Growing up one of my favorite holiday traditions was our Christmas Countdown Service Chains. Every year at the end of November my mom would cut a whole load of green and red construction paper strips and grab some pens and staplers for a memorable Family Home Evening (family night!) activity.
We each made our own Christmas countdown chain, and each day we would rip off a link until we were down to the last link on Christmas morning. What made our countdown chains memorable to me was that on each link we wrote a small act of service to complete sometime during the day. I remember writing down things along the lines of helping my mom make dinner or making my sister’s bed. I also have a vivid memory of writing that I should write a nice letter to my Uncle Lewis. If you knew him then that would make you smile.
It has been a number of years since I made a Christmas Countdown Service Chain, but this year our son is three and starting to understand and appreciate the holidays and our family traditions better, so we decided to go for it. Rather than individual chains we made one family chain, which mostly consisted of small acts of service for him to perform. We kept it extremely simple. Some of this year’s upcoming acts of service involve the following things:
Call Grandma and Grandpa and sing them a song.
Give Bapa a hug.
Clean up my toys all by myself.
Draw a picture for Aunt Laura.
Share my Lightsaber with Jade. (His baby sister.)
Let Mommy take a nap.
The second to last one was my favorite one that he dreamt up because it greatly amused me, but I would most like to see the final idea actually enacted. I’m not holding my breath.
I am very excited to do this together as a family. I loved dreaming up ideas with him and watching him get so excited about this activity that he insisted on “writing” some of them himself.
Let the Christmas countdown begin! Happy Holidays!
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