Ever since I was little, we celebrated Advent with little chocolates every day. Some years I got to move a stuffed animal closer to the Christmas tree on a wall hanging. When I had my own kids, we followed along with a similar tradition. Our kids have had chocolate advent calendars, toy building advent calendars, and a craft each day to decorate the tree advent calendar. The kids look forward to this every year, just like I did. It is like having a mini Christmas gift each day leading up to Christmas. However this year I decided enough was enough.
Christmas is for kids, is something I hear on the radio this time of the year. Ultimately, I think there is a lot of truth in that saying. I spend so much time planning, shopping, wrapping and cooking, all so the kids have a great Christmas. Yes, I want Christmas to be great for myself, but in reality I do most of the prep for our kids. It dawned on me this year that if Christmas Day is ultimately for the kids, then why are we making every December day leading up to Christmas about them too?
I am soooo glad that I am not the only Mom feeling this way. I found another awesome blogger who came up with a great solution. Every day leading up to Christmas this Mom, Megan from Coffee Cups and Crayons, takes her kids out into the world showering people with Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. She even created a printable calendar for folks like me who are short on time and don’t want to recreate the wheel. She didn’t stop there, and created some other helpful printables so we all can take on the new advent tradition of finding joy in serving others instead of ourselves before Christmas without much hassle or planning.
I am guessing that at first, this is going to be hard for our kids to take. I can hear them now “Wait, what?! I don’t get my favorite chocolates each day?”. Honestly, they will get over it, and my guess is that as the days go by, they are going to start seeing the joy in peoples’ faces as they are R.A.C.K.d, and just maybe will start enjoying serving others as much as eating their quickly devoured chocolates.
I do not want to stop there. I would LOVE for others to get involved in these awesome acts of kindness. So how can you get involved? What planning do you have to do? What are some of the random acts that are suggested? Let me help you out a bit. The Random Acts of Christmas Kindness are simple things that do not take much planning at all. Here are a few of the ones I am most looking forward to.
- Bring coffee to your teacher (okay maybe this one is self-serving since I homeschool, but if your kids do not, then this would be a fun one for them)
- Leave a popcorn surprise on a DVD rental machine
- Take cookies to a fire station
- Candy cane bomb a parking lot
- Take supplies to an animal shelter
Go ahead and head over to Megan’s site and print out the calendar. While you are there, you can print out a paper chain to either tell the kids what they are doing that day (by tearing one-off), or show how many acts of kindness you have done as a family (by adding one after you complete a R.A.C.K.). Either way it should make things more fun, and feel like an advent activity. As an added bonus, it will be a cute decoration. Check out all the other printables Megan has on her site, have a family meeting to talk about “your” idea for advent, and then just get started on December 1st.
I am really excited for this advent season. We will be making many people smile, lots of memories, and hopefully teaching the kids more about what the true spirit of Christmas is all about…Giving, not receiving. I can’t wait to hear how all of you are making Giving the focus of your Advent season. Are you going to be following right along beside us as we give Random Acts of Christmas Kindness to our neighbors?