My long-time readers know that the holidays can be pretty sad for my family as we commemorate the death of my angel mother. It's impossible to go through Halloween without thinking of three days before in 2009, the day she went from apparent good health to collapsed in the hospital with only a few weeks to live. It's impossible to go through Thanksgiving without thinking of the last Thanksgiving we shared with her - it was one of the last days she was up in her wheelchair, and one of the last days she remembered who I was. On my birthday I think about how we buried my mother in a frozen cemetery the day before, how I had never felt less like a child and more like an adult. A few days later was the bleakest Christmas I have ever had.
That's why mormon.org's Christmas campaign is so beautiful this year. It's all about doing small but meaningful acts of service. When people reach out and help others, it lights up the entire world. Whether or not you share my religious beliefs, I think it's a message we can all agree on.
Nobody was better at service than my mom. When I was thinking about a small act of service to share with my readers today, I went through quite a few possibilities. Should I clean out my closet and donate the extra clothes? Should I volunteer at a homeless shelter? Make care packages for the military? Deliver cookies to some neighbors?
All of those are great ideas, but then I thought - What would my mom do?
She would host a play date.
We ALWAYS had somebody else's kids over at our house. My mom was so great at giving parents a break to go on a date or get work done or just take a nap. And she was so great at loving every single child she came across. The best way I know to keep my mom's legacy alive is to try and be like her.
Of course I'll never be as wonderful as my mom in a million years, but I thought - this is one thing I can do. I can host a play date. I can give parents a little break, and I can love these kiddos.
So I did. It was a small act of service, just a few hours on a Saturday morning, but I really loved it, and I think these sweet kids did too. And that's the great thing about service. It helps you, it helps the person being served, and it helps the world be a little brighter. And it went surprisingly well, considering there were eight children under the age of three running around my small apartment. ;)
To see more examples of my Savior Jesus Christ and the ways he served people, click here. For more information about the #LIGHTtheWORLD Christmas campaign (launches officially this Friday!) click here, or visit Mormon.org's Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page. And press play below to see the video of our little play date.
Thank you to Mormon.org for partnering with Silver Lining to create this video and blog post today. The content and opinions expressed, as well as my belief in the power of service, is all my own.