6 Weeks of Holiday Gift Ideas/Homemade Living Series - Week #5: Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar

It's easy to get caught up in the Christmas rush and focus on gifts.  As a child, I distinctly remember that being my focus.  What would I get?  Would it be the things I hoped for?  Would I get everything on my list?  The advent calendars I received were always full of chocolates or candies.  Once again, all about me and/or my gift{s}.  Even as an adult it's easy to get swept up in the craziness of buying and making gifts.

A nice change of pace is to turn the focus at this time of the year to that of service.  Helping others.  And the best way I've found to do this is to create advent calendars that are about doing good for others rather than receiving a gift for yourself.  What happens is once you begin doing good for others, anonymously, it becomes more of a gift to yourself than you could have ever imagined because it feels fantastic.

This is a great calendar for the family.  Something that all can participate in together.  You can choose to have each family member strive to do each act of kindness, or split them up.  This also makes a great gift to give allowing the recipient to pay it forward.

This is a simple calendar to pull together.  I used clothespins {if you don't have any, they sell them at Home Depot, Lowes, Target, etc.}, a canvas for the background {you could use paper, wood, or whatever you have on hand}, scrapbook paper for the clothespins decoration {you could also paint them or leave them wooden}, and white cardstock for the tags.  I used a large foam stamp and acrylic paint to stamp the numbers.

If you want a different color for the background, you can paint your background with acrylic paint or cover it with scrapbook paper.  Measure the clothespins and cut strips of paper to glue to the tops.  Cut out each of your tags and either stamp or print numbers on them.  Print the Random Act Of Kindness onto the back of each tag.  Lay out the clothespins until they fit, then, using a dab of glue, adhere them to your background.  Give them about 20 minutes to adhere before clipping the tags under each.

You can choose to use the kindness acts I have listed or make some specific for your family.

December 1: Make a card and send it to a friend for no reason.
December 2: Drop off books and magazines to a hospital or nursing home.  While you're there, offer to read a book with someone.
December 3: Give a compliment to the manager of someone who helps you today.
December 4: Check in on someone you know is alone.
December 5: Drop off a small gift anonymously to someone.
December 6: Forgive someone today - a spouse, sibling, co-worker, etc.
December 7: Pay for the coffee of the person in line behind you today.
December 8: Run an errand for someone.
December 9: Send a note to someone who has made a difference in your life and let them know.
December 10: Let someone have your place in line today.
December 11: Help someone at the grocery store retrieve something out of their reach or difficult for them.
December 12: Purchase a couple extra bags of dog food and bring to a local animal shelter.  While you're there, spend time with an animal or two.
December 13: Leave your change in the soda machine, vending machine, parking meter, etc. today for the next person.
December 14: Be kind in traffic today.  Take a breathe and keep patient and calm.
December 15: Say hello to everyone you come in contact with today.
December 16: Bring a "thank you" card and plate of goodies to your Police Department and/or Fire Department today.
December 17: Bring canned goods to a food bank today.  If you can make the time, offer to help with whatever task they are working on.
December 18: Offer to help someone do a task they don’t want to do.
December 19: Cook a meal for someone and deliver it.  If it's something that can be frozen and used when they need it the most, include freezing/re-heating instructions.
December 20: Find out what a local charity {homeless shelter, Veteran's shelter, food bank, etc.} needs and ask co-workers or friends to also donate.  Bring the items to the charity on behalf of your work.
December 21: Pick up litter you see lying around by the road or in a parking lot.
December 22: Offer to help someone who looks like they need assistance (i.e. a mother trying to open a door, an elderly person pumping gas, etc.).
December 23: Acknowledge someone who has helped you today, no matter how small the task.
December 24: Say an encouraging word today.
December 25: Tell all your family members how much you appreciate them.

Other Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas include:
Week 1:  Homemade Bath and Body Products {Soap, Lip Balm, Lotion Bar, and Salt Scrub}
Week 2:  Salt Dough Ornaments and Tags
Week 3:  Customized Coffee Mugs
Week 4:  Dishtowel with Button Christmas Tree


Our Neck of the Woods said...

What a great idea! And it's cute, too! Your kindness acts are all awesome and will make others feel so special :)

Sue Frelick said...

This is a sweet idea. It's good to focus on the needs of others. The random items on your list of service ideas are nice and easy, but would mean so much to someone.

Tracy said...

This is what I am doing for my own personal advent this year Staci. And although I will be doing the giving, I am getting so much from just thinking about all of those little sweet things I can do.

Kat said...

I love this--you are so stinkin' clever! Thanks for sharing, Staci and hope you and yours have a fabulous and yummy Thanksgivng! :)

dragonfly.garden said...

I can't tell you how much I love this. Hope you don't mind me stealing it!

daisy g said...

What a great idea that can be carried into each and every month of the year!