Richmond family gives back

Jenae Marshall, News Writer

People may find themselves spending too much time preparing for holiday parties, Christmas concerts and cookie exchanges during the Christmas season. Xavier teacher Mrs. Jaclyn Richmond started a family Advent calendar about ten years ago to help her family stay focused during the season of giving.

When she and her husband, Mark Richmond, had children ,they wanted to make sure the material aspects of Christmas did not overshadow the true importance of the season. Family time is important to them, so they decided to make their own Advent calendar to encourage the whole family to participate.

Ten-year-old Emma Richmond rings her bell for the Salvation Army. Mrs. Jaclyn Richmond Photo.

“As with anything in life, every choice has a trade-off,” Mark Richmond said. “If I spend time volunteering, I miss out on time with my family. But, if we serve together, we not only get quality family time, we are also teaching our children the importance of serving and loving one another.”

The Richmond family has shifted their time from making sure they spend time together as a family towards using their time as a family to serve others. They look at their service activities as them searching for the perfect gift to give God.

Many use Advent as time to prepare their hearts and minds for Christmas.

“As sad as it may seem, I need something to force me to slow down sometimes and keep my priorities in check,” Jaclyn Richmond said. “It is easy to lose focus and let the celebration outshine the reason we are celebrating in the first place.”

Every day during the Advent season, Jaclyn and Mark’s three girls run down the stairs to open the Advent calendar. The parents say this is the one month out of the year that they are slightly more excited to see what more there is to do in the community. The Richmonds encourage everyone to use their abilities to help others because they feel it is what one does with that ability that can make a difference in the world.