Somehow I’m always a week or two late with this post– but not this year! Thanks to Snovember and all of those days we were trapped inside, The Kindness Countdown to Christmas is happening right on time! I asked my girls if they were up for this again and got a resounding YES! We hope you decide to join us for what ends up being a very fun and thoughtful way to count down the Christmas season.
Every year I have such mixed emotions about the holidays. Of course I want to enjoy them with my kids and family and friends, but sometimes there’s a sticky gap between expectation and experience. The busyness and exhaustion of the season and all that it requires gets all jumbled up with the ghosts of Christmas past, loss and grief (December was the month I lost my first husband…and then buried him on New Year’s Eve), stress over broken and tricky relationships…and the holidays can feel like The Hot Mess Express. Bleh. Skip to January. PLEASE?
And I regret this. I hate it, actually. Because in the deepest parts of my heart and soul, Christmas is all about the birth of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Advent, the 25 days leading up to the celebration of the birth of Christ, represents the darkening of winter and the whole world as it awaits a savior. A yearning. A recognizing of the ache for something more that what this life has to offer. And then He came. On a glorious star-filled night. And nothing would ever be the same. Including my life. Surely, this is a reason to celebrate, rather than dread.
So. A few years ago I stumbled upon a simple, fun and creative way to help nurture more happiness during December. I will forever wish I had thought of this myself, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… so it’s on! 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. Yep. Everyday in December, the girls and I perform a random act of kindness accompanied by a card that says, “You’ve been RACK’ed”. The card has an explanation of what we are doing and why. The sentiments are small–so far they’ve included candy, fun trinkets (think Target dollar aisle) and $5 Tim Horton’s gift cards, paying for the car behind us in a drive-thru, doing little favors and chores for neighbors…But the return for us has been priceless. It feels good to give, but it feels even better to see how happy it makes the other person. Kindness. Just. Feels. Good.
In a season when children (and adults) spend a lot of time thinking about their own wish lists, intentionally planning a daily way to think of others is now a precious pause we take. I know there will be days we accidentally forget, but that means we get to do it twice the next day. And right from the start of this, my kids caught the concept: Kindness matters. Even teeny tiny acts of kindness matter. And what if the people we surprise decide to do it too? Now we’re part of a kindness chain. And what if we do it every day, instead of just at Christmas time? Then what? Could we change our little part of the world with our little random acts of Christmas kindness? Well actually, I think we can.
And in reality, we ARE part of a kindness chain. It started with a baby born 2000 years ago. In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, may my exhaustion come from kindness. I will gladly work full-time to keep that spirit alive in my heart and in my family.
It’s perfect timing to participate! Click here to find the link for free printable cards.
4 thoughts on “A Kindness Countdown to Christmas”
Here’s the list we came up with: Put candy canes on cars, Give out $5 Starbucks cards, pay off Tyler’s library dues, Christmas caroling, cookies for neighbors, give bank tellers homemade Christmas decorations, clean someone’s house, tape microwave popcorn to Redboxes, take Tyler a hot cocoa and a muffin, tape quarters to candy dispensers, ring Salvation army bells, donate a poinsetta to a school office, leave holiday treat for mail man, visit a nursing home to play the piano, pay for the person behind us at Wendy’s, pick up trash at the church, collect clothes for the shelter, leave great books in public places, visit an animal shelter, put $10 on a gas pump, send someone a Christmas package, have a free hot cocoa stand, babysit for someone, invite someone for dinner.
These are great Carisa! Thanks for extra ideas!
THANK YOU JULIE THIS HAS BEEN WHAT’S IN MY HEART TO DO WITH AVERY AT HER YOUNG AGE MERRY CHRISTMAS. I PRAY YOUR JOY IS MORE THAN YOU CAN CONTAIN IN THIS SEASON AND BEYOND. BLESSINGS MY SWEET FRIEND
Janie I’m so happy this will work for you! It really has been a fun way to connect with my own kids and the people around us. It helps get us out of our own “head space” and bring a little moment of joy to someone else…keep me posted on how it goes 🙂