The most magical time of year for children is the season of Christmas. The excitement of Santa, decorating trees and cookies, and the hopes of some snowfall make Christmas so extraordinary. Most of us have traditions that take us to stores, Christmas programs and parties, as well as awesome holiday experiences. However, this year so many past traditions seem shadowed or near impossible to enjoy in the year of the pandemic.
What a great reminder that this season’s magic is found in finding ways to serve others and to look for the meaningful in hidden places. So recently, I created a scavenger hunt for our boys with my mom lifer, Jennie. I decided to make clues for the boys that would take us around Scottsdale to offer opportunities to give, have a little fun, and eat some good food – all for the sake of a little Christmas magic.
Our first stop was a local Starbucks where our boys were given gift cards to offer to buy a stranger’s coffee. (Of course, we talked about approaching strangers only with parents.) Our person’s of choice were so grateful and appreciative. What a great lesson to demonstrate that a small gesture can really make a person’s day.
We then ventured to Hobby Lobby where the boys were on a mission to find the funniest ornament. We sorted thru the wall of trinkets to come up with a Santa on the beach, peanut butter on bread that smelled like a PB sandwich, and of course Paw Patrol.
After perusing the aisles and getting suckered into buying the boys stuff they did not need, we headed to the parking lot to leave messages of hope on car windows for people to find. I wrote a few ahead of time, but then the boys wrote their own messages and were way better than I could have imagined. They wrote “God loves you,” “You matter,” and “You Are Important!” One of the car owners actually came out before we were done and praised the boys. He was so touched by their words. He happened to be a pastor at a local church and told them he was going to keep their notes. You never know how your words can impact a stranger.
After, we headed to Desert Ridge. The boys had to find the stage there and do some dance moves. They definitely were not shy. The vulnerability and innocence of children is the magic of Christmas we adults really could use right now. They did all the dabs and fornite moves their little bodies and mamas would let them do.
Their next mission was to find a Christmas book in Barnes & Noble and read it allowed. Of course, we counted that as homeschooling that day. What isn’t magical about hearing your kids read about Christmas?
Our last hunt was for the Christmas Tree standing a gazillion feet high by the wishing fountain. Here the boys were instructed to make a wish for themselves, for their friend, and for the world. And if this wasn’t the wonder of the season… the true meaning of this Christmas. These boys wished happiness for one another and an end to Covid for the world.
All morning the boys were hunting for answers to clues, but I believe the mamas found the greater meaning, that no pandemic can steal away the true meaning of Christmas, which is the love we have in serving one another, being with those we care about, and wishing and dreaming of the Christmas magic found in every day life.