It’s easy to get wrapped up in the commercialism of the Christmas season – you know, the gifts, the shopping, the parties…. And while it’s certainly OK to let yourself indulge in some of those things, it’s also good to take a step back and celebrate the meaning of the season. One way you can embrace this is using a Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar!
What is a Kindness Advent Calendar?
You know how many of the traditional advent calendars have a little space for a candy or small prize? With this kindness advent calendar, you’ll replace those candies or prizes with a random act of Christmas kindness (aka a “RACK”) for someone else.
You can create a RACK calendar for yourself as an adult to help ground you in the season and remind you of the gift of helping others.
But you can also create a family-friendly kindness advent calendar and get your kids involved too. It’s a great way to help teach your kids how to help others and have empathy for others – in a fun, celebratory way.
Will this get expensive?
It certainly doesn’t have to be expensive! While you can take on big ticket things like adopting a child to purchase presents for, the RACKs don’t have to be a budget breaker. The family-friendly calendar below is comprised of mostly free and low-cost ways to show kindness. If you’re building your own calendar, choose which ones work for you!
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Ideas for Kids
Here are some sample acts of kindness for kids and families that would be great on your kindness advent calendar. Some might be able to be completed by the child alone, and others will need to be done together with mom or dad.
- Make a card for a soldier (we have used Operation Christmas Cards for Troops Overseas in the past – read the pinned Facebook post for exactly how to do it, and note that this needs to be sent out by December 1st!)
- Bake a treat for a neighbor, policeman, or fireman.
- Choose one toy to donate.
- Write your teacher a note about how they help you.
- Do a chore for someone.
- Let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Help a neighbor with a chore or errand.
- Clean up litter outside (with gloves and with a grownup!).
- Visit a long-term care center (with mom or dad) and have dinner with one of the elderly residents.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Write a note to your friend.
- Make Christmas cards for your neighbor.
- Give someone a nice compliment.
- Go to the dollar store with mom or dad, and hide a dollar or two in the store for another kid to find.
- Call Grandma or Grandpa and say hi.
- Tell jokes to someone who needs a laugh.
- Tape packages of popcorn to a RedBox machine.
- Hand out candy canes to people (with mom or dad) in the grocery store parking lot.
- Help put all the carts back in the cart corral in the grocery store parking lot.
- Make a present for a friend (anything from a beaded bracelet to an ornament to a drawing!)
- Donate a few books to the library.
- Set aside food to donate to the food bank (with mom or dad’s help).
- Cook (or help cook, depending on age) dinner for the family.
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Ideas for Adults
If you’re an adult looking to do some of these random acts of Christmas kindness on your own, here are a few more ideas:
- Donate food (or money) to a food bank.
- Leave an extra big tip at a restaurant or coffee shop.
- Knit a scarf for someone who is homeless or in a shelter.
- Do a major purge and donate all the items that are in good shape (avoid donating ripped/stained/broken things – you’d be surprised how much time people in donation centers spend sorting through unusable things).
- Adopt a child to buy gifts for at Christmas.
- Volunteer to read stories at the library, in your child’s classroom, or at a family shelter.
- Create a candy wreath so your neighbors can snip a snack whenever they walk by.
- Pay for the person behind you at the coffee shop.
- Buy a few scratch off lottery tickets and place them on random windshields at the grocery store. (One of my favorites!)
- Buy a hot chocolate or coffee for the Salvation Army bell ringers who stand outside all day.
- On Christmas Eve, head over to an all night drugstore like CVS or Walgreens and bring the cashier a little surprise (like a box of chocolates). It’s no fun working on the holidays, and it’ll brighten their night!
- Set a box outside the house with drinks and pre-packaged snacks for the mailman, UPS guy, and FedEx guy. With all the packages they deliver throughout December, they’ll appreciate the small token of gratitude.
- Leave extra coupons at the grocery store right next to the item to unexpectedly help other shoppers.
- Donate blood.
- Do you have small businesses that you frequently visit? Leave them a great review on Facebook or Yelp.
- Tape candy canes and happy notes in random places.
- Send a surprise present in the mail to someone who wasn’t expecting it.
- Send someone a free KIND bar!
- Make a freezer meal dinner for a new mom or a stressed out friend.
- Babysit a friend’s kids for free to help her out.
- Ask to speak to a manager at a restaurant or store – and give a giant compliment about the store and/or one of the employees. So often people only speak to a manager to complain, so going out of your way to compliment the store or employees is unexpected and awesome.
Printable Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Calendar – 2018
I’ve included the family-friendly printable calendar for 2018 below – just click on the image to access the PDF that you can download or print!
Here is also a blank version of the calendar! This way if you are making one for yourself as an adult, or if you want to add other RACKs to your family’s calendar, you can customize it with what you want to write in.
If you’d prefer to keep things more random, rather than scheduled, you can try:
- Writing random acts of Christmas kindness on a piece of paper and placing them in a traditional advent calendar, so your child is surprised by the task each morning when they open it up.
- Write the random acts of Christmas kindness on popsicle sticks, and draw one each day to do.
I hope this helps you connect with the season more this year! 🙂 Please go ahead and pin this on Pinterest to save it for later.