I remember when my oldest daughter looked me in the eye and asked me if I believed in Santa Claus. I replied, “Yes. I believe that Santa represents the Spirit of Christmas and each one of us plays a role to ensure that it’s magic blesses each holiday season.”
Christmas traditions provide a wonderful way to bolster the Spirit of Christmas. From bringing life into the house with a freshly cut tree, to reading our favorite Christmas books, to making cookies and fudge in the kitchen while singing our favorite Christmas Carols –> the Feed Yard Foodie house is alive with holiday traditions.
This year, I decided to add a new tradition — one that not only provided personal introspection but also gave a special gift to others outside of our family.
I created a Christmas Scavenger Hunt.
- I filled 30 index cards with inspirational quotes (10 for each of my daughters).
- My favorite farmer created hiding places for the index cards around the farm along with hilarious riddles to help the girls figure out the location of the cards.
- The girls each received their packet of hints and set out to solve the riddles.
- Once they collected all ten of their quotes and tied them together in a book for keepsakes, they raced back to the kitchen to find the final gift.
The final gift contained a certificate to be rebated with Heifer International. This international charity empowers families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity through donations of farm animals and animal care training. Bringing agriculture and commerce to areas with long histories of poverty, Heifer International projects provide both food and reliable income with products such as milk, honey, and eggs to be traded or sold at market.
Heifer International believes that passing on the gift creates sustainable communities filled with hopeful and proud individuals. As the gifted farm animals reproduce, their offspring are shared with neighbors bringing an outreach much greater than any one individual animal. Heifer International is one of my favorite charities for two reasons:
- I love to see agriculture play a pivotal role in raising families out of poverty.
- I love that the recipients of the gifts also receive training so that they can take the gift and turn it into a better life.
It isn’t just a hand out — It is the means to help end the cycle of poverty. Focusing on cultivating pride, it provides necessary training to pair with the incredible work ethic indigenous to the recipient communities.
My girls and my favorite farmer chose to donate:
- A Pig
- A Share of a Heifer
- An Alpaca
- Two sets of Rabbits
- Multiple flocks of Chickens, Geese, or Ducks
I loved watching them comb the website and discuss which gifts would help the most people. The Christmas Scavenger Hunt provided multiple angles of giving as my girls also collected a keepsake of inspirational quotes to read during the rest of the Christmas Season. I hope that the memories of the day will help them to realize the true Spirit of Christmas.
Together we can spread the gift of love — the gift of respect — the gift of hope, both within our families and all across the globe.
*A special thanks to John and Sandy Butler for inspiring me to create the Christmas Scavenger Hunt for my family. Hopefully their gift of inspiration will continue on with each of you!