Ways to serve and spread kindness with the whole family. It can be hard to find ways that your whole family can serve together, but we have a few ways we try to serve during the December as a whole family. We don’t do ALL of these each December. There are some we for sure do and then we do try to pick a few of the others on this list. Let me know if you end up trying any of these with your family this year.
—Tape quarters with a note that says, “Enjoy a little treat on us.” To the quarter machines at the mall and then find a seat somewhere close by and watch the happy reactions of the people that find the quarters.
—The Last Straw: I grew up reading the book The Last Straw
and doing this. The story is a good one and very relateable for kids, but long. So, I suggest reading it and then just telling the story to your kids. Another version of this story we use is Soft Enough For A King
. We talk about padding the manager for Baby Jesus with our acts of service. Each Sunday for the month of December we draw names of our immediate family members. Then during the week we try to do secret acts of service for that person (ie. Clear their dinner plate without them noticing, make their bed, or lay out their jammies etc). My kids love sneaking around and surprising a sibling or Marc and I by doing random acts of kindness. After you do a service then you can put a piece of straw in the manger we have sitting on the coffee table. This is something I grew up doing and have so many good memories of it from childhood and now with my own family.
—Tape packages of gum to and ATM machine with a Merry Christmas note. Easy, but still fun to see the kids giggling and excited, while wondering who will find the packages of gum.
—12 Days if Christmas to a neighbor or friend. Doorbell ditch goodies or treats with a poem about how that item you delivered is tied to the 12 days of christmas poem. We have done this for years and I love how nervous and excited my kids get running up to the door and back away from the house. Shushing each other and hoping they weren’t spotted. And then later once we are in the car or back in the safety of our house laughing and talking about how they thought they were going to get caught or something funny that happened.
—Pay for the car behind you in a drive-thru. Easy, but my kids think this is so much fun!
—Sing carols and play instruments at a Senior Living center.
—Make treats for mom or dad to take into the office and share with their co-workers.
—Write letters of appreciation and gratitude to Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles, Cousins, or friends who live far away.
—Hold the door open for someone. The kids try to do it at school and we try to do it while we are out running errands, eating out or at church during the whole month. It is funny to watch the kids high five each other and get excited when they hold the door open for a long string of people.
—For every act of kindness the kids or us do, we drop a piece of candy in a jar. When the jar is filled doorbell ditch it on a friend or neighbor’s doorstep with a Merry Christmas message.
—Leave a candy bar or treat in the mailbox for the mailman, give a goodie to the school bus driver, or leave a treat on the top of the garbage can for the garbage man.
—While eating out at a restaurant look around and spot another table to send dessert to. It is fun to watch their surprised reaction all while trying to have the kids not stare at them.
—Paint rocks and leave them around your community for others to find.
—Write Merry Christmas notes with candy canes and leaving them on people’s windshields in the grocery store parking lot.
—Go through the toys and games at your house and donate extra items or things your kids no longer play with. And then deliver them to a shelter or donation location. My kids are always happy to donate a few of their old items, especially so, when Christmas is on the horizon. It makes them feel good to know they are giving things away that other kids who might not have a lot of toys will get to enjoy.