Friday, December 2, 2016

Spread Holiday Cheer #RAOK

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles

The first thing I like to discuss with my children when Christmas is near is the true meaning of the holiday season. The holidays bring about so many opportunities for anyone at any age to demonstrate selfless deeds, although, giving back and showing random acts of kindness anytime of the year is important. I hope to instill this love of helping others in my children as they grow. No one can ever know when they will need a helping hand and giving back, no matter how small it may seem, can mean the world to someone in need. We rounded up some ideas of what we want to do to help others and spread cheer this Christmas season.

Christmas Spirit, Give Back

Give Back with Random Acts of Kindness

  • Send Christmas cards to friends and family
  • Visit nursing homes: call ahead to inquire about their policies on what you can bring, hours you can visit and who can visit
  • Give out treat bags or little gifts to classmates
  • Donate to Toys for Tots.
  • Place random acts of kindness ideas in a jar or envelope and choose one to do daily.
  • Pay it forward at a restaurant, coffee shop or the grocery store. 
  • Let your child decide what charity to make a donation to or a place he would like to volunteer as a family.
  • Donate food to a food bank.
  • Bake cookies for a neighbor, friend, or someone who has been extra helpful this year.
  • Animals need love, too! Volunteer or donate to an animal shelter.
  • Donate to a homeless shelter, most of them are in need of socks for all sizes. 
  • Donate to the #RedKettleReason for the Salvation Army. These are easy to find since they are usually posted up in front of malls and grocery stores throughout the holidays.
  • Donate food, clothing, and toys to a local church.
  • Volunteer at a local church for parties they may hold for families less fortunate.
  • Donate to a children's charity. Children's Charities of America has a great list of several charities that need help. 
  • Offer to pick up groceries and household supplies for an elderly neighbor or a friend who has been sick.
  • Cook or deliver a meal to another family.
  • Cook a surprise meal for your family or significant other.
  • Leave an anonymous Christmas card or gift at someone's door.
  • Send a letter to a soldier. Forgotten Soldiers Outreach, Inc. makes it easy to write a letter using a form on their site and they will send it to the soldiers themselves.
  • Donate toys and books to a children's hospital. You can even put together goodie bags with small items that kids will enjoy. Call ahead to see what you're allowed to include and if this idea is acceptable.
  • Send letters, draw pictures, or bake cookies for your fire station or police station.
  • Put a thank you note with a bag of candy in your mailbox for your mail carrier.

Christmas Spirit, Give Back


Easy Ways Kids Can Show Kindness

  • Give someone a compliment
  • Give someone a smile
  • Help pick something up for an elderly person or help an elderly person sit down. I know that there has been plenty of times where I've appreciated my kids bending over to grab something for me on the bottom shelf of the store!
  • Draw a picture as a gift
  • Pick out a toy or book to give to another child
  • Do another siblings chores or help with parent's chores

You can find some of these ideas and more from our previous posts about selfless acts, Teaching Kids About Being Selfless and Christmas Random Acts of Kindness.

Now, it's your turn! Tell me, what are some ways you like to give back and show random acts of kindness during the holidays?

Spread the cheer and pass on these RAOK ideas to a friend!


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Countdown to Christmas Advent Activities

Holidays, Give Back, #ROAK
 Teachings Kids to be Selfless
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