Today I will be vulnerable, and I hope you bear with me.
I don’t share many things about my personal life here on the blog, but for some reason I felt strongly that I should share our yearly tradition of “Light The World” with you this year. 

“Light the World” is an initiative put out by the church I belong to, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This initiative is 4 weeks of ideas of how to make the world, your community and your family brighter during the month of December.

I love that the ideas are super simple. These ideas require only a small amount of effort and you can incorporate them easily into your daily routine, but these small efforts could mean real change to you and those around you.  I know many of you have donated your crocheted items to those in need and this is absolutely a wonderful way of Lighting the World! 

I printed out this advent calendar a couple weeks ago (you can download this free serving-based advent calendar here) and put it on the fridge so my family could prepare to serve others these next weeks of December.  It gives you daily ideas of how you can possibly serve and bring some light into the lives of others. They are most very easy ideas, but you can take the spirit of the project and come up with ideas that have more personal meaning to you. 

I strongly believe in teaching my children very young how to serve others (not just during the Holidays!). Serving really helps kids see the needs of others and my hope is that my kids will learn to love those around them and strive to put the needs of others before themselves.  

Dallas and I were also able to visit the Giving Machine in Salt Lake City, Utah this last year.
In case you haven’t heard of then, the Giving Machines are vending machines with a charitable twist. You choose your items just like a regular vending machine, and purchase with your credit card. However, instead of buying candy or soda, you are purchasing charitable items for people in need. Donations ranged from filling a backpack for $5 to buying a cow for $150. Dallas and I decided to buy 100 meals and two chickens. What a small way to make a big difference (I hope) in someone’s life.


You are, of course, not required to use the advent calendar that I shared, but my hope is that we can all work together to make the space around us just a bit more positive and loving. It really only takes tiny acts of kindness! 

Outward positive energy can also turns inward and make our own lives more positive, and I think we could all use a bit more positive energy!

Will you join me in Lighting the World this holiday season? 






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  1. Sorry I also meant to say that the giving machines are a fantastic idea!! I haven’t seen any around here even though we do have a fairly large number of LDS members in our small town and state

  2. My family is not LDS but we, too, strive to help others as much as possible by giving, serving, and praying. Thank you for the calendar

  3. Thank you so much for bringing the love of crochet back to my life. I am retired due to health and I have made chemo hats and Afghans for everyone in my family. I had not crocheted for 30 years and now I can,t go a day without.

  4. Thanks for sharing all that you do, I thought you were LDS, with some of the comments that you make…!! I just downloaded the Light the World calendar for this year, and then I read your comments…!!! My Saturday service was to work at the Indianapolis temple, in the office there…it’s not a new thing (something I’ve done for 3 years) but…I love doing service for others. I am crocheting things to give to others for Christmas…thanks for all of your patterns and ideas. Merry Christmas to you and your family…blessings to you all.

    1. What a wonderful thing! My children are young, but I hope to be able to work in the temple when they get a bit older. We live in rural Utah, but are blessed to have a small mini-temple right in our town. Merry Christmas!

      1. We LOVE working at the temple…and also work in the Family History Center. As we are getting older, that is our most enjoyment…and as we transition to what President Nelson is putting into place, we’re trying to get more done with that. We listen to the scripture tapes (have finished with the Book of Mormon, and the New Testament, and are now on the Old Testament) I crochet while I listen…!!!

  5. The closest giving machine for me is in London, 😛 but my family and I are going to find a way to help a family of refugees who live in our town this week.
    Hugs from France #eclairerlemonde

    1. There are only a couple of them, I hope our church puts up more and more each year! Your idea is absolutely wonderful and it will make a HUGE impact on that family. Thank you for helping “light the world”, I hope you receive much positivity and happiness in return! <3 <3

  6. I love this! Thanks for sharing this wonderful plan of lighting the world! I also appreciate the way you share your crocheting talent with free patterns and great ideas every week! I’m a big fan of Whistle and Ivy!

  7. I love the idea of the Giving Machine. So amazing. And thanks for sharing your advent calendar I can’t promise we will do everything but we will defiantly take inspiration from it.

    1. And I probably won’t do everything either! but I think your idea of using it as inspiration is perfect. Little small things can make a big different to someone <3

  8. What a wonderful thing to do and to have available…the giving machine. yes and we don’t have to give money or material things. If we even are kind to a person who has no one or someone grieving over a recent tragedy in their family we are also spreading light. Thank you for sharing more of yourself.

    1. It’s true. I think those non-tangible gifts are what make the most impact too! I can’t recall many of my Christmas gifts growing up, but I remember service we did for others and I especially remember the couple Christmases where we were the recipient of service and love. Thank you for ready Ruth. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

  9. Thanks Beth! I had totally forgotten to look up the light the world calendar for this year. Oh and for some reason a few weeks ago it came to mind that you were a member of the Church. You radiate so much kindness! Thanks so much for sharing your talents!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing your family’s advent ideas. Definitely agree we should all carry on with love and light thru the holiday season and throughout the whole year! I love the Giving Machine. There should be one in every major city. Would be so great to bring the kids or grandkids to choose their ‘gift’. Donating money is great but for children to be able to ‘see’ where their money is going, would be amazing!

    1. I agree! There was only one in Utah last year, so I think they will be putting more and more up each year. We weren’t able to take our kids, but we might need to make another trip with them. Teaching kids selfless love is SO important!

  11. Thank You, Bethany, for sharing ways to “Light the World”!
    Many Blessings to You and Your family.
    Merry Christmas.
    Kind Regards

  12. Hello Bethany, I have not heard of the Giving Machine until I read your blog. It is an amazing way to help people all over the world. Thank you for sharing. May God bless you and your family and I wish you a very Merry Christmas.