Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Giving: Our Surprise in the Mailbox

I wrote on my other blog a few weeks ago about how much I DREAD the arrival of the holiday toy catalogs in the mail.  The moment they enter the front door is the last moment I have any quiet until Christmas is over. The air is constantly filled with, "I want, I want, I want!!!"  Leading up to Thanksgiving, I try to help everyone in our family to focus on the blessing of things we have instead of things we want.  It is usually pretty successful, and if I try hard to carry that over through the Christmas season, the "I Want's" die down to a manageable rate.

Throughout December the boys and I  focus our thoughts and energy on the simplicity of giving to other people instead of the intensity of keeping our Santa lists up-to-date.  This has been one of our favorite activities...

Eating the Nibbly Bibs

The Recipients:  The people who live on our street
The Activity:  Make & Deliver a small treat 
The Goal:  Add a joyful surprise to the mundane task of getting the mail.

Here's how we did it:

First, we counted out 10 chocolate squares, & 10 candy canes, then glued the top of the chocolate squares...

Eating the Nibbly Bibs

 ...and put the candy canes on top...

Next we tied ribbon around the candy "package". I would advise making sure the ribbons are long enough for a new knot-tier and then trim them up.

 Always let the kids choose a comfortable place to work...

The last step in creating our mailbox surprises was cutting out the tags and tying them on top. I used these tags, but also really liked these ones...

Eating the Nibbly Bibs
Eating the Nibbly Bibs


My boys understand the concept of doing nice things for other people, but still, they're young.   I did want them to feel the reward at the end and had promised they could have some after we'd made our deliveries.  Still they were whine and beg to eat chocolate and candy canes. My ears bleed with the racket and I almost always prematurely decide the activity was an epic fail.  BUT, the minute we walk out the door, their whole attitude changes!  They get giddy, running from mailbox to mailbox and wanting to make SURE they don't miss anybody.  They get sad when a mailbox is empty, because that means the neighbor has already picked up their mail for the day.  I've caught them peeking out the window the next day to make sure those people get their goodies!

Eating The NibblyBibs

 I'd love to hear how you help your little ones understand the joy of giving or have you share this post with someone looking to add more giving into their holiday season!


  1. Oh, I love this idea. I've been wanting to leave something in the mailbox for our mail carrier and I think we may do something like this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is a great idea. And I like the look of focus on your son's face as he works on assembly. Please consider linking this up to Look What We Did. -Savannah

  3. Now that's some Christmas mail I can get into...what an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land...hope to see you again soon :)

  4. I definitely agree with the idea of doing nice things for others! I also strive to raise compassionate children. Sometimes hard in our materialistic world. Love your little treats. :)

    Hi from waddlee-ah-chaa!

  5. Very sweet... And not too complicated, as this season is so busy. Thanks for sharing!

  6. We have a neighborhood lockbox set-up thing, so I couldn't leave them for the neighbors. But I certainly could leave it for the mailman.

  7. I don't know that there is anything so beautiful as a child who has learned the joy of giving! Your post made me smile today-thanks so much for that!

    Are you familiar with the blog Lil Light O' Mine? She has a great thing going this Christmas season with Light 'Em Up, with a slew of ideas on giving. Here is her link:

    Thanks for sharing your joy at NOBH!


It's so nice to hear your ideas! Thanks for taking the time to share.


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