This is our family advent. I LOVE it! Each window, chimney, tree pops open to a little compartment. We bought this at Costco for $10.00 a couple of years ago.....crazy! Normally it's filled with candies for the kids, but this year I've decided to do something different. Instead of candy I am putting in slips of paper of a kindness the kids need to do the next day for someone. Our lesson in church yesterday was on the spirit of CHRISTmas and it got me thinking that I don't do enough to focus on the reason for the season.
I would love to know what you do to bring more focus on family, friends, giving and everything else that is wonderful that goes along with the Christmas season.
If you would like to do this ideas as well here are some ideas for activities...
Bake and deliver hoiday cookies to library employees.
Pay for Santa pictures for someone at mall.
Collect canned goods for food shelf.
Pass out candy and spread cheer to folks mailing off their Christmas cards at the post office.
Leave small Christmas treats/gifts in shopping carts for folks to find.
Collect old towels and washcloths and drop off at local animal shelter.
Make holiday cards and tuck them under the windshields wipers of cars at the store/library/school.
Buy coffee for stranger at a coffee shop.
String popcorn and cranberries — and put them outside for the birds
Tape change (and a note!) to a vending machine.
Pay for the order of the car behind you in the drive-through.
Leave present or card in mailbox for your mail carrier.
Drop off books and magazines to a hospital, nursing home or doctors office.
Give a compliment to the manager of someone who helps you today.
Check in on someone you know is alone.
Send someone a small gift anonymously.
Hold the door open for someone today.
Make eye contact and smile at everyone you see today.
Run an errand for someone.
Bring up the neighbor’s garbage can and recycling bins.
Shovel someone’s driveway.
Send a thank you note to someone who has helped you in the past.
Tape candy canes and notes to neighbor’s doors, wishing them happy holidays.
Forgive someone in a bad mood or who is negative today and say something nice to them.
Purchase a couple extra bags of cat/dog food and bring to a local animal shelter.
Leave your change in the soda machine, vending machine, parking meter, etc. today for the next person.
Offer someone behind you at the grocery store to go ahead of you.
Renew a relationship with someone you’ve lost touch with.
Listen to everyone you speak with today.
Offer to help someone do a task they don’t want to do.
Return a shopping cart for a stranger in the parking lot.
Pick up litter you see lying around by the road or in a parking lot.
Offer to help someone who looks like they need assistance (i.e. a mother trying to open a door, an elderly person pumping gas, etc.).
Acknowledge someone who has helped you today, no matter how small the task.
Say an encouraging word today.
Tell all your family members how much you appreciate them.
Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers.
Purchase toys for kids in need.
Tape candy canes and happy holiday notes to ATMS, vending machines…
Send a box of gently used mittens and hats to a school or homeless shelter
Offer to buy a pack of gum or mints for checkout clerk at grocery store.
Buy an extra copy of your favorite holiday book and donate to your library or local school.
Also, what are things you do with your advents besides candy?