5 Little Monsters: Christmas of Kindness Advent

Christmas of Kindness Advent

I have shared a couple of Christmas countdown/advent ideas and I wanted to share one more idea today. One thing that can be really hard at Christmas time, especially for kids, is to avoid getting so caught up in presents and what you want to get for Christmas. It is so easy for it to become all about the gifts and less about the true meaning of Christmas.

I think one of the best ways to avoid that is through service. When you are doing things for others it is harder to focus so much on yourself. The past few years my church has done a Light the World campaign at Christmas time where they encourage everyone to do acts of service throughout the Christmas season to help bring the focus back to Christ, and giving.

In years past they have had a calendar with a theme for each day and ideas of ways to serve. This year is a little different with weekly themes rather than daily. You can find out more about the Light the World initiative by visiting Mormon.org.

The first year we did Light the World my sister put together a really cool advent for our kids. She gave us a plastic tub that said #lighttheworld on the side and in it were paper bags for each day. Each one had a slip of paper inside with a service that the kids could do that day. Sometimes it included a little treat too. And sometimes there was something included in the bag to help them with the service, like cards to write a note to someone, a can of food to donate to the food bank, etc.

I thought it was such a neat idea I wanted to try to recreate it for my kids to do again, and also to share it here. I just gathered some small paper treat bags and sticker labels. I put together a list of 36 simple service ideas that are easy enough for kids to do. You can print them off and choose which ones you want to use, or come up with some of your own. Our printer died a while ago and we haven't yet replaced it, I hate trying to figure which printer to buy so I keep putting it off, so I just wrote some of the ideas on slips of paper.

I used sticker labels to write the numbers on and stuck one on each bag. I added a slip of paper and any other treats or items that I wanted to include and taped the bags closed. I decided to only do 12, more like a 12 days of Christmas advent, rather than 24. You can do it either way. You could put them all in a basket for the kids to take one out each day, or use clothespins or clips to hang them on a string like a garland.

You could also just add the slips into an advent calendar that you already have, either instead of or in addition to treats that you normally put in. I have a quilted advent calendar that I made several years ago that we usually fill with small candies. I could easily add the slips of paper with service ideas into the pockets either by themselves or with the treats.

This is a really easy way to help your kids remember others throughout the Christmas season, whether you do it as part of the Light the World initiative, or just as a way to help your kids learn to serve and think of others.

I know my kids still remember times that we have taken opportunities as a family to serve other at Christmas time, whether it is taking outgrown coats to the homeless shelter, hats to the hospital, or visiting a nursing home, they may not be the "funnest" things to do at Christmas time but they always mean a lot and end up being some of the most memorable. Most of the service ideas I included are simple, like smiling at someone, or writing a thank you note, things that are simple enough for kids to do but that can hopefully help them think of others instead of focusing on the presents they hope are under the tree Christmas morning. Not to mention, anything that helps my kids try to be kinder human beings is a win in my book. We need more kindness in the world.

Get my list of 36 simple service ideas HERE.

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