Combat entitlement this holiday season with a Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar! I’m sharing why kindness matters, random acts of kindness ideas, and tips for doing a month of random acts of kindness as individuals, kids, and families. Plus, free random acts of kindness advent calendars!
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
All year long most people try to be kind, but it’s the Christmas season that really motivates others to give, serve, and show love and kindness beyond what they would normally do.
“Amazingly, one research study found that one-third of all U.S. giving happens in December and 22 percent of total charitable giving occurs in the final two days of the year.”- Forbes.com
Almost every Christmas as a teenager, my mom and dad would adopt a family in need and buy them gifts so we could do some anonymous gifting. We would spend an evening wrapping the presents, picturing the excitement on the children’s faces when they opened their new classic toy or children’s Christmas book. I’m so grateful that my parents taught me the importance of loving and accepting others and being kind.
This Christmas season, you can take the opportunity to perform random acts of kindness to those around you and experience the joy of giving. You can also teach your children how to be kind to others and spread the love.
A “Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar” is a great way to get started and start a new family Christmas tradition.
Why You Should Do a Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar
Allan Luks’ investigated research, The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others, illustrates numerous scientific studies showing acts of kindness result in significant health benefits, both physical and mental.
- Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders
- A “helper’s high” (defined as a rush of euphoria after performing a kind act) which releases endorphins. This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being.
- Stress-related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping reverses feelings of depression, supplies social contact, and decreases feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress, overeating, ulcers, etc.
- Helping can enhance our feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigor, and can reduce the unhealthy sense of isolation.
- Health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act is remembered.
- An increased sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism.
I know in my own life I have experienced the “helper’s high” after giving love and service to someone and felt loved and appreciated when others are especially kind to me.
The goal of most of these random acts of kindness is to perform them anonymously and safely.
Please don’t allow your child to walk across the street by themselves to a neighbor you’ve never met in the “spirit of giving.” The whole point of the random acts of kindness advent calendars is for the whole family to get involved in the family service ideas, so make sure anything your child is doing is okay with you.
It’s easy to want to be recognized for good deeds, but the worst thing you can do is go bragging to your friends about how awesome you and your family are for performing these random acts. Perform the acts anonymously and without praise or recognition.
If you really want to instill gratitude in your children and yourself, let the service be its own reward in itself.
FREE Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendars and Ideas
I found several Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendars that other bloggers have created and shared. Not all of them are for the year 2018, so some of the dates on the calendars won’t line up with this 2018 year, but can be great help in creating one for your own family!
Megan from the blog Coffee Cups and Crayons created Summer Kindness Calendars for her kids to give her kids achievable acts they could perform every day in the summer, but it would work great in December too. Though these calendars were made with the intention of doing the acts of kindness in the summer, you could easily print it out and make it an advent calendar for December. She also has a list of 100 Acts of Kindness for Kids list and printable that can help you create your own kindness advent calendar.
On the blog Wondermom Wannabe, you can find a Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Calendar for Kids that is specifically catered to acts school-aged children can do without help. The acts of kindness go all the way through the entire month of December. This mom blogger also has a blank calendar in case you want to fill in the acts yourself.
She also has a phenomenal list of over 200 random acts of kindness ideas with specific ideas for different places, people, and settings like random acts you can do at the gym, at work, for your child’s teacher, for elderly, for the homeless, or for your husband (among many others!).
If you go to the blog Natural Beach Living, you can download the 2017 Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Calendar. This calendar goes all the way to December 25th, so you can use it as a countdown. Yes, the dates will be off by one day, but you can still do it!
Instead of an actual calendar with dates, Mum in the Mad House has free printables you can use to draw out of a jar each day. This is an easy, hassle-free way to pick a random act of kindness every day and choose which to do.
Don’t want to mess with paper or any kind of crafting? Then you can subscribe to digital random acts of kindness, where you’ll get emails starting on December 1st with which act to perform that day. Acts include calling a friend, giving compliments, send a thank you card, etc. This website is cool because you can see how many other people are also performing these random acts.
There’s also this great website literally called, “Random Acts of Kindness” that lists ideas you can do with your family, during the holidays, for the environment, and for your community.
Light the World in 25 Ways, Over 25 Days
As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I truly appreciate our church’s campaign at Christmas called#LightTheWorld. In 2017 it was “Light the World in 25 Ways, Over 25 Days.”
Every year a new calendar comes out, with scriptures listed on each day to inspire random acts of kindness and service.
For example, one of the scriptures listed from the 2017 campaign is, “Matthew 25:36: “I was sick and ye visited me”. You can use this scripture for inspiration to visit someone in the hospital or a nursing home, or even just write a card to someone who is feeling sick.
In 2018, the calendar is more open-ended and weekly-themed instead of daily. You can download it HERE.
I’m definitely not the kindness expert, but I know how random acts of kindness by others have blessed my life, and how they have blessed Katelyn’s life, like when she received 12 Days of Secret Santa gifts.
I like this list from One Good Thing by Jillee. You can take a blank piece of paper and jot down the ones you like, and then enter a reminder into your smartphone calendar every day for the month of December so you’ll remember to perform the act.
Whether you choose to perform Random Acts of Kindness on your own or with your family, I hope you fill the world with joy and gladness and kindness this holiday season.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” -St. Francis of Assisi