I LOVE LOVE LOVE the church’s Light the World campaign each year and have had so many wonderful experiences finding ways to keep the kids involved. They love it and have become very service oriented because of it. I also like to find ways to focus on Christ through any activity we participate in throughout the month.
This year is obviously going to look very different, but I think with some creativity we can make it even more special and meaningful this year.
The calendar produced by the church this year is very social media heavy in order to promote safe socialization which is a little hard to involve little kids in so here’s some ideas to bring it beyond social media and on the kids’ level. Take pictures and videos of what your kids are doing and share them as you are comfortable on social media or just with family and friends, and then at the end of the month look through the pictures and videos together of everything you have done to light the world.
1- Giving Tuesday- choose an organization you want to donate to. Use physical cash or money if possible so the kids can actually see it. You could use a physical donation slip and envelope at church for the humanitarian fund and have the kids put the money in and hand it to the Bishop. Or if you can find one of the fun coin drops (you know the ones where the coins circle around until they drop in) gather whatever change you can find and have some fun while you donate.
2- Hero Highlight- write letters/ color pictures to send through Operation Gratitude.
3- Peace on Earth- learn about another culture (or a few cultures) that has a celebration this time of year. There are tons of children’s books available on Youtube. Here’s two that I really like:
4- The Christ Child- watch The Christ Child then make gingerbread/ graham cracker stables. We typically use a peach ring for the manger, sour patch kids to make the Holy Family, and animal crackers for the animals.
5- Pay it Backwards- make a Thank you card for someone
6- Fast Relief- depending on age and other health factors- consider having your kids fast in a way that is appropriate for them and for your family. While a traditional fast suggests we go without food for two meals you could shorten that to one meal, or only eat very simple and plain foods. Then select food items to donate to a charity. (You could also do a typical fast offering- however for young kids they will understand better if they see the actual food being donated.) Tonight is also the First Presidency Christmas Devotional
7- Signs of Christmas- decorate someone’s door or do sidewalk chalk in their driveway.
8- Health Caring- decorate disposable masks with Christmas stickers so the kids can have a festive mask when needed. Discuss how we can show appreciation to health care workers and help keep everyone healthy.
9- Words of Love- read some Christmas books together, then pick a book to send to a friend or charity (or both!)
10- Light the Family Tree- Print pictures of your family as far back as you can (I have a set that goes back to mine and my husband’s great grandparents). We use them regularly for family home evening so they are worth having and laminating. You could put them on your actual Christmas tree, get a mini tree (or rosemary bush!), or make a fake tree on a wall or fridge.
11- Treats Times Two- make (or buy) treats to drop off
12- Shop with Care- find a small local business to support- we love going to petting zoos in December to remind us of the animals in the stable. You could also just find a small business to buy some Christmas presents from, or find a small restaurant.
13- Serene Sunday- try to get out and spend some time in nature or just enjoy your Christmas tree and talk about how Heavenly Father and Jesus created the earth for us to enjoy.
14- Social Sing and Serve- more info will be coming about an online event this day so check out LightTheWorld.org/sing but if that event doesn’t work out with the kiddos just gather the family and sing your favorite Christmas songs. Some from the hymn book, some from the Children’s Songbook, and some just for fun. If you can convince your kids to sing on camera you could do some virtual caroling to loved ones near and far!
15- Love Mom and Dad- make cards or crafts for grandparents/ or adopt some grandparents in your neighborhood or see if you can drop off something to a local nursing home.
16- Shining Star- make star frames out of popsicle sticks and let the kids pick whose picture they want in their star.
17- Christmas Dinners- Donate more food to a food bank, or make some freezer meals (or sides) and take to someone who could use some help (either financially or timewise) with their holiday meals.
Green Bean Casserole is easy (and pretty inexpensive) to put together in bulk then divided into disposable pans to be frozen. Or there’s a lot of breakfast foods that can do the same so they can just pop them in the oven the day of!
18- Christmas Stories- snuggle up for a Christmas read-a-thon and movie marathon. Some of our favorite Christmas movies:
- The Star
- VeggieTales- Little Drummer Boy, Saint Nicholas, Christmas Star, etc.
- The Grinch (great for talking about repentance)
19- Letters of Light- write letters/ draw pictures for missionaries you know in your family, serving in your ward, or serving from your ward/stake.
20- Looping Luke 2- Use one of these sequencing activities to help your kids learn and tell the Christmas story. Film them telling the story. You could also take turns telling part of the story.
This page has a 3 part (great for really little ones) and a 4 part sequencing coloring pages.
This page you have to sign up for the newsletter to get the free printable. It’s a 6 part (good for right around kindergarten) that comes pre-colored and in black and white to be colored (great for the older kids to get more involved!)
Even older kids could get involved by drawing their own or using pictures from church magazines to make a collage.
21- Together Time- Continue your Christmas story and movie marathon- there’s plenty to go around! Invite friends or family from far away to watch at the same time so you can feel connected across the miles and talk about your favorite parts of the movie after.
22- Sharing Light- find a light display to visit
23- Gifts from God- wrap a box in paper that can be written/ colored on (most gift wrap won’t work super well). Have everyone write or draw pictures of the gifts they have received from God on the outside of the box. Keep it under the tree as a reminder.
24- Goodwill to Fam- Have a special family dinner (we eat Middle Eastern food to get a taste of what Jesus would have eaten and use an oil lamp like those that were used in Biblical times) talk about why you love each other. Write down what the kids say to each other so they can look back on it down the road.
25- Light of the World- Put mini flashlights or glowsticks in the kids’ stockings. Read John 8:12 together about Jesus being the Light of the World. Look at all of the pictures and videos you made throughout the month as you worked to Light the World!
26- Light 2021- Use the printable below to set goals for how you can continue to Light the World throughout 2021. We like to use this dice activity from the Friend to help us set goals.