Sponsored: Have I Done Any Good?

Inspired by this month’s give-back theme for the Fiesta Movement, what do you plan on giving this year? I love this idea of paying it backward! I’ve been a lucky recipient of in years past (way before blogs were ever a thing). It’s great how such a small gesture can brighten someone’s day.



Growing up we did sub-for-santa almost every year. There were some years when we gave to strangers and others to families in our immediate neighborhood. I have such fond memories of door bell ditching presents. I remember the panic I felt when my brother’s pants got caught on a chain link fence. Not panic for my brother’s behalf (or behind), but panic that the unsuspecting family may find out our plans. Good times.


The most memorable was my first Christmas at college for one of the girls in our complex:

For nearly two years, Hanni’s only contact with her Germany-based family had been email and Instant Messenger. Two guys in our building knew how much she missed her family and saw the most beautiful opportunity. For about a week they canvased the complex for any donations, each of us giving as much as we could.

I remember sitting in my apartment, hearing audible shrieks and sobs coming from the hallway the night those guys ditched the plane ticket on her front door step. I can’t express the joy that filled my heart, knowing that she would be able to have her family near during Christmas break.

After the break she told us about her surprise trip. She didn’t inform her parents about her upcoming arrival. It was Hanni’s sister who picked her up from the airport, wrapped her in a large box and delivered her to her parents on Christmas Eve. For a while, Hanni’s parents insisted they wait until Christmas Day to open the large gift. It didn’t wait.


I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall at the moment Hanni’s parents realized their whole family would be together at Christmas. For a moment, our complex wasn’t about selfish desires and school finals. Through serving, we were in sync with the real Christmas spirit.

Perhaps one of the most important ways I can “give back” this year is to teach my children that Christmas is not about gifts. It’s about something more. For our family it’s about remembering Christ and about being just a little more patient, kind, loving and giving. All things I’ve been terrible at lately. Holidays stress me out. It’s my goal this week to get out of our house and do something kind for someone else.

What are your favorite ways to give back during the Christmas season? 

This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own.


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    1. Kristin H says:

      What a lovely story? This year, I realized Evie was too focused on what she was going to get from Santa and uninterested in giving. So, we are doing an act of service each day. I’d love to say that I created a calendar and documented it, but lets be real: aint nobody got time for time. Last night, we helped a friend pack her kitchen in lieu of a formal FHE. Another day, Evie put her dishes in the sink with no prodding from me. Its really helping.

    2. Alysa says:

      Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing! Last night I made a bunch of chicken alfredo casseroles and cookies for my ‘stress and time management’ class participants. They were so happy to receive a home cooked meal they could take home and share with their families.

    3. Lady ID says:

      Oh wow. That’s a beautiful story. And those guys…how wonderful and thoughtful of them.

    4. Kristin lion says:

      Aww. Choked me up a bit. I love Alysa’s idea too!

    5. Meredith Church says:

      I had forgotten all about that story and reading this post brought a gigantic smile to my face. Thanks for the awesome reminder about what christmas should always feel like!

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