought lunch… (OK that isn’t it the part I’m talking about!)  2 of the ladies insisted on paying me for their part.  I had fully intended to buy lunch as I had called the meeting.  So.. I told them if they wanted to leave the money it would turn into a tip for the waiter.  (Who by the way was very gracious in letting us sit at his table for 3 hours in Jordan Creek Mall at the Cheesecake Factory during a Friday Christmas lunch rush!)  We left before he saw it… but I’m sure this young man was pleased with his tip that was nearly $30 (I’m guessing – I didn’t even count it. 

Was it tempting to pick it up and think… he doesnt need THAT big of a tip….  sure.  But really???  My intentions were the same the entire time…. to buy lunch.  If they chose to contribute (or insisted) then why would I not leave it for him…

Dec 3 – We had our first snow of the season today.  (And a swim meet an hour away)  Emma stayed at my moms house and had a hay day!  After I had gotten home on slick roads, it was nearly dark and the boys were coming in from playing in the snow with a friend.  Little Emma cried and cried because she had been begging to do a snow angel when she got home.  Try as I might, I couldn’t convince her brothers to go out with her.  SO… on went the snow gear, and MOMMY went out with her and did the snow angel (OK – reality time – mommy was not so happy about all this at this point! But I couldn’t bear to see her so sad!)  A snow angel turned into a snowball fight and the neigbors coming to play.  Before I knew it the neighbor kids were over.  And on a glistening winter night our neighborhood came alive with laughter and memories. 

So you see… they are little things.  But things that make a difference.  In total.. I’ve spent – oh yeah… $0.  No black Friday sale, no standing in line, and no bills to pay after Christmas…. 

Ok – today is a new day… Can’t wait to begin this journey with all of you.   Praying blessings over you as you become a blessing to someone else.