Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Random Acts of Kindness

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles

One thing I love about the Christmas season is how much warmer, kinder and a little more giving most people are to those around them.  There are also many people, however,  who find the holidays to be straining compared to the rest of the year. This season can be tough for a lot of people who may be experiencing financial difficulty, suffering from an illness or grieving a recent loss. Those people need our support no matter how big or small it may seem to us. Thankfully, the holidays do influence generosity and friendliness among the majority of mankind. Showing acts of kindness and teaching our kids the true meaning of Christmas truly is a big help to our society.

Holidays, Give Back, #ROAK
Last year, I wrote a post about Teaching Kids About Being Self-less: Acts of Kindness Ideas.  It is still a popular post today, specifically at this time.  I am overjoyed to know that so many of us care enough to find ways to embrace the importance of being self-less and passing it on to our children.

It inspired me to write another today's post and to include a few more random acts of kindness ideas that I rounded up from others.

I hope you take time to read them and choose some to do with your children and family this month.

You've Been Socked

You've Been Socked

Send a Christmas Card to Safyre Terry 

Safyre, a little girl, lost her family nearly two years ago in an arson.  She wants to fill her tree with Christmas cards this year and so her family is asking to make her request come true.  If you would like to send her a Christmas card, the address is: 

Safyre Terry
P.O. Box 6126
Schenectady NY 12306

Hand out Compliment Cards

I think these compliment cards from Kids' Activities Blog is a simple but meaningful way for kids to learn about being kind with just a few sweet words.  Great idea to give them to one another or to make for friends and strangers.

Free printable compliment cards for a fun and free random act of kindness.:

Phone Caroling: Spread Christmas Cheer to a Faraway Family

I think going Christmas caroling is a beautiful idea and I remember doing it a few times when I was a child.  My son will be doing it this year with cub scouts.  I think it's a great idea for children to do for close friends and family if they are not part of a group or club that organizes it.  This phone caroling idea is a fun and sweet way to do it for those loved ones who your children may not see during the holidays.


Thank Your Mailman


Thank a Mailman I want to do this with the kids along with other service things for Christmas:

Gifts for the Elderly

I enjoy visiting nursing homes during this season and this year, I want to include my kids.  My son went with me one year when he was younger but he doesn't remember it.  I've found it easy to do as far as setting it up.  You can call your local nursing home and ask if it is possible to visit, bring some goodies or whatever you can do to help while you are visiting.  Usually, they will let you know what is prohibited in the goodie bags if you're making it (like hard candy) and what hours/days work best for them.

Ideas to inlcude as gifts that I have given in the past and were acceptable (reminder: double check with them before bringing your gifts):

Lotion/hand cream
Christmas cards (fun and easy for kids to help with)

Books
Puzzles
Crossword puzzles


Other ideas are handmade ornaments, holiday decorations, plants, toiletries, socks and board games.

I've also gone there with different clubs and we have put on talent shows.  This can be something fun for your kids or group of kids with other parents to put together if they enjoy acting out plays or play instruments, sing or dance.  Check with the home to make sure this is possible.


Send a Book on an Adventure and Give a Book to a Stranger

The blog, Adventure in a Box, shared this post that I absolutely love since I'm a bookworm!  To sum it up, this movement is known as "Bookcrossing":

Bookcrossing-label

What Is Bookcrossing?

"Bookcrossing is a movement whose participants are known for leaving a book in a public place, so that someone else can pick it up and read it, then leave it again for yet another person. In an ideal situation, it would mean that the book, once brought into the bookcrossing movement, can travel for years, changing owners around the world and spreading love for reading. Every book participating in bookcrossing gets a unique number, which can be used by anyone who encounters the book to track its journey.  Since its launch in 2003, the movement has gathered over a million members who have sent almost eleven millions books out to travel. Its mission is to connect people through books."

 

Leave a Dollar with a Note to Pass on the Act of Kindess

I've been seeing this idea a lot this season to leave a dollar in books, in store aisles, etc.  I think it's a simple thing to do that kids will understand and enjoy doing because kids (and most everyone!) are happy to receive it even if it's just a dollar.  After all, there's so much to do with a dollar like save it, spend it or maybe give it to someone else. ;)  Attach a kind note to it suggesting that the person who finds it continue the act of kindness however they can.

Pay It Forward

There is always the kind act of paying it forward: pay for another person's purchase at the drive thru, coffee shop or grocery store.  I'll always remember and be grateful when one year I put toys on layaway at Toys R' Us and the store manager called to let me know that my items were all paid for anonymously.  It was heartwarming and I would be happy to pay it forward by paying for someone's layaway some day.

I included this one below in last year's Acts of Kindness but I love the idea so much that I'm adding it on this list here, too:

Surprise Someone Else's Child with a Santa Letter

Write a letter or card to another child you know without telling his/her parents so that it is a surprise for them both!  Included in the letter/card is also a certificate that the child is on "Santa's Official Nice List."


A simple act of kindness or a generous offer is appreciated by many this holiday season, (and every day, of course).  Here are a few more suggestions for acts of kindness:

  • Smiling to those you pass by
  • Holding the door open
  • Helping out another family member with chores
  • Giving someone a compliment,
  • Calling a friend you haven't spoken with in awhile
  • Meet a friend for coffee
  • Make a surprise treat or meal for a friend or family

Jacksonville Moms Blog has a ton of great ideas for kids to give back and perform random acts of kindness.  The post includes this handy printable calendar for kids to do each day this month.

What are some ideas or activities you enjoy doing to show acts of kindness?














Pass this post along and share with others who would appreciate ideas for random acts of kindness!

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