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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at 

My Stomping Grounds

A few weeks ago I asked one of my daughters what she wanted for Christmas. In an effort to jog her memory, I asked about her favorite gift from the previous year.  She stared at me blankly.

Ummmmm, well… uhhhhhh… let’s see….

I assumed because all the gifts were just-so-incredibly-fabulous that she was having a hard time deciding.


Well, what DO you remember about last Christmas?

All of her memories of our holiday centered around events and people. And it was beautiful to hear her recollections. However, she also insisted with wide-eyes that she still wanted and needed a few toys. 

I mean of course, who doesn’t?

I sat on that little exchange with my daughter for a couple of days.

I kinda celebrated inside that she can’t remember a gift. It proves to my Mama-heart that the focus needs to be elsewhere.

I want my kids to know the importance of loving and serving others. In our church and home, we honor this truth: We give because God gave.

Susan Christmas

This year, in an effort to live this out, my kids and I created Christmas Kindness Day.

A few days before Christmas, we will gather with some of our girlfriends and their daughters and have a day of spreading Christmas Kindness around Fredericksburg and Stafford.

Our goals:

  1. Serve People in our Community
  2. Show Christmas Kindness
  3. Celebrate Christmas Together

I was having a hard time coming up with some ideas to execute this day… and then I remembered my BFF, Google.

Here are a few ideas of we will be doing:

  1. Assemble kits to give out to the homeless in Fredericksburg. Contents: warm socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, cereal bars, Kleenex packs, gloves, hat, etc…
  2. Create cards for the hospital residents in Mary Washington, Spotsylvania Medical Center, Stafford Hospital or any assisted livingcCenter.  These folks are unable to get out and truly enjoy the holidays right now, so we will bring some Christmas Kindness to them!
  3. Take Christmas goodies and cards to our first responder units in Fredericksburg and Stafford. 

There are so many more ideas on Pinterest!  Search till your heart is content!

At the conclusion of our evening we will gather for a dinner to share our experience and talk through the importance of serving others, not just at Christmas, but all year long. A big meal makes everything an event to remember! It doesn’t have to be an expensive moment AT ALL.  Go pot-luck at a friend’s house or many restaurants have private dining areas where they would give you the space for free… or smores around a fire pit is super festive too!  The meal creates an atmosphere for moms and kids to enjoy this season together after a full day of serving others.

Perhaps the greatest gift you can give your kiddos this Christmas is a day of kindness with their friends. Grab a few of your girlfriends and their kiddos and go create memories of service.

This reason for this season is so worthy of the excitement we put around it. Go enjoy every moment with your families!

If you do decide to have Christmas Kindness Day... post it on Faceboook, Twitter or Instagram with #ChristmasKindnessDay.  We would love to celebrate with you!

Merry Christmas, Parents!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.