Countdown to Christmas: 25 days of kindness for kids

I took each charitable act and stapled it to a link on the Christmas countdown chain. So each night they pull off that day's strip and look at the next day's strip to think about how they will perform the next day's act of kindness.

I took each charitable act and stapled it to a link on the Christmas countdown chain. So each night they pull off that day's strip and look at the next day's strip to think about how they will perform the next day's act of kindness.

My favorite high school teacher shared this idea on Facebook, and I just love it. It’s a different type of Advent calendar. It’s a downloadable, printable list of 25 days of kind things to do for others.  (You could also create your own personal list based on the ages of your kids.)

The article shows you putting the slips of paper into the Advent calendar little windows but my plan is to attach them to the Christmas chain. So each time they pull off a link counting down to Christmas, they also read a good deed to perform.  (My idea is that each person in the family does the deed individually for in theory five good deeds a day.)

I love the idea of having them think each day about kind things they can be doing for others.

Here is a link to the article.

Here is a link to the printable PDF of kind acts.

Here is a sample of some of the suggestions: (They seem good for mom and Dad too.)

1. Mail a card to a relative that you have not spoken to in a while.

2. Do something especially nice and out of the ordinary for your sister or brother.

3. Write a letter to your teacher telling them what you most like about his or her class.

4. Give someone a nice compliment they wouldn’t normally

expect.

5. Pack your own school lunch so mommy can take the night off.

6. Go out of your way to “help” another child or adult.

7. Play with a friend at school that is alone at recess.

So what do you think? Do you use an Advent calendar leading up to Christmas? Do you do charitable acts during the holiday season? Do you like the idea of little kind acts leading up to Christmas? What other ways could you use these little slips?

UPDATE TO THIS STORY: So we made the chain last night. I skipped day 1 and just started on day 2. They pulled day 1 off and then read the next day’s item to think about it. For day 2 they are supposed to perform an act of kindness for their brother or sister. I think I should have changed it to both because now the sisters want to do nice stuff for each other and they are leaving Walsh out in the cold. Poor Walsh! Rose wants to read to Lilina. Lilina wants to make Rose a craft from marshmallows. I told them I will do it too so I need to figure out something nice I can do for my brother in Georgia today.

2nd update to the story: I’m going to buy my brother lunch today. My dad is going to give my brother $10 for lunch on me, and I will mail my dad $10. (They work together at our family’s business.)

17 comments Add your comment

WitchyWoman

December 2nd, 2013
12:28 pm

Although we should try to do kind things all the time, I do think it is a good idea. Kids as well as adults tend to be just a little bit nicer this time of year. Who knows, it might lead to them doing little kind things for a longer period of time. Little ideas can lead to big changes.

[...] Countdown to Christmas: 25 days of kindness for kids For day 2 they are supposed to perform an act of kindness for their brother or sister. I think I should have changed it to both because now the sisters want to do nice stuff for each other and they are leaving Walsh out in the cold. Poor Walsh! Rose … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

jct

December 2nd, 2013
1:10 pm

What a wonderful way to teach kindness. Hopefully, this will translate past the Christmas season.

Mayhem

December 2nd, 2013
1:20 pm

It’s called Random acts of kindness, and we practice that year round!!!

I truly believe one of the best things we can do with our kids this time of year, is to Volunteer. It makes you feel good, and it makes the kids really appreciate what they have!!! Volunteer at a children’s shelter. Work with Toys for Tots. We have numerous fire fighters in our extended family, so we have ALWAYS volunteered to work with Toys for Tots.

But one should always practice random acts of kindness. I helped an elderly lady at Target today. She had a cart full of toys for her grandkids, and I assisted her in getting them into her car and I returned her cart for her.

Its just good for the soul!

motherjanegoose

December 2nd, 2013
1:23 pm

I love this idea.

I visited a school that has a class kindness chain…all the time. The teacher keeps strips in a can. Whenever anyone does something kind, she writes it on the strip and attaches it to the chain. The first loop is attached to the ceiling with a thumb tack. When the chain reaches the floor, the class can celebrate with a special treat. The teacher then reads every strip and thanks the children for their kindess. I know I have mentioned this before but children really do pick up on what others around them are doing. They often want to mimic each other and when we are encouraging positive behavior that prompts the children to co-operate too!

TWG thanks for sharing!

motherjanegoose

December 2nd, 2013
1:30 pm

@ Mayhem, great reminder!

Last year, I was at Kroger and my husband was with me. He saw an older lady trying to put her groceries in the trunk. He asked me to stop the car and let him out, before I proceeded to park. He walked over to her and she just about clobbered him with her purse. It was in the day time. I ran over to let her know that he was just trying to help. We still remember that random act of kindess!

I stopped in the jetway to help a young mother with her stroller. She had a rollerboard and a diaper bag plus she was carrying her baby ( about 8 months?) . She was trying to tell me how to open the stroller. I am clueless on new strollers. I asked her if she would hand me the baby. I held it under the arms and facing it’s Mother. I did not touch the skin, as I am sure she was concerned about germs. The baby watched the Mother and then I handed it back to her. Glad to do it.

Kat

December 2nd, 2013
3:04 pm

I tell my kids that being polite is always welcomed. One of my daughters compliments ladies all the time – usually on their hair or choice of colors they are wearing – usually pink! My son holds the door open for people (as best he can) and says “After you…” They do these things every day, but I love the idea of other suggestions.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

December 2nd, 2013
4:07 pm

MJG – I thought about sending it to the first-grade teacher because I do think the kids would love it — but I worried parents would think too religious –

motherjanegoose

December 2nd, 2013
4:10 pm

@ TWG…if you do not connect it with Advent, that should be fine. The school I mentioned, uses it all the time. Could you not just use it as 25 DAYS OF KINDNESS or whatever.

Ella

December 2nd, 2013
6:19 pm

Great idea, but I’d change #5 to “Pack your own school lunch so your parents can take the night off.”

catlady

December 2nd, 2013
8:07 pm

I think all kids (even the developmentally delayed) need to learn the value of volunteering–of doing the right thing for others. I don’t think it should be things the kids should already be doing (packing their own lunch the night before)! I am a big proponent of the importance of volunteering. It is beneficial in the short-term, but especially in the long-term.

Mayhem

December 3rd, 2013
7:55 am

I don’t get the “pack you own lunch and give parents a night off? Does it take THAT long to pack a lunch????? I used to pack my kids lunches while they were eating breakfast. Sandwich, chips, fruit and bottled water. It took all of 5, maybe 10 minutes. And I did it for 3 kids!!

motherjanegoose

December 3rd, 2013
8:38 am

I did not pack lunches. Mine ate at school or packed their own. Sometimes, mine told me they wanted to take their lunch. I told them that there were plenty of things to choose from in the pantry or the fridge. Perhaps they should do it the night before but they typically wanted to wait until morning. THEN it did not get done and they ate at school. They learned a thing or two about time management…haha!

@catlady ^^^^ LIKE!

catlady

December 3rd, 2013
3:03 pm

>>>>H. U. G.<<<<< to you, MJG!

lily

December 3rd, 2013
11:36 pm

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[...] Good Deed Suggestions ( SEE  full article by Theresa Walsh Giarrusso at Momania: A Blog for Busy Moms> GO) [...]

Becky

December 4th, 2013
1:07 pm

Yes, the girl received a charm bracelet (sp) on the first day of Dec. and it has a charm for each day untild Dec 25th. The boy was given a Starbucks board that has 25 tins on it and each day has a candy in it, then on the 25th, the tin has a candy and a $5.00 gift card..

Every time that I shop at Aldi’s, I give 3-4 people quarters for thir carts..Most of them just look at me like I’ve lost my mind..The boy always holds the door open for people..

@Mayhem..I pack lunch for the girl every day..It takes me a whopping 4 minutes or so..I enjoy it and one day, she’s not going to be home for me to do that for and I will miss it..

We got a new baby over the holiday..Nolan Charles was born Nov. 27th.. :)