For kids, Christmas can become a time that is all about them. Me. Me. Me. “I want…” We do a lot of child-cented activities, and it really is fun and great. However, if we are not careful, it can give a sense of entitlement and encourage a selfish attitude. Is that what Christmas is about? Not so much. This year we are creating a family wishing tree to help ease some of them tension that traps us all. We are creating a tree where we can attach tags with our wishes, dreams, prayers and hopes for others. Hopefully, this is one of the activities this season that helps to teach my kids to show empathy and care about the other people walking around in this world.
I was inspired by a campaign being put on by Capital One called Wish For Others. This season, Capital One wants to celebrate the spirit of giving by encouraging others to share their wish for other people. From November 24 through December 23, you can share your wish for someone else (a family member, a neighbor, or a community) with #WishForOthers on Twitter, Instagram or the Capital One Facebook page. When you share YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE THAT WISH COME TRUE. Yes, I was shouting at you right then. Can you imagine your wish coming true for someone on your heart. We put together our own video with our #WishForOthers. My heart is shouting, “Pick me! Pick me!” We all know that doing something for others feels great for everyone involved. I encourage you to add your own wish submission so Capital One can consider making it come true. The “Wish for Others” links take you to their YouTube video (choked me up) and details about how to make your wish known.
I wanted my kids to be part of the process of starting to think about our wishes and prayers for others, so I decided to create a wishing tree. I have always wanted to have my kids have their own Christmas tree in their zone. This will be a Christmas tree that they can decorate however they want. We can make handmade ornaments together and come up with creative DIY garland ideas. One component of this tree will be having a way for our kids to document their wishes for other people. I created a “My Wish” Christmas tag printable so you could re-create this experience in your home. The kids were able to cut, hole punch and thread the tags.
After printing and cutting out the Christmas tags, the kids were able to write down (or have me write down for the littler ones) their holiday wishes for other people. We brainstormed together as a family and started dreaming of what we would want for others. We were able to get a good start on our wish list. Here are some of the ideas we came up with as a family: an iPad for a military family to be able to Skype with their loved ones, certain kids at school having an easier time making friends, a date night for friends who are saving money, healing for loved ones, food and basic needs for kids we sponsor and joy for all. I pointed out that we can help make some of these wishes come true, and I hope to do that throughout the season. Capital one has that same goal.
I printed out extra tags to be kept in a mason jar by the tree. The kids will be able to add tags to the tree as they think of them. I am excited to use this tool as a launch to help my kids to began to think outside themselves. Thank you, Capital One, for inspiring this idea.
The wish we decided to focus on for the Capital One campaign is our wish for an iPad for a military family. We live in a military community and see, first hand, the sacrifices these families make for our country. We know of several women in our church who have spouses that are deployed. To give them a way to better communicate with their loved one as well as provide a reward time and quiet time for a mom seems like a winning situation. I have one friend who has her husband deploying before Christmas, and this iPad would go to her. Here’s a link to our own YouTube video asking for our wish.