Countdown to Christmas with Kindness

This Advent, we're taking up the challenge to prepare for the birth of Christ through intentional acts of kindness in our community.

When you look around the stores in the days leading up to and following Thanksgiving, it's hard to miss the various Christmas decorations being displayed.  One decoration and tradition that many families are familiar with is that of the Advent calendar.  Personally, I grew up counting down the days to Christmas by using red and green construction paper to make a chain.  Some use a calendar that has hidden toys or chocolates or scriptures to enjoy on each new day.  Everyone needs something to help them smile and build up their anticipation as they wait for the Big Event of Christmas.  This year, however, I wonder what it would be like if we committed as a community to doing random acts of small kindnesses for one another?

John the Baptist called his listeners to repentence, that they must change their lives and be focused on the kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of right-now.  If we are living in the kingdom of God, then how are we treating other people in the kingdom?  The holidays can be a stressful and difficult time for plenty of people, but how much more would it be appreciated if we put a little more thoughtfulness and kindness into our interactions with others?  And how could it potentially change us as we act with kindness?

Sometimes it can be difficult to define what an act of kindness is or determine what you acts you're capable of doing.  For this purpose, there are some ideas of small acts of random kindness that you can take part in during the days leading up to Christmas.  Feel free to repeat any of the random acts or to come up with new ones of your own!  I pray that we all may be changed by this challenge of intentional kindness.


Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Give an extra big tip when eating out
  2. Leave a positive review online for a business you like
  3. Spend a day noticing the small stuff you love about a spouse/sibling/friend and share with them what you noticed
  4. Volunteer or donate to an animal shelter
  5. Put a positive note in a library book before returning it
  6. Be compassionate to yourself when you're struggling
  7. Tell a coworker something you appreciate about them
  1. Write a handwritten thank you note to someone
  2. Introduce two people that you think would get along
  3. Buy a food gift card and give it to a stranger
  4. Compliment someone on something that they have done or accomplished
  5. Visit someone in the hospital or in a retirement home
  6. Leave a positive comment on someone's social media post
  7. Say hello to five new people
  1. Tell a friend something you appreciate about their family
  2. Leave a sticky note with a positive note somewhere public, like at a bus stop
  3. Invite a friend you haven't seen in a while to get lunch
  4. Donate items or money to God's Neighbordhood Closet or another local charity
  5. Hold the door open for the person behind you
  6. Compliment someone on their personality trait
  7. Keep an extra pen with you to give to someone when they need it
  1. Talk to someone at a party that doesn't seem to know anyone
  2. Compliment a neighbor on how nice their yard looks
  3. Give a stranger a flower
  4. Bring baked goods to some of the staff at a local hospital
  5. Leave a thank you note for your mail carrier in your mailbox
  6. Buy a gift card to give to a stranger
  7. Send a Christmas card to local emergency services