Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cultivating Kindness At Christmas

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A couple of years ago a friend of mine pinned this post. I read it and immediately fell in love with the idea. I love Christmas and I love traditions and activities!!!

But I am striving for balance. Less gifts for my kids. More giving to others. And making sure my family doesn't forget what Christmas is all about. I loved the idea of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, or being RACKed. And as we persisted as a family in giving service, even when it wasn't easy, we have felt joy. True joy. Christmas joy. We felt close to our Savior because we were doing what He would be doing. Serving others.

I find it was best for me to try to think of creative ways myself and my children could serve others. And they couldn't be too pricey as we don't have unlimited funds.  I tried to round up ideas so we could share the goodness. We can serve in lots of ways. Sometimes I have just let someone else have my parking spot. I instantly feel the spirit and know I made a good choice putting someone else first. And my perspective was changed. Because sometimes dealing with a crowded parking lot can be frustrating, this way of thinking helps me to have more patience. And to be happier.

Some Favorite's we have done:

Opening the door for others

Paying for the person behind us
Taping quarters to machines
Donating Toys to Human Options, a women's shelter
Giving Hot Coco when it was cold
Dropping off notes to Assisted Living Place to the Elderly who might be lonely
Giving Neighbors Treats
Christmas Caroling
Taking Police Men treats (but they usually are suspicious)
Taking jam to the firehouse (they are use to being loved)
Helping at school
Watching kids for a friend so they can go shopping

That being said I like the idea of unplanned opportunities of kindness. Our family is trying to pray in the morning for opportunities to serve and help others. I know as we pray for these our eyes will be open and we will be able to help others.

Below are Ideas I have found this year and wanted to share...

Free Printable Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Calendar for Kids!

Coffee Cups and Crayons shares this great printable. I love how so many people are trying to be kinder and encourage others to join them. When I see service, great or small, I am always uplifted. Check out her post about it. She has some fun ways to display kindness and involve her children. 

service countdown ig image

Crafting Chicks 

Jamie from The Crafting Chicks has an Instagram challenge to encourage us to serve each day.
You can follow along and use their hashtag to join in the fun. I love the simplicity of some of these fun ideas. 

Little Lucy Lu 

This has another great list of great things to do this Holiday.

ServeTogether is an account I follow in Instagram. I love it!!! This amazing mom who lost her beautiful baby Ruby Jane years ago has started this account and is always sharing ways we can help other people. It is so humbling to read through her feed.  Recently she posted about a girl named Addie who loves getting Christmas Cards. This might be her last Christmas. We can help by sending her mail to:

Addie Fausett
Box 162
Fountain Green, UT 84632

I think we might have each child make her a different card so she can get six from our family. it is a small way to share joy with a sweet family. I would encourage you to follow Serve Together for more ways we can help others.

Just Serve

Just Serve is an awesome idea. It was started by those of my faith but is for everyone. Sometimes we want to serve and help our community, but we don't always know where we are needed. Just Serve lets you register and find service opportunities in your area. It's a great way for members of all faiths to come together to serve. They have projects that are one time events or they could have on going projects like soup kitchens that can always use a hand. You can submit a project idea as well. I am really excited to use this for my cub scouts and for my family. 

 I just wanted to share a fun way to feel true Christmas joy this season. Please share any ways your family likes to give and serve others. I know that as we sincerely strive to help each other and serve we will fell happiness. A happiness that can't be bought at a store.

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