Light ‘Em Up 2015 is here!!!


This is my favorite blog post every year. Here we go! It’s time to gather our families and go light ’em up!

We “light up” the hearts of people with love and kindness. Who? ANYONE in your community that could use a simple “thank you” or  “Merry Christmas” or “we appreciate you.” Maybe your garbage collector? or school volunteers? or crossing guard? or librarian? How about the homeless community near your home?

If you’ve done this before, you’ve seen the faces. One kind gesture literally lights up the heart of another and it’s contagious.


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And, don’t forget your kids! This is a family activity aimed at teaching them generosity through experience vs lecture.

What’s new this year?


Eeeek! I have been wanting to do this for so long. The story needs more than a blog post – so I gathered some of my buddies the Pitts (yes, you’ll recognize her from War Room!) and the MacFaydens and the Ellis Family and we made it happen.

Would you help me spread this video around … let’s say.. the world? We want Light ‘Em Up veterans to get excited for another year and new families from every state and every country to join in. I’ve always dreamed big. Let’s do this.

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A few of you started Light ‘Em Up Facebook pages (like Greenville, way to go!) to better coordinate efforts in your city and I love it! Working together is always more efficient. I started a few groups in my hometowns of Orlando, Atlanta and Dallas. Feel free to start one in your town and just share ideas and great opportunities to Light ‘Em Up in your area. Please make sure donations are being collected to non-profit organizations vs individuals.

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I created a main page that has the video and has all the main links and also includes frequently asked questions. If you had ONE LINK to share with friends – I would make it this one that you are reading – or THIS NEW LINK. You can also use “LightEmUpActs.Com.”

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Where to start?

Start by spreading this video! It’s time to shout this from the rooftops of your neighborhood, Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter, church group or school – invite all your people to try just one thing.

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Here’s an easy way to say it – feel free to use this for your social media pages. You can put this copy right below the link of the video.

Step 1: Post this video link:

Step 2: Put this below it OR feel free to add your own comments about your experience! Would love that!

This link has 100 easy, creative ideas for generosity complete with cute gift tags. Just try it once and you’ll be hooked. Join us! Most heart-warming family tradition. #LightEmUpActs

Light Em Up Gift Tags 2014

Where are the free resources?

The tags, and 100 ideas and planning guide are the same great resources. You can get them RIGHT HERE or at the overview page.

Background – First Blog Post on Light ‘Em Up

Top 10 Ideas from 2014

Light ‘Em Up: 100 Ideas To Try With Your Family

Light ‘Em Up: Classroom Starter Ideas for Teachers

Light ‘Em Up: Gift Tags for Treats

Light ‘Em Up: Planning Document for a Family Meeting

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Will you comment below if you are IN for this year and tell us your city, state or country. We want to hit every state in the U.S. and as many countries as possible!

I often think my “little light” doesn’t matter in the scheme of the world, but it does. You do your part. I’ll do mine. And together we can spread loads of kindness to a world that needs it. In the midst of bombs and deep hurt and unfathamable crisis, let’s remind our communities that people care and there is hope.






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  1. Yay! The video rocks! As I was reading your post, I said, “that little girl looks just like Lily! In fact those boys do too.” They are going to be so ecstatic to have made your post. The graphic of the world all lit up made my heart smile the biggest smile. Thank you for starting this and equipping us with the resources to make brightening somebody’s day that much easier.

  2. We loved this last year. Our family had so much fun. This year we will be starting here in London and spreading the love and joy of light em up as we travel to Australia to see our family. Thank you for being such a huge inspiration.

  3. Our family is in all of the way!!! We can’t wait! Thank you for sharing this contagious love at Christmas!!! We appreciate you! Blessings from our family to yours!

  4. We are in Dothan, Al and we are all about lighting up our community!
    Thanks for all you do to encourage others!

    1. Hey Sabrena. My grandparents used to live in Eufala – right off 431 – not in one of the mansions. I used to dream of that. 🙂 But on a farm. Dothan is beautiful. Thanks for lighting it up this Christmas!

  5. We are in. This is one of our favorite advent activities. It is a blessing to us to do something for others. I am a teacher and am presenting this as a challenge to our student body, that they can “light” up our community by the random acts of kindness they do. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do.

  6. My name is Remi Makanjuola. I live in kennesaw GA, I’d love to join the Atlanta group or do I need to start a kennesaw one? Either way we are in! My family is young, my husband and I have been married for 5 years and our goal is to make giving our lifestyle, our boys are 3 yrs and 22 months.

    1. Hey Remi! You are welcome to join the Atlanta group. Come on in! So glad you are starting young. Mine were 2 and 5 when we started and it was so fun.

    1. Ashley. I hope you enjoy it so much. Baby steps – try just a couple things and get your kids input. They will enjoy it better when they are invested in the ideas.

  7. We are so in!!! I’m very excited to get started here in College Station, Texas. Whoop! I plan on holding a neighborhood meeting this weekend. Thanks so much for all y’all do out there! Keep spreading that light! You have have NO idea what one tiny act of kindness means to another soul…there are times when it can mean everything!!! Never forget that!

  8. we are starting this in Leon, Guanajuato Mexico for the very first time! 🙂 cannot wait yo spread love and kindness <3

  9. Can’t wait! We’ve done it every year since you started, and it’s one of our fav traditions. Thank you, and we can’t wait to light up Atlanta.

  10. Im so excited about this! It will be our first year but I’ve already got a crowd on board to Light Em Up here in Lehi, Utah! Thank you!!!

  11. The Buchanans in Eufaula, Alabama are in! We love lighting up our small town every year. Just posted your video to my Facebook. Praying for others in our town to share the love of Christ with others through the Light Em Up! Ready, set, go!!!!

  12. Just posted your link on my FB page. Yay! Love this program and hope to start it in our family this year . . . even if just a few acts of kindness get accomplished! Excited to get the ball rolling and absolutely love the idea. Welcome to Dallas!

      1. Dry, então acho que pra você compensa usar a anilina. Se eu encontrar amanhã, eu pinto meu cabelo e monto o passo a passo, aí vou só querer ver o seu colorido &lej;333Bti3os

  13. Post the video to my FB page this morning! I discovered Light em up on Friday and have not been able to stop thinking about it since then. You’ve got a family in Sterling, VA ready to go (hopefully some friends nearby!).

  14. The Miller’s in Newtown, PA are ready to try this for the first time! Love the idea and can’t wait to spread joy!

  15. I listened to the 1st half of your FOTF interview this am & was immediately encouraged as a mother & inspired by your “light ’em up” ideas. My girls & I did our own “top secret giving mission” (i think I like your name better ;-)) at the local dollar store today. I’m looking forward to getting your book & allowing God to open my eyes to new practical ways to train my sweet lil ladies up.

    Thank you!

    Patricia (Maryland)

  16. I had been chatting with my family about doing acts of kindness along with a “25 Days of Christ” tradition that we’ve done for a few years, as a way to not only remember Him, but to do what He would do if He were here right now. This “Light ’em Up” idea fits right in with what I’d hoped we could accomplish, and having the cute gift tags and ideas is so awesome. Thank you for what you have encouraged by sharing your light! The Atwood Family in Alberta, Canada is excited to begin sharing some light!! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  17. We’d also like to do it for the first time here in Switzerland (near the capital city of Berne)! Is it possible to get the tags in Word so that I can translate them into German? Excited to get in on it!

    1. Wonderful Rachael. I read it too fast and thought you were going to “roll” Cumming. That could be magical too – go rolling.

      1. I am excited to see the finished product. You are a good writer and it’s going to be excellent. As you know, I love historical fiction. Add a “dash of romance and a smidge of mystery” and I’m hooked. And, “real people” really gets my attention which increases my anticipation! Get to work! I’ll eagerly await your first book.

  18. We’re in here in Worthington (Columbus suburb), Ohio! Our small family–single mom and her 10 year old daughter– are excited to put the focus on others this Christmas and to spread the hope of Jesus in our community!

    1. Stefani – way to go! What an amazing example you are setting for your daughter. I imagine your hands are full so I am so proud of you for making this a priority. You will make a bigger impact than you know.

  19. I am sooooo excited! I just shared your video on my facebook page! I want us to light Indianapolis with Light’em Up Acts of kindness! It’s a kindness revolution built on the foundation of God’s grace and mercy!
    Dr. D

  20. Just came across your page while looking for a new idea to do with my boys this year. There is a big age gap between the two and I love that both can participate in this easily! Thank you for all the resources and links. The Franklins from CT are in!

    1. Hi Faith! I’m so glad you found it. The internet is full of amazing ideas – so happy to help you in a small way with your boys. Have fun!

      1. Ya basta por favor.El concurso se ha desvirtuado a más no poder, por favor hagan algo para terminar con esta aberración de comentarios…Magos concursantes: Gracias por poner sus videos a pesar de la gente estúpida que solo comenta tonterías.

        1. Tusinde tak for dit svar. Jeg er nu snart færdig med dag 2 og jeg ELSKER både linser og bønner! Da jeg har meget brug for kalk, på grund af svage tænder, er det vel ok at erstatte mælken med kalk piller med vitamin D, ikke?

  21. Thanks for providing all these free resources to get started. We’ve really felt the leading to do Christmas differently. We’re gonna try it for the first time in Lexington, KY!

    1. Great job! It’s always way more fun in a group. You can print the list 100 and have the kids pick which ones most excite them.

  22. We are in! This is my favorite tradition to do with my 3rd & 4th graders at Pullman Christian School in Pullman, Washington!

  23. The LaFountains in Branch County, Michigan are excited to Light em Up for the third year. Sitting down to plan our attack now. hehehe

  24. The Denney’s in Elberta, AL did Acts of Kindness with grandsons this past summer and plan to spread the idea at our Sunday School Brunch we are hosting.

  25. I’m a little late to the party, but we have done this for the past few years and it’s been one of our favorite activities to do at Christmas!! My daughter is 5 and when we started a few years ago, I was hesitant to participate. Not only did I think she wouldn’t understand it but worse was the fact that when I did do the first few acts of kindness, it just didn’t seem like she had any interest- even though I always expressed my excitement! But, I kept up with it and thankfully she has grown to understand what giving is and means and continues to see the good she’s adding to the world!

    We are from Southgate, Michigan

  26. Hi Courtney! We are officially in! We gave our first candy cane today. Gainesville, FL will be participating this year. I am hoping to spread to the idea to all of our youngsters in the church as well. Thanks for all you do!

  27. The Sanford’s from Duxbury, MA are in! And”in”spired by your talk when you came to visit our neck of the woods! Thank you!

  28. Enjoying your radio broadcast on Focus on the Family. Our family will light up Holly Springs,North Carolina. Merry Christmas!! Shine your light bright for all to see. God. Bless.

  29. We just started “Light ’em, Aledo” a couple of days on Facebook! Aledo, Texas is just west of Fort Worth! Check us out! We already have so many people of all ages, lighting up the world for someone.

  30. Our family will be shining light in Clarksville, AR again this year! We are truly looking forward to blessing others this holiday season. <3 Light 'Em Up!

  31. WE are in!! So excited to “show God’s love” as my son & daughter put it!!! Thank you for these resources that make it so doable! 🙂

  32. Hi,
    Can i just say how awesome this is? I just found your blog today and while I am not a mother I am joining in. My young adults group at church and my small group have been looking for ideas to do this holiday and these are great ideas! Some in our group have kids so this is perfect. Thank you again for doing this is is just amazing how we can spread cheer just by doing small acts of kindness!

  33. The Polcari’s are so excited to start with our 3 year old to show him the meaning of Christmas! You inspired me so much when you visited us alllll the way in Norwell, MA!! There aren’t enough “thank-yous” to say here!!! We’re in #lightemup2015!!!

  34. The Hayles family is ready to “LIGHT ‘EM UP” in Nashville, TN!! Thank you for your willingness to put your thoughts into action and inspire ME to do this with my family!

  35. Our homeschool group had our Christmas party today, and we did a “Light ‘Em Up Party!”
    We did a cookie swap and made packages for our police officers with cookies, packages of microwave popcorn and Redbox movie codes! We also made cards and ornaments for officers and visited a nursing home! Everyone at the party took your list of ideas and each family is going to do one more act of kindness as their “Christmas homework!”
    We had such a blast! The kids loved it!

    We’re a group mainly in Carrollton, Texas. 🙂

  36. We (6 families/18 kids) are “lighting up” our south Mississippi community tomorrow! This will be our 3rd year! Super excited!!

    1. Thanks so much with regard to giving me personally an update on this matter on your web page. Please understand that if a new post appears or in the event that any alterations occur to the current article, I would be considering reading a lot more and knowing how to make good use of those techniques you write about. Thanks for your time and cotordeianisn of other men and women by making this site available.

    2. The rumor around New Orleans for the past couple of months according to people who know Archie and Olivia is that having the year off has changed Peyton’s perspective a bit and that he’d much more cautious about playing again. I guess being forced to have a life outside of football is a good sample platter for how good life can be outside of football, and suddenly the entree of playing again doesn’t seem all that appealing.I’m probably not making any sense, but whatever.

  37. We are Lighting ‘Em Up in Alexandria, Virginia for the second year – my boys, now 9 & 6! Thank you for all of the terrific ideas! Merry Christmas!

  38. Several of our church members (Charlotte, NC) participated in many of these kindness acts to spread JOY in our community on 12/21/15. It was fabulous and such a treat for the givers and recipients — young and old.

  39. We wanted to do Light ‘Em Up at Christmas this year, but the timing just didn’t work out. So…we’re doing it in March! Light ‘Em Up…Easter Edition! 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful resources!
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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