The holidays tend to bring out the best and the worst in me. When I do something good, I like to make it a holiday tradition when I can.
A church I attended years ago had a St. Nicholas program that I loved. I adopted the program for myself and each year I pick a person or family to share the magic of the holidays. Each Sunday in Advent, you are supposed to leave a surprise at their door and then the last week you reveal that you are St. Nick.
The premise is to keep it simple but I try to tailor it to the person/family I am treating. It is so much fun for me, trying to sneak in and out without getting caught. One time the family dog was outside barking at me when I was trying to get to the front door undiscovered. I was shooing it away and praying the neighbors didn’t call and warn them of the nut outside. Another time they were in the living room and I was crawling under the front window to get to the door undiscovered.
Most people do not get the concept until week three and then they start asking questions. I try not to tell anyone about it so that loose lips don’t spoil the fun.
The kind of gifts I leave depends on the family involved. I usually know them pretty well which makes it easier. One week I might leave cinnamon rolls or coffee cake and Christmas coffee. (If I know they will be home and the bugs won’t get in it!) Another week, popcorn and a holiday movie is fun. I have given holiday socks for everyone in the family or if a single person, Christmas towels for the kitchen or bathroom. Most of this stuff is on sale during the month of December so it is not really expensive; the idea is fun not expense. I always leave the gift with a card or tag from St. Nick.
Over the years I have learned that making people feel special never fails. If I know of a family going through a hard time they are usually my pick It helps put them in the holiday spirit when they really don’t feel it. Sometimes everyone isn’t “merry” and I have certainly been there myself. I am not trying to make them feel what they don’t but I also can give them a reason to focus on something positive. It is about “them” and I get some joy myself.
I have my family picked out for this year. They are not blog readers so I won’t be blowing the surprise. The first Sunday in Advent is November 28th this year. I hope some of you will give this a try. It is a nice way to share the holidays with a new neighbor or someone having a sad holiday. It strengthens friendships or shows forgiveness. Isn’t that what the holidays should be?
P.S. I would love to hear your holiday traditions and how they started.