Post by Rebecca of Not-So-SAHM
We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas at our house, so our kids start to get a little gaga for gifts this time of year. They’ve always begged for an advent calendar, but I haven’t done one before because it seemed like just another influx of gifts. But not doing so always left me feeling a little Grinch’ish — I love how excited the kids are around the holidays!
It’s an ongoing struggle to keep our family on point with the meaning of the holidays, so this year I decided to do something different and create a Giving Back Advent Calendar. With all that’s been going on in the world it now seems even more important — I feel like lots of people could use a little love, encouragement, and hope this holiday season.
I started out with Nod’s Merry Mod Advent Calendar and filled it with Countdown Calendar Stuffers since I do want the kids to get excited about getting a little something each day on the countdown to Christmas. I also came up with twenty five little ways our kids can help give back to their family, community, and friends. You can come up with anything that works for your family, but I wrote each of these ideas down on a 1/2 index card and slipped one in each daily pocket of the advent calendar:
- Give someone a hug
- Tell a joke
- Bake for a friend
- Make someone smile
- Talk to someone new at school
- Stand up for someone
- Give a teacher a compliment
- Donate books you no longer need
- Thank a police officer
- Leave a letter in a library book
- Hold the door for someone
- Invite someone new to play
- Send a letter to someone
- Give out high fives
- Thank home service providers
- Handout happy stickers
- Make a Little Loving Hands craft
- Smile at everyone you see today
- Do an extra chore without being asked
- Donate a toy you no longer need
- Write a thank you note to someone who has helped you
- Send art to Color a Smile
- Leave funny post-its around town
- Read to someone
- Chalk happy messages on public sidewalk
These are all things our kids can do by themselves or with a little help from me. I hope that it will help them comfort and convey a sense of belonging to others that I think is important any time of the year, but certainly at the holidays. Happy giving back!!
Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. A relatively recent SAHM, she blogs family-friendly activities, DIYs and celebration fun at Not-So-SAHM.