I love everything about Christmas. I love the old traditions that mark the day, the holiday keepsakes, the cheap tacky decor that some shops sell and the lavish gifts all through the stores.
But more than that I love that Christmas is a time where families remember to include everyone, where neighbours greet and the malls are full of people smiling at each other. It’s a time where secret Santas are endulged in just to make someone else happy.
It is a time of magic and belief …
But it also fast becomes a commercial humdrum of wish lists and debit cards. Of us spoiling our children with expensive toys that to be honest may never be played with after Christmas day or are broken and discardead.
So, as we fill our homes with chocolate advents and cheap toys for bright red Christmas stockings, as we hunt down expensive wrapping and buy gifts that we have just paid off when Christmas rolls around again, how do we teach our Children the true essence of Christmas?
This year in our home I’ve started a kindness advent to do just that.
To teach Hamish, and remind ourselves, that Christmas is about our love and kindness for others.
It was incredibly easy to set up and you can use any little advent calendar that will hold 24 slips of paper.
We bought an Advent Calendar DIY kit from Busybean which Kerri stitched together one night a few weeks ago with her friend.
This little felt kit is much bigger than I first thought and each little pocket is big enough to hold a small sweet or toy.
Everything is precut and the numbers stick on with a little sticky tape. At a later stage I want to secure the numbers a bit better,by removing them carefully and gluing them on using bostick to make them more permanent .
This little kit cost R30 and was well worth the buy.
To personalise his tree, I added a few little Christmas pegs and each little advent pocket will hold a little slip of paper encouraging an act of kindness that we will help Hamish to complete each day.
My hope is that this becomes an annual family project and a reminder of the Christmas spirit.
Gifts of Kindness
The acts of kindness that I’ve included are:
- Feed the birds
- Donate 3 old books to a library
- Make Christmas cards for your friends
- Bake biscuits for your neighbours
- Take a treat to the police station, fire station , hospital or ambulance service.
- Phone your grandparents
- Make a special ” I love you gift” for your sibling(s)
- Smile all day
- Donate 3 old toys to a Children’s home
- Hug a friend
- Hide a happy rock that you paint for someone to find in a park.
- Do a chore for mom or dad
- Leave a Thank you note and candy cane for the mail man
- Gift 3 old pieces of clothing to a charity or homeless shelter
- Make a new friend
- Pick up litter or join a beach clean up
- Tell your family you love them
- Pick flowers for someone
- Make someone laugh
- Share your sweets
- Ask mom and dad to help you take treats to an old age home
- Help mom and dad prepare dinner
- Tell shop assistants to have a nice day
- Plant a tree
This is our list but you could write your own adjusting it to suit your family, child’s age and to acts of kindness that you are comfortable with.
Because the greatest gifts we can ever offer anyone are our time and kindness.