We wanted, this year, to take some focus off the amount of gifts they'd be getting or what they wanted this year for Christmas and focus more on what Christmas SHOULD be about.
I saw the idea floating around Pinterest about doing random acts of kindness and I thought it was a fabulous idea.
I wanted to incorporate an act of kindness each day leading up to Christmas that my kids could do that would help them appreciate all they have and to be lucky enough to see how good it feels to help others and not only worry about themselves.
I wanted to make this an enjoyable experience for the entire family and get everyone involved. And we did.
There were no fancy printables (except for my kindness calendar which I'll link below). We hand wrote each card, picture, or note. We wanted it to be special and personalized from us. :)
Some days, because of school schedules or because there was something else going on, we did miss the opportunity here and there to do one act of kindness each day. We did make it up either the following day or on the weekend by doing more than one on that day. There were days we actually did 3 or 4 acts. But it all got done and we learned so much from this experience.
I wanted my kids to learn that it doesn't take much to help someone or to brighten someone's day.
We did most of our acts anonymously because I wanted them to know that doing something kind for someone or helping someone should go without recognition. It's not about getting a thank you or for getting praise. It's simply about being kind to others.
Here are the acts we did for the month of December.......
- We hid a dollar in the toy section of the dollar store.
- We donated new coloring books and crayons to the emergency room waiting room.
- Left some popcorn at a Redbox.
- Paid for someone's vacuum at the car wash.
- Donated clothes and diapers to our local pregnancy center.
- The kids took their own money to donate to the salvation army. I was so proud of them for choosing their dollar bills to give. As a kid, parting with dollars doesn't come easy. It made my heart happy!
- They hand delivered a Christmas card to their school nurse.
- My husband knew a woman who had just lost her father and couldn't afford presents for her two kids. We wanted to help make their Christmas special. My husband and my son shopped for her 7 year old son, while me and the girls shopped for her 2 year old daughter. The feeling of being able to bless someone and taking some worry off of her was the most rewarding feeling. My kids were so excited to be able to make those kids' Christmas a little brighter.
- We donated food to a food pantry.
- We left some diapers and a pack of wipes on a changing table in the restroom at Walmart.
- We left a little treat for our mail carrier. It was so nice to open the mailbox the next day and see a thank you card from her!
- We had planned on bringing candy to our local police officers. I took the picture before we realized that all the doors were locked and there was no one there. So we ended up bringing the candy to the forestry department. It worked out better though because those men were so excited to see the kids! They said they never get visitors. They gave all the kids coloring books as a thank you.
- A holiday scratch off ticket left at the ATM
- We took donuts to our local fire station. The firemen gave the kids a tour of all the trucks! They had such a great time!
Next year I plan on starting this a little earlier in the month. It was such a rewarding experience for all of us. It filled our hearts with joy and helped us better understand the meaning of Christmas.
Seeing the smiles on their faces and talking amongst themselves in the back seat wondering who would find the dollar, or who would come across the lottery ticket, it was so nice to see excitement on their faces knowing they made someone's day a little brighter or put a smile on someone's face.
We're always told to be more like Jesus. We always long to be more like Him. And I believe teaching our children to be kind, generous, and giving without expecting anything in return is a step in the right direction.
"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." - 1 John 2:6
I'm hoping this post inspired someone to try this some time. The rewards are priceless.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Right click and Save-As, print out the calendar, fill in each day with an act of kindness, and bless someone today!