While I wrote the article a couple years ago, this has become a treasured family tradition. This will be year number 4. Whenever I share about The Sparkle Box, I’m asked where to get the book. It’s that time of year, so here’s our story once again. Be inspired anew.
~~Lynn, November 2015
As I write this the calendar has turned to November. It’s that time when our focus most often turns to a lengthy and near impossible to-do list. We begin seriously thinking holidays are coming quickly — in fact, they’re here! For some that to do list includes a thankful list: naming something each day in November that you are thankful for, and that has become a tradition for you — a very wise one to be sure. How do we turn the abundance of all that we are thankful for into another tradition of blessing those less blessed than ourselves. Truly it is more blessed to give than to receive. It is impossible to out give what we receive. Opportunities to give of ourselves — our time, our lives, our blessings — are everywhere.
To become a tradition, there must be a beginning. And so it is with the book and accompanying activity of The Sparkle Box (affiliate link) in our family’s holiday preparations and Christmas celebration. A strong desire to emphasize the true meaning of the season for all of us, led to my 2012 discovery of this treasure. As a young boy and his parents participate in the usual errands of the season, they pause along the way to notice the needs of others. Unknown to the boy, these remembrances are written down and placed in the sparkle box. All he knows is this box is a special gift. He learns that they will open it later, but first they must fill it. When the box is opened on Christmas he realizes all the ways that he and his family have made a difference in the lives of others — a reminder of the reason we celebrate at all. The book comes complete with its very own sparkle box. It is available by clicking on the title earlier in this paragraph.
After reading the book with our young granddaughters Christmas 2012, we all agreed it would be fun for our family to share our blessings this way, too. It would be an awesome reminder of the importance of keeping our focus on the real reason for Christmas. I shared about this book and we were filling our sparkle box, others began adapting the idea to use with youth groups, Sunday School classes, workplaces, etc. Please know that I share this as an example of the privilege and responsibility we have toward others. To God alone be the glory — a testimony to all that He is and does in our lives all the time! You’re encourage to do this in your own special way. You’ll discover in The Sparkle Box that many of these opportunities are spontaneous responses to observed needs, and my grandchildren are often quicker to notice these than I am myself.
Many non-profit groups would love donations of your time and resources. Money is always welcome in these organizations (and in some cases the best option). Some of us desire a hands on approach. We’re looking for ways to be involved. Here are a few ideas:
Compassion International (Child Sponsorship)
I pray you find inspiration in these ideas, and discover opportunities to share your blessings in meaningful ways! I’m eager to hear some of your stories and to see what special moments will be remembered when we open our Sparkle Boxes.
The Sparkle Box book is available here.