Last year my family and I did an advent calendar of our own design and vowed to do a random act of kindness everyday through the whole month of December. My husband and I strive every year to keep the focus of Christmas on Christ, trying our best to teach our kids the joy of giving to others instead of only thinking about what they want for themselves.
I won’t lie to you and say that we did our advent activities and RAOK every single day flawlessly without any problems or hiccups. There were quite a few days that we failed miserably and had to do 2 (or 3, in one case) advent activities another day to make up for it. This was especially true the week of Christmas when we all got horribly sick with the flu. We got nothing done except survive.
If I’m being honest, the idea of doing the advent calendar and one RAOK every day again this year stresses me out a little bit. Let’s be real–it takes a lot of effort to be consistent with something like that, and most days it’s difficult for me to keep up with dishes and laundry.
But if I continue to be honest with myself, Jesus doesn’t care about my dishes or my laundry. Not that I’m advocating living in filth, because we are to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with. But if I sit and say, “I can’t spread kindness and take time to do Christmas activities with my kids because I can’t keep up with my dishes”, then my priorities are off.
Continuing in my theme of honesty–Christmas was never intended to be perfect. There was nothing perfect about that first Christmas: Mary was a single mother, giving birth to her first baby in a barn in a town that was not her own. Probably not what she imagined when Gabriel told her that she was going to carry God’s son. The true miracle of Christmas is God reaching through all the mess to bless people anyways. I believe with all my heart that that is our mission during the Christmas season.
So here I am, believing that I can start a movement with my tiny mommy blog, using the superpower of kindness.
I tried my best to make printable postcards with my advent activities and have them ready in time to give to you all before December 1st. But alas, today is December 1st and I only have the first 15 days ready for you. It’s enough to get you started though. If you are looking for an advent calendar for your family that is Christ centered, I hope you’ll give ours a try. Our kids loved it last year, and it was really nice to have a family activity every day leading up to Christmas. Sometimes it was stressful to have one more thing to do, but it was also a good reminder to make time for what’s really important. (Note: our activities are geared towards younger kids, as all of ours are 5 and under. However, with a little creativity I know those of you with older kids can build upon the ground work that I’ve done to make something that will work for your family.)
I really hope that you will also join us in our quest to spread Christmas cheer through daily acts of kindness. They don’t have to be big or expensive. A thoughtful note left for someone to find in the grocery store, a hot chocolate for a Salvation Army bell ringer, or a care package filled with cans of soup and crackers for a sick neighbor go a long way. If you want ideas of RAOK, check out these things that we’ve done in the past:
My friend Andi over on Lend Me Your Kite has thought up some really creative RAOK in the past as well:
I whipped up some free printable RAOK tags for you to use as you spread kindness through your community.
Every time you do a RAOK, snap a picture and upload it to Instagram using the hashtag #SpreadChristmasKindness2015 Not so that we can brag about how awesome we are, but rather so we can make other people smile at the beauty of kindness and inspire them to join us.
What do you say? Will you join me in spreading kindness this Christmas season, messy though our lives may be? Remember–it’s not about being perfect, but about blessing other people and making time for our families. If you miss a day, don’t sweat it. Just try again tomorrow. If it’s the middle of December and you’re just stumbling on this post and are thinking that it’s too late for you to join–join us anyways. It’s never too late.
I wish you all a very sincere Merry Christmas!