This past weekend, my husband and I spent one morning crafting our very own DIY Advent Calendar. And while you may be envisioning scrumptious chocolates galore, our calendar is instead stuffed with heart, courage and random acts of Christmas Kindness.
This year both Dave and I have felt different. Where we once longed to spend every spare minute visiting holiday attractions, shopping for the perfect gifts and devouring classic Christmas cinema, we now feel impartial. In place of that excitement is a quiet stillness, a joy that resonates in sharing the heart of Christmas with others. We feel overwhelmingly compelled to give back and stretch our boundaries and comfort levels in sharing Jesus’ love with others. 2012 was a year of abundant blessings; we have nothing but thanks to our Lord.
I happened to fall upon this post and instantly, my insides stirred: a count-down to Jesus’ birthday that would forced us to focus each day on others, putting their needs above our own; some actions requiring more courage than I’ve known, like donating blood and visiting strangers spending Christmas in the hospital.
I pray that others would come to experience God’s limitless love and grace through our endeavours, but more importantly, that He would draw Dave and I even closer, in humble gratitude and service for what Jesus did for us through his birth, death and resurrection.
I invite you to join us, friends. Here’s how….
Create an advent calendar to hang in your home with the following random acts listed for each day:
- 1st Pick a scripture to memorize with your family for the month of Decemeber
- 2nd Adapt a street for a day and clean up trash
- 3rd Pick a friend and pray for them all day long
- 4th Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers
- 5th Purchase toys for kids in need
- 6th Tape candy canes to ATMS and vending machines
- 7th Send of box of mittens and hats to a school
- 8th Plug parking meters that are almost out
- 9th Bring a peppermint mocha to a co- worker who may feel “invisible”
- 10th Donate Blood
- 11th Host a movie night with friends to watch The Nativity Story
- 12th Collect canned goods for a local food pantry
- 13th Set up a free gift wrap station or hot cocoa stand
- 14th Pay for santa pictures for someone at mall
- 15th Call a local shelter and ask what they need and provide.
- 16th Pass out candy to folks mailing off Christmas cards at the post office
- 17th Take back shopping carts + hold open doors for shoppers
- 18th Leave Christmas treats in shopping carts for folks to find
- 19th Call a nursing home and plan a visit
- 20th Donate your time to a shelter or cold weather program
- 21th- Leave a food hamper on doorstep of a family that needs it * Call a local church to ask for a name
- 22nd- Buy coffee for strangers at Starbucks
- 23rd- Leave present in mailbox for mail carrier
- 24th- Take all night drug store/ grocery store employee a Christmas surprise
- 25th- Visit strangers who are recovering at local hospital or old age home
2013 FAMILY friendly additions
Some other great ideas you could do as a family, in replace of some of the above, courtesy of Sara Mae
- Host a birthday party for Jesus for the neighbourhood kids
- Find a local Christmas show and invite someone who you don’t know well or may be lonely this time of year to go with you
- Write a letter to your children, sharing your heart for Jesus
- Send a note of encouragement and a gift to a missionary
- Surprise a single mom with an offer to babysit
- Research ways you and your family can actively serve/volunteer together all year long
- Act out the Christmas story with your kids
- Look through hand of hope or hope international gift catalog, and pick a birthday gift for Jesus
Print out “You’ve been Rack’d” Cards
Come December 1st, open or turn over your first days activity and start celebrating the true heart of the season.