While we try to practice random acts of kindness throughout the year, incorporating these activities into our Advent Calendar helps us keep the true meaning of the season at the forefront! We’ve done a Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar for many years now – in this post I’ll share how you can too!
“You can’t have a perfect day without doing something for someone who’ll never be able to repay you.”John Wooden
How Our Christmas Calendar Became a Kindness Calendar
For a number of years, we’ve been doing activity-based DIY advent calendars. Along with candy, I slip a piece of paper into each day’s Advent Calendar window which suggests a special holiday activity we do together as a family. Or I do a reading themed version, like my Grinch advent calendar. Don’t get me wrong – I love a traditional advent calendar for myself – but it’s nice to try family-style some years, too.
For the past few years, however, I’ve tried to do more. You see, I came across a great line that really got me thinking:
“I’d rather my kids have three Christmas gifts and your kids have three Christmas gifts, than my kids have six gifts and your kids have no gifts.”Momastery
As I read it, I just kept thinking, EXACTLY.
Because of all the obvious reasons, this is exactly the right sentiment for Christmas. But also, this approach to Christmas teaches our kids an important lesson, and reminds us all: random acts of Christmas are the true embodiment of the season!
Growing up, I remember vividly kissing my parents goodnight one evening, and my Dad gave me a kiss and said, “What did you do to make your Mom feel special today?”.
I still think about that all these years later. Laying in bed that night, I remember thinking it wasn’t just about how much he loved my Mom, and it wasn’t just about watching a true example of a loving relationship, it was also about thinking about someone else before you thought of yourself.
What did I do that day, that was helpful to my mom and made her feel special, even if I had to go out of my way to do it?
Christmas Has Always Been About Acts of Kindness
I love the holiday season. I adore it. It doesn’t feel like a chore to me, and while there are definitely chaotic moments and rushing here and there… it’s not stressful for me.
After all, we’re lucky to have so many people who want to see us. And I’m so lucky I have the time to indulge my own creative spirit over the holidays, making things like my beautiful indoor garlands, my edible candy garlands, my Christmas chalkboard signs, my paper doily Christmas tree, and more.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being indulgent, too. I think the mall (and maybe even Wal-Mart), have a place in all of this! I look forward to spoiling those I love and finding that perfect gift.
When my family gets together on Christmas Eve before a day of running around, we always ask each other what gift we’re most excited to give. Not what gift we’re hoping to get, but what gift is so perfect for someone we love, we’re positively giddy with the anticipation of them opening it!
After all, acts of Christmas kindness are all about thinking of others before yourself, right?
It’s Cool to Be Kind
While I love the gift giving part of the holidays, a couple of years ago I realized we could do more to better embody what I call a kindness Christmas philosophy.
Of course, I still want to indulge those I love and who are closest to me. But a kindness Christmas also spreads joy to those in our “village.”
Your village might include friends who are going through a rough time; a stranger behind you in line at the grocery store, or someone struggling to carry their groceries to the car; the UPS guy who carries all your packages with a smile; someone in your family; or someone in your school community. You get the idea!
Whether we’re showing our kindness in a loud and public way or quietly performing acts of kindness that might only affect one other person, it’s always a good idea to be kind.
Taking Our Acts of Kindness Philosophy Further: Our Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar
Of course I try to teach my family year-round that kindness should be at the forefront when we make life choices. But we like to focus on it during December in a bit more of an active way.
Just as I love pretty much every aspect of Christmas, I adore the tradition of Advent Calendars, too. It’s activities like these, that we do every year, that I pour a few hours of time into when I make our DIY Advent Calendars, and that I get to enjoy my family completing…these are the traditions that keep us centered and together during the rush of the holiday season!
Seriously, my family is so excited to see my Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar each morning! They rush for it each and every day. And yes, they are excited about the candy. But mostly, they’re excited to see the daily acts of Christmas kindness!
Seriously – the activities are fun, they bring us together, and they help us celebrate the entire season!
It Takes a Village: Our Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar
For the past few years, part of my Christmas tradition has been building an It Takes a Village advent calendar for the family.
In the rest of this post, I’ll share how I do it and our acts of kindness ideas, so you can try it out with your family, too!
How to Make a Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar
Our random acts of kindness Christmas calendar is village themed because I want my family to remember we’re part of something bigger than what happens in our own little home. We are members of a village!
Because of the village theme, each calendar requires me to build a village!
Knowing the Christmas advent season is coming up, I save food boxes from Thanksgiving and other meals throughout November.
Cut off the bottom, and cut and tape and tweak until each box looks like little houses. Leave the houses open at the bottom so you can easily tuck the activity and candy under each house.
Then I cover them in pretty scrapbook paper or wrapping paper, and add a number.
I also use old Christmas cards to build additions to each house as needed (for a roof, etc.), but plain card stock would work.
And I use more scrapbook paper to make trees. Because what’s a village without a little greenery?
Then type up each daily activity, cut it out, and glue it onto some colorful cardstock.
If you don’t have time to print, cut, and glue the instructions onto cardstock, you can always hand write onto a slip of paper (as I have done in the past!).
Arrange your village somewhere convenient (I use the top of our piano). Tuck some candy and a daily activity under each house (match the daily activity with the number on the house).
And if you want, add a few flourishes of decoration to complete the scene. I wrote a Christmas quote I like on a piece of scrapbook paper, and stick it somewhere in the village with double-sided tape.
“Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.”Charlotte Carpenter
Kindness Ideas for Your Random Acts of Kindness Ideas for Your Advent Calendar
Below, I’ve shared some of our Random Acts of Christmas, which you’re welcome to use for your family, too.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MY RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS ADVENT CALENDAR IDEAS!
I tried to make the random acts of kindness activities practical whether you have little kids at home, teens, or are single – whatever your family situation might be!
After all, we all could do with a little more kindness in our villages, even if we don’t have kids at home to set an example for.
I also tried to make the activities manageable. Nothing kills a good idea more than feeling overwhelmed, and I know December brings enough of those feelings as is. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough!
While I know anything can look overwhelming when it’s put in a list like this, I promise that each individual activity is manageable! Sometimes it’s as simple as taking some birdseed outside while your dinner is cooking!
I hope you’ll join us this holiday season and help to spread some kindness with this Christmas calendar!
You’ll be amazed at how just one little act a day can change your whole December!
What’s On Our Christmas Kindness Calendar
December 1- Leave a treat for a mailman/delivery driver
December 2 – Living room picnic w/ Christmas movie
December 3 – Write thank you note to someone
December 4 – Make time capsule ornament
December 5 – Leave change taped to vending machine
December 6 – Donate blankets/towels to animal shelter
December 7 – Make a treat and deliver to neighbor
December 8 – Family outing for a holiday activity
December 9 – Patronize a small, locally-owned shop
December 10 – Buy flowers for a random person
December 11 – S’mores and hot chocolate
December 12 – Donate food to local shelter
December 13 – Make card for a soldier
December 14 – Bake cookies (take a few to a neighbor)
December 15 – Donate gifts to a family in need
December 16 – Put birdseed out for the birds
December 17 – Make meal for a single parent
December 18 – Write letter and send to a friend
December 19 – Family Christmas movie night
December 20 – Pay for someone else’s order
December 21 – Do a chore for someone
December 22 – Take treat to police or fire hall
December 23 – Compliment someone
December 24 – Be patient and kind with your family
Final Thoughts About
The countdown to Christmas is such a special, fun time of the year. I hope my family’s Christmas advent calendar idea helps inspire you to tend to your village with kindness this year!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR VILLAGE!!