My kids use my old Advent calendar that my godmother made for me when I was young. Not only do I love that they are carrying on a piece of my childhood, I love that this Advent calendar doesn’t actually *give* them anything. No chocolate, no candy canes, no small gifts: just a small ornament to hang on a felt tree. I love seeing how excited my kids are to help stuff 24 mini ornaments into their pockets, and I love that they remember that Joseph is hung on December 22st, Mary is hung on December 23nd, and Baby Jesus is hung on December 24th. The Holy Family hangs at the top of the tree, Baby Jesus at the very top.
But this year, we are going to embark on a new tradition. Well, I hope it turns into a tradition. I’m a bit disenchanted by my kids’ selfishness. I suppose this is the season where the “I wants” come out in full force. I want them to remember how fortunate they are. I want them to see that they go to school with kids who need coats and hats and socks and shoes. I want them to see that they can have a positive effect on the world. And so in addition to hanging tiny ornaments to mark the days ’til Christmas, our family will be participating in 24 random acts of kindness. We spent this morning brainstorming who we might like to effect, and what sorts of projects they may want to complete.
Here’s what we came up with. Will you join us?
December 1 – Bring holiday flowers to three staff members at school who aren’t always in the limelight…cooks, paraeducators, custodian, front office
December 2 – Pick a friend (or two or three) at school and do something kind for them.
December 3 – Make a donation to the local food bank.
December 4 – Shop for our adopted child. We adopted a child through our school and will be purchasing and wrapping items together as a family.
December 5 – Prepare a meal for a family who has a busy schedule and could use an extra hand.
December 6 – Deliver stamps and holiday cards to a nursing home.
December 7 – Clear the drains of debris in our cul-de-sac, and perhaps our whole division!
December 8 – Deliver handmade holiday cards to our local PD and/or fire station.
December 9 – Pack and deliver bags for the homeless. We plan to be in the city that day so we will be packing up bags of food and other necessities to hand to three people.
December 10 – Do something kind for each member of your family.
December 11 – Work together to do something kind for a neighbor…thinking about raking their leaves?
December 12 – Donate art supplies to a local school.
December 13 – Call your grandparents!
December 14 – Bring up the garbage cans for our neighbors.
December 15 – Prepare a meal for a family who has a busy schedule and could use an extra hand.
December 16 – Popcorn Day at School – Buy a bag of popcorn for someone who forgot their quarter….or maybe we’ll bring Christmas treats for the class since it is the last day of school before Winter Break.
December 17 – Pack Christmas baskets through our church.
December 18 – Bake and deliver cookies for the neighbors.
December 19 – Leave quarters on vending machines at the grocery store.
December 20 – Put candy canes and holiday notes on the windshields of unsuspecting cars.
December 21 – Hand out balloons to kids shopping with their parents.
December 22 – Leave a special note of thanks for the mail carrier. He’s worked hard this season!
December 23 – Go the library…and hold the door open for people as they go in and out. Wish them a Merry Christmas. Bring the librarians cookies too?
December 24 – Still thinking on this day…gotta see what the day looks like as we make plans to be with family!
Hoping to update along the way as we embark on our adventure…if your family chooses to participate, please post and let us know how it’s going!