Wednesday, November 19

Third Annual Advent Acts of Kindness - Ready, Set, Go!

Christmas. This word, this season, so easily becomes overwhelmed with thoughts of the baking, the card-making, the gift-giving, all of the hustle and bustle of too much busyness packed into the mad rush of weeks from the day after Thanksgiving until December 26th. And while no one thing is “bad” or “wrong” in itself, when all piled one on top of the other, I find myself scarcely able to breathe.

Every December, I struggle with how to refocus my family’s attention on Christ, on giving, on thinking of something or someone other than ourselves. I feel like my little light upon the hill begins to waver and weaken rather than shining brighter and stronger during the season of the birth of my Savior.

Until two years ago, when two friends and I decided to fight back against the holiday insanity and joined forces for our first Advent Acts of Kindness. 



Our inspiration was found in Mark 12:28-31:
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
We celebrated Advent (24 days, plus our Christmas Finale) with a daily kind act -- most of which included our children’s direct participation -- but this could easily be scaled back to a weekly kind act or any number that fits your life and your schedule.

Kristin's girls with coats to donate to One Warm Coat
We rotated between community acts (quarters in the laundry mat, cookies for the police department), national acts (Red Cross Mail for Heroes, Toys for Tots), and international acts of kindness (World Vision, International Justice Mission, Heifer International). 

As our children helped us deliver items and write cards, we found ourselves talking about Christ, talking about sacrifice, talking about the true meaning of Christmas in our families and amongst ourselves. They delighted in secretly picking out a family whose dinner we paid for in a restaurant, and I watched as their own small lights upon their own small hills sparked to life.  

And, truthfully, my eyes focused less on the commercialism of Christmas as I looked for ways to be intentionally kind. Our project was fuel for my own wavering light; it grounded us and allowed us to enjoy the cookies and parties and gifts without losing our focus -- Christ. 

My family will be doing celebrating our Third Annual Advent Acts of Kindness this Christmas season, and we invite you to join us we celebrate Advent in a way that serves Christ and others in a tangible, physical way.
 
Don't forget to print off our cute cards! :)
Need ideas? Here are some links:




We are once again linking up with the lovely Holley Gerth, Jennifer Dukes Lee and the SDG Sisterhood.

14 comments :

  1. This is such a great idea. I love it. Now to think of ideas....

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    1. I know right?!? That's why we listed so many resources, a lot of great (easy!) ideas!

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  2. I love this! I'm sharing it with my FB readers today in case they'd like to do something with their kids during Advent.

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  3. What an excellent idea! Thank you for sharing :).

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  4. Love this, especially the free printable to identify the act of kindness. I would love for you to link this up with us here, http://wp.me/p4fJXd-16T
    It's a cookie and goodies party but we are including free printable's in the link up too.

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    1. That's awesome Shirley! Thanks for the tip, just linked up! :)

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  5. It is so important to get the kids involved at Christmas time, instead of just waiting for the day to come where they get presents. Love the ideas

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    1. Thanks Jenny, it's so true, getting our kids involved has been the best part.

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  6. You should put the blog's web address on the advent act of kindness printables. That way if a recipient wants to pass it along, they can check out the blog and know what is going on. :)

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    1. Great idea Becky, thanks! I'll see if I can add it!

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  7. Thank you so, so much for this! A neighbor of yours shared this with us at the beginning of December, and it has changed this Christmas season for our family! We have been having so much fun together finding ways to bless and surprise people during this Advent season of giving. Yay for bringing our focus back to what really matters. Thank you! :)

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    1. Jacki, we are totally humbled that you would join us for advent acts of kindness! Thank you for sharing with us. So excited to hear it's making a difference for your family too, many blessings to you this Christmas season!!

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