Back in 2012, Courtney DeFeo, a mom of 2 girls, was thinking hard about what she wanted to teach her two little girls about Christmas. Overwhelmed by a simple “Christmas” Pinterest search, DeFeo suddenly had an epiphany: she wanted to teach her kids the beauty of Christmas through performing simple acts of kindness throughout her community. In that moment, little known to this mama, an entire MOVEMENT was born, and Courtney named it “Light ‘Em Up”.
She says, “The world says you GET, GET, GET! And, honestly, it’s exciting. I do let them believe in Santa. However, I will fight and do all in power to remind them that THE REASON and our hope is found in the fact that the most amazing man every to step foot on this earth was born on Christmas Day. And, that is something to talk about.
And, that he taught us something very magical – how to LIGHT UP THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE.
He taught us how to be last and how to serve. He taught us how to give and that it’s way better than receiving.”
DeFeo wrote a blog post about her acts of kindness idea, and she was totally unprepared for the life of it’s own that it took on. WIthin a few days, her post had been shared over 40,000 times and it was pinned on Pinterest (ironic much!??!?) over 180,000 times that first year! The result? DeFeo’s family and her community have been transformed by people getting involved in SIMPLE kindnesses! Nothing extravagant, her ideas range from taping quarters to candy machines to taking coffee to someone that works out in the cold.
Courtney has been so inspired by reactions to and involvement with Light ‘Em Up that she has made tons of printables and planning materials to make KINDNESS even easier! I LOVE this idea of getting your kids involved with kindness—especially to people we don’t even know. Check out Courtney’s inspiring video and ideas below, and to get started, head over to the Light ‘Em Up Website!