I fell in love with the idea as soon as I saw it. A childhood friend had found it on a blog and shared it with me. It was beautiful. Instead of cheap chocolate advent calendars or an elf on the shelf, the idea was to celebrate advent with random acts of kindness.
I’m trying to teach my children that Christmas is about giving. “We give to Jesus by giving to others,” my daughter will tell me. It’s easy to say, harder to do. The idea of a kindness countdown, in my opinion, perfectly reflects the spirit of the season.
I pulled out the paper advent cones that I had made a couple of years ago and carefully hung them on the tree. Instead of candy, however, they now contain 25 ways that we can bless others – one for every day until Christmas, including Christmas Day.
We borrowed some ideas from Coffee Cups and Crayons and The Imagination Tree and came up with other ideas on our own. In case you want to do your own kindness countdown and are looking for ideas, here is what our countdown looks like:
1 – Let’s fill a jar with 20 reasons why we love Daddy and give it to him.
2 – Let’s brush our teeth until they shine and then go out and SMILE at everyone we see today!
3 – Let’s make Christmas cards to give away.
4 – Let’s write a letter to a soldier, thanking him for serving his country (note: you can find instructions and a list of locations here).
5 – Let’s give toys to kids who don’t have toys by bringing some new toys to the Christmas Tree of Hope in Gore Park.
6 – Let’s buy something special for someone who is having a baby.
7 – Let’s find three people to compliment today.
8 – Let’s paint a picture for someone.
9 – Let’s find some clothes that are too small and give them away.
10 – Let’s make Dutch croquettes for Grandma!
11 – Let’s choose three toys each to give to children who need them more than we do.
12 – The birds get cold and hungry in the winter. Let’s make a pinecone bird feeder for them!
13 – Let’s buy someone a coffee.
14 – Let’s hand out candy canes at the grocery store.
15 – Let’s wrap up gifts for your teachers and bus driver today.
16 – Let’s call Grandma and Papa and tell them we love them.
17 – Let’s bring a letter to the fire station, thanking all of the firemen for working hard to put out fires and save lives.
18 – Let’s slip a kind note inside a library book.
19 – Let’s bake Christmas cookies for the neighbours.
20 – Let’s bring dog treats to the neighbourhood dogs.
21 – Let’s bring food to the food bank.
22 – Let’s make Daddy a special meal today.
23 – Let’s find five people to hug today.
24 – Let’s make kindness stones and leave them for others to find.
25 – Let’s give presents to people we love!
I am so excited for my children to kick off the holiday season by focusing on others. After all, the greatest way we can show our love for Jesus is by loving those around us.