Kids’ Kind Christmas: 24 Ways To Pay It Forward (Perfect for Advent!)

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When our son was two, we got a really cute wooden advent house to use at Christmastime.  It’s been a joy these last few years to fill it with little toys, snacks, and notes with fun activities for us to do together written on them.  While that has quickly become a family tradition we all look forward to, I started questioning myself last December and wondering if we couldn’t do something a bit different, perhaps a bit more meaningful.

Once I started looking around for different ways we might use our Advent house for future Christmases, I quickly realized there was quite a common trend for families to incorporate this sort of random acts of kindness theme into their Advent traditions.  I loved this idea immediately.  What better way to teach our kids the joy of giving than by coming up with daily activities to carry out together during the month of December?

When we break out the beloved Advent house on December 1, we’ll talk about what it means to do nice things for others, during the holiday season and always, and how the joy those actions bring can turn around and make us feel good too.  Each day, our son will open a little numbered door to find a handwritten note with our task for the day.  In no particular order, here are the activities I’d like for us to do this year:

  1. Bake muffins and take them to Grandpa’s office
  2. Pick up trash in the neighborhood or at the park
  3. Donate pet food to the Kansas Humane Society
  4. Make a thank-you note for your kindergarten teacher and include a gift card to a local coffee shop
  5. Send out a video to brighten someone’s day who lives faraway
  6. Pass down outgrown clothing to a local organization who supports families in need (check out this helpful resource)
  7. Bake cookies and take to the staff at our local UPS Store (this is where we get our mail, otherwise consider leaving some for a neighborhood mail carrier or delivery driver)
  8. Take a bag of great-grandmother’s favorite groceries over to her house
  9. Send a letter to a friend or family member
  10. Make pinecone bird feeders for neighbor gifts (we’ll use sunflower seed butter to make sure they’re allergen friendly for anyone who might come into contact with them)
  11. Take a few handmade Christmas wreath crafts to nursing home residents (we’ll check first with the particular place we’re thinking of going to ensure they’ll allow this)
  12. Pick out a new houseplant for Grandma and take it to her house
  13. Prepare a meal for a friend
  14. Do a chore for someone in the family (or help with it)
  15. Let someone go ahead of us in line at the grocery store
  16. Donate an outgrown toy to a local organization who supports families in need
  17. Rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor
  18. Call someone you haven’t seen in a while and tell them why you miss them
  19. Invite a friend over for some outdoor, socially distanced hot chocolate
  20. Write a nice message on the sidewalk with chalk
  21. Donate canned goods to the Kansas Food Bank
  22. Send a note to the house that has the Christmas lights you love the most and thank them
  23. Give one of your classmates a compliment
  24. Send a thank-you card to healthcare workers at a local hospital

With all that 2020 has been, it seems like the absolute perfect time to work together as a family to put a little more joy and kindness out there into the universe.  I’m really looking forward to getting started!

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Megan Greenway
Megan is a Wichita native, K-State horticulture grad and WAHM. She lives on the northwest side of town with her partner Wes and their young son (b. 2015), where together they operate their regenerative garlic and vegetable farm, Orie’s Farm Fresh. As a passionate local and organic food advocate, Megan enjoys engaging with the Wichita community on a weekly basis at farmers’ markets and local events. She also harnesses her love of healthy and seasonal eating by sharing real food meal ideas, recipes, and tips on growing food on her Instagram blog, Mama Makes Food.

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