Last year I started a new tradition in our household. I incorporated random acts of kindness with our advent calendar (or countdown to Christmas). As we countdown the days to Christmas, beginning December 1st, we do one random act of kindness each day until Christmas morning.
I love how it helps keep our focus on what really matters during the Holiday season. As we know it’s not about the Christmas tree, gifts or the lights, but the love God has shown us through the birth of His son, Jesus. Based on the scriptures I believe it’s not only my duty as a mother, but also as a Christian, to teach my children to share that same love with others. I think this is a great way to fan the flame of the true Christmas spirit.
It all started with an adorable post someone had on Pinterest of a wooden tree with hooks. I immediately asked my handy Dad to recreate it for me. Now if you can’t get your hands on a tree, there’s so many other ways you can display your countdown to Christmas. I’ve seen boxes, envelopes or even something as simple as links. The heart of this advent idea is not in the display, but the character development that takes place in your home and the lives that are touched.
To prepare I hand-write 25 different random acts of kindness on 25 index cards but I recommend typing them up so they’re ready to print every year. The eve of December 1st, I have my kids participate in the advent calendar preparation by putting the notes into our little advent tree bags. Each day my kids take turns pulling out a note. We read the random act of kindness together and hold each other accountable to complete the task by the end of the day.
Even though my kids are young, I feel it’s never too early to train our babies to be kind, thoughtful and courteous. Below is a list of random acts of kindness I’ve done with my kiddos along with some others I look forward to doing when they’re older. Pick and choose what works best for your family.
- Pass out Candy canes to other kids in the line of a store
- Tape candy canes to shopping carts
- Put Candy canes on cars
- Pass on some of your books to a friend
- Create care packages
- Feed another car’s parking meter
- Call someone and tell them you love and appreciate them
- Write Thank you notes for a local Fire Department or Police Station
- Read a book to your baby sister and let her chose the book
- Donate toys or books to a local Church
- Take a treat to your local librarians
- Face-Time your great-grandparents or grandparents
- Pray for a stranger
- Tell someone about Jesus
- Tell someone about the true meaning of Jesus
- Give a gift to your solid waste / garbage truck driver
- Give a gift to a Veteran
- Take supplies to an animal shelter
- Pay for a stranger’s coffee
- Donate food to a local food pantry
- Give socks, gloves, blankets and/or toiletries to a homeless shelter
- Let someone go in front of you in line
- Hold the door open for someone
- Give out a compliment
- Give out a hug
- Offer help to someone (ie. load groceries, take out their trash, rake their leaves)
- Cook dinner for another family
- Take flowers to a nursing home
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood
- Tape change to a vending machine
- Call a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in awhile
- Do a chore without being told or do someone else’s chore
- Leave a treat for your mail carrier
- Donate toys or coloring books to a children’s hospital or orphanage
- Pay for someone’s toll
- Buy extra school supplies for a teacher
- Donate new pajamas for foster kids
- Bring a treat to your school’s custodian
- Sing songs at a nursing home
- Wash the dishes for your family after a meal
- Create ornaments for Nursing Home’s Christmas Tree
- Leave a dollar bill(s) on the floor in the toy isle at a Dollar store
- Have a bake sale or fundraiser and donate all the earnings to a local charity
- Donate diapers to a local women’s or family shelter
- Sit with someone at your school lunch that looks lonely or doesn’t have many friends
- Give a generous tip
- Take in your neighbor’s trashcans-or the whole street of them
- Send dessert to another family at a restaurant
- Deliver cookies to someone working on Christmas Eve
If you’re reading this blog later in the month and you think it’s too late to get started… Keep in mind it’s NEVER too late to show someone God’s love. Kindness is always needed and gladly received.
If you’re interested, you can read more of our family traditions here.
God bless you all and may you have a very Merry Christmas!
The Chavez family…
Juan, Angelita, Matteo, Milana and Maciella