Monday, November 16

25 Simple Acts of Christmas Kindness

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when a headline along the side caught my eye: "Does growing up in a religious family make you MEAN? Christian and Muslim children found to be less altruistic than the offspring of atheists." Immediately, my heart sank. Less altruistic? More likely to deal out harsh punishments for minor infractions? That was the message I got as I read the study detailed in the news story. It was disheartening, to say the least. 

And I wondered: As a mom, how do I teach my children a better way? How do regular people like you and I show our kids that kindness matters? 

A few years ago, Julie, Kendra and I met with those same questions on our hearts. At the time, we all had young children, and were trying to figure out how to balance the giving and getting parts of Christmas. How could we refocus on others during the Christmas season, rather than focusing on an ever-expanding Christmas List for Santa?

We decided to try out a new idea, one we called our Advent Acts of Kindness, by celebrating Advent (for us, a modified version of 24 days starting December 1, plus our Christmas Finale) with a daily kind act -- most of which included our children’s direct participation. 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). 

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.”
As our children helped us deliver items and write cards, we found ourselves talking about kindness, talking about Christ, about what it means to sacrifice for others. Each morning, my children looked forward to whatever I had planned for the day, or brainstormed ideas of their own. And you know what? We were talking about important ideas, but mostly we were having fun. Kindness can be fun. Loving others is a reward of its own.

This year, we'll be celebrating our Fourth 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 SO EXCITED to do this again this year, and we'd love to partner with you in doing so. We'll be documenting all of our kind acts via Facebook, and we'd love to know what you're up to, as well! Share it with us, please -- the more kindness going around, the better.




7 comments :

  1. Would love to join you guys! Just this past Friday I blogged about my five favorite acts of kindness - http://www.iwillservewhileiwait.blogspot.com/2015/11/five-favorite-acts-of-kindness.html

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  2. Awesome Holly! Thanks for sharing! We'll be sharing your post with our readers on Facebook :)

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  3. I'm so excited to learn more about this! I love Advent and run a large Advent Bible journaling group. I look forward to more information and will be excited to share with my audience!

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    1. Sara, that is so great! Thanks for sharing! (And if you check out our Facebook page, we'll be posting everyday what we do and would love to have others share with us what they're doing too :) )!

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  4. What a beautiful way to bring the Spirit of Christ closer this Advent season! I'm super thrilled to join in on the fun and can't wait to see how it all goes!
    Peace, Sarah
    simplysarahs.blogspot.com

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    1. Sarah, Hooray! I'm so glad you're joining us! Share on our Facebook page what you're doing, we'd love to hear from you!

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  5. You guys are inspiring. I'm hoping to join in this year. (I hate to totally commit because I'm sure to miss a few days.) Just being honest, here.

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