As the new year begins, I’m always thinking about the calendar. It’s probably because of the yearly planning we all tend to do. (Have to get after those goals, am I right?) Or maybe it’s because every year for the past 16 years I’ve received a wall calendar for Christmas from a dear friend. Whatever the case, a good wall calendar or even a digital calendar that you keep up to date online can help you prepare for the year to come.
Personally, I like to take time in January to go through all of the months of the year in my wall calendar to call out and make note of special dates. There are family members’ and friends’ birthdays; special days like anniversaries, get-togethers and parties; important school dates and activities for my children; and, of course, vacation and holiday planning.
Keeping a calendar is a good reminder that life can be extremely busy at times. At others, it can be mundane.
A Calendar for Consistency
How keeping a calendar helps me to figure out when it’s best for me to write the child I sponsor:
I don’t know about you, but I find it very hard to write to my sponsored child with any consistency unless I plan for it. That’s why keeping a calendar is so helpful.
Remember how I just mentioned that life can be crazy busy? Well, I don’t like to add to the stress and pressure of a busy time of year by adding that very important thing to do on top of everything else.
I use my wall calendar to help me determine the months when I am the least busy, and I make a note to write my letters to my sponsored child during those months.
This works for me because it helps me to prepare. I can add notes from my sponsored child’s last letter as prompts for items to respond to. Or I can look at other things going on in the calendar around the time I intend to write and pull topic ideas from those themes.
Side note: One thing to be aware of is the fact that your child’s response letters won’t be all that timely. For example, if you write a letter in April asking about your sponsored child’s Easter traditions, it can be somewhat entertaining and a little odd to be reading about their Easter plans in June or July, or whenever your sponsored child next replies.
Anyway, if you like the idea of using a calendar to make it a priority to write to your sponsored child in the months that are the least busy for you, here are some monthly letter-writing themes you might find to be helpful. You can pick the months that work best and copy the theme to your wall or digital calendar so you won’t have to bookmark this blog to come back to if you don’t intend to write for at least a few months from now.
12 Ideas for Writing in the Months That Work for You
January: Since goals and new beginnings are already on most people’s minds this month, why not focus on asking about your sponsored child’s hopes and dreams? Share your own hopes for the year, and encourage your sponsored child to know that their dreams are never out of reach with God.
February: The month of February is synonymous with love. Of course, your sponsored child might not celebrate Valentine’s Day in their country, but you could talk about some things that you love. Family, friends, places, things to do, times of the year, puppies, kittens, etc. Then ask your sponsored child about what it is he or she loves.
March: I know, I know … typical guy topic, but everyone knows March is for March Madness! Talk about your favorite sports, athletes or ways to exercise. Ask your sponsored child about the sports he or she plays or what he or she likes to do to stay active.
April: I’ll be honest: The topic for this month should be Easter. It’s always the best one for April. Ask your sponsored child how they celebrate Easter in their country. That said, I also am a bit of a clown, so April Fool’s Day is one of my favorite days. You could also ask your sponsored child to share one of the funniest things that happened to them recently.
May: May is for moms. And, I know, this topic can be a bit sensitive for people who have either lost their moms or didn’t have good relationships with their moms. But let’s expand the topic a bit. Ask your sponsored child about the special women in their life, and encourage them to let the women know they are special. Share about some women in your life who are special to you.
June: Similar to May, June holds Father’s Day. Ask your sponsored child about the men in their life. Whom does he or she look up to? Share with them some stories of honorable men in your life.
July: This is a topic near and dear to me. July Fourth is the day that Americans celebrate our national heritage and honor a nation’s decision to declare itself free from tyranny. And by the providence of a great and holy God, all men and women are created with equal dignity. Talk to your sponsored child about their own dignity in Christ. Tell them that they were created for a purpose and that God gives them their rights.
August: This is the month when most kids in America go back to school. Naturally, it makes a great topic to talk about with your sponsored child. Ask your sponsored child about their school. Where is it? What is it like? What is their favorite subject?
September: The air becomes crisp, the light shines golden and the leaves begin to turn bright colors. It’s a beautiful time of the year. It’s also when fruit trees and bushes begin to yield their fruits. Ask your sponsored child about the seasons in their country. When do the crops become ready for harvest? What is their favorite fruit?
October: Even though farmer’s markets tend to run throughout the summer, October is when you have the biggest selection of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from and typically the best prices as most markets close down for the year. Ask your sponsored child what the markets are like in their country. Where do they buy their meat, milk, fruits and veggies? What item is their favorite to buy from the market?
November: Of course, the topic for this month is thankfulness. Ask your sponsored child about a few things they are thankful to have in their life.
December: Could it be anything other than Christmas? It’s already on every child’s mind. And every Compassion child receives a gift for Christmas. Ask your sponsored child what he or she received as a gift for Christmas. Most centers will have parties and celebrations. Ask about those parties, and share some of your own Christmas memories and traditions.
Birthday letter: I like to send a quick note each year to wish my sponsored child a happy birthday! It’s usually very short and just says something to the effect of “I’m thinking of you on your special day.”
Share Your Ideas
Do you have any of your own topics for any of these months that you think could be helpful? Add them in the comments below. And if now is a good time to start the first letter of the year, follow the link below to get writing.