Parents often try to balance the ‘gimmes’ of the holidays with giving back. We want our children to appreciate what they have while teaching them about what other people don’t have. We want them to understand that life isn’t about what you have, it’s about how you make others feel. And we want to do all this amidst the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, toy commercials, and our kids writing out lists of what they want for Christmas. Sometimes lists that are longer than they are tall.
The struggle is real.
My family and I have done this in the past thanks to Karen Elliott who shared her idea with us but we somehow fell off the kindness wagon. What can I say? It happens. This being a human being thing is a work in progress.
However, this year we’re getting back on and will be implementing the 24 Days of Kindness.
Beginning on December 1st, each member of the family will perform an anonymous act of kindness each day. We then write it on a slip of paper and put it in a box that your kids have decorated.
One of the things we emphasize is that these acts of kindness don’t have to involve money. Yes, it’s great to buy an unsuspecting person their morning cuppa joe (for the record, this has never happened to me), but it’s a good way to teach your kids that simple acts throughout the day can make an impact on this world.
They can do little things like hold a door open for someone, give a random compliment, tell a teacher how they’ve made a difference, write someone a letter, give a person a hug, hold the elevator, do a chore without being asked…. The possibilities are endless. Even little ones can get involved by helping you bake cookies, giving away a toy, helping to shovel snow with a toy shovel.
Then on Christmas Eve you each take turns pulling out the papers and reading all the good things you’ve done throughout the month.
Trust me when I say:
1) You heart will grow three sizes as you all sit reading your acts of kindness
2) You will be blown away by what acts of kindness your kids come up with
This is all about making the tradition your own so feel free to put your own spin on it. If 24 acts each is too much, make it 24 in total. Repetition of the same act of kindness is completely fine. There are no rights or wrongs, only simple acts that make a positive impact on the world.