Saturday, November 24, 2012

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

Christmas is a great time to be intentionally kind to people.  It can be especially challenging when our schedules are crammed, our budgets are blown, and people everywhere seem to be rushed and crabby.  But it really is a good opportunity to show the very same love and kindness that brought Jesus to earth, which is afterall what we are celebrating this time of year.

Last year, my family participated in RACK:  Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.  I read about the idea on a website called TSJ Photographry.  Click here to read about it and download all the ideas.

We couldn't pull off a new activity every single day, but we did several per week.  The idea spread amongst my adult Sunday school class, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing what everyone was doing for their acts of kindness. 

I started by making a list of people to whom I could show kindness.

1. Estranged family member
2. Postal worker
3. Garbage man/woman
4. Recycling man/woman
5. Yard waste man/woman
6. Librarians
7. School teachers
8. Waiter/waitress
9. Pastor Brock
10. Kim Brock, Praise team, choir, orchestra
11. Church children's staff
12. Youth pastoral staff
13. Church office staff
14. Church custodians
15.  Store workers (grocery, pharmacy, retail)
16.  Gas station attendants
17.  Bank tellers
18. Schwan’s man
19. Neighbors
20. Nursing home residents
21.  People waiting at hospitals
22. Church Secret Sister
23. Church Pray for a Child
24. People in line at drive-thru
25. People in line at stores
26. Babysitters
27. Hair stylist
28. UPS/FedEx workers
29. College students
30. Shut-ins
31. Coaches
32. Co-workers
33. Parents at your child’s school
34. Owners of parked cars

Then I searched the internet and spent time thinking about it, and I gathered a list of possible gifts/services to give/do.
1.     Individually wrapped candy
2.     Candy canes
3.    Cookies/bars
4.    Cinnamon rolls
5.    Bread
6.     Cupcakes
7.    Chocolate-dipped pretzels
8.    Hot cocoa mix
9.    Trail mix
10.  Chex mix
11.    Seasoned oyster crackers
12.   Quarters or dollar bills
13.   Gift cards:
a.     Starbucks
b.     McDonald’s or other fast food
c.     Walmart
d.     Kroger
e.     Walgreen’s/CVS
f.     Hobby Lobby
g.     Gas station
14.  Ornament
15.  Devotional
16.   CD
17.  Bible ( has cheap ones)
18.  Non-perishable food
19.   Hat
20.  Gloves
21.   Scarf
22.  Umbrella
23.  Coffee
24.  DVD
25.  Calendar
26.  Bible verse cards
27.  Crossword puzzle or activity book
28.  Children’s book
29.  Magazine
30. Chapstick and/or hand lotion
31.   Ice scraper
32.  Travel pack of tissues
33.  Flowers/plants
1.     Shovel snow
2.     Scrape ice off cars
3.    Pick up trash
4.    Return carts
5.    Babysit kids so parents can shop
6.     Make dinner
7.    PRAY!
8.    Wrap gifts
9.    Help decorate
10.  Hold doors open
11.    Carry bags
12.   Offer ride
13.   Winterize home or car
14.  Walk someone’s dog

Finally, I compiled my list of ideas that I thought I could pull off with my kids, schedule, and budget.

RACK Ideas
1. Mail Christmas cards
2. Help family/friend decorate for Christmas
Bake cinnamon rolls for church staff
4. Attend church Christmas program
Make homemade Christmas candy and take to the neighbors
Take hot cocoa to bell ringers
7. Color a Christmas picture
8. Leave Thank-you note and treat for waiter/waitress
9. Look at Christmas lights & give award for the best house
10. Make Christmas cookies
11. Visit Santa & take him a gift
Leave a $10 gift card to Wal-Mart in the front door of a random house in the Pekin Housing Authority
13. TOYS for TOTS
14. Do a Christmas craft
15. Make teacher gifts
Tape quarters to a parking meters
18. Tape quarters to vending machines
19. Take food to the food pantry
Leave a small gift card for postman
Leave a small gift card for the trashman
Drop off a treat at the library
23. Christmas movie night w/ friends
24. Take a gas station attendant a gift
25. Invite someone to Christmas church service
26. Baked goods to the fire station
27. Baked goods to the police station
28. Bring carts in to Wal-Mart from the parking lot
29. Pay for the car behind you in a drive-thru
30. Leave a Christmas card in a shopping cart with some candy attached
31. Write thank you cards to Gretta, Terri and Cheryl
32. Write thank you cards to children’s teachers
33. Take some magazines, games, and treats to the waiting rooms at the hospital
34. Take fresh baked goodies to a convenience store worker on Christmas
35. Send a care package to Jason Riggs
36. Send a card/gift to your Pray For A Child and/or Secret Sister
37. Pay someone’s library fine
38. Buy gifts for needy family
39. Visit someone in a nursing home or a shut-in
40. Stick card/treat under windshield wipers

·         Leave a card to explain that your kindness is due to God’s love.
·         Explain to your children that God loves each person and wants us to be kind.
·         Keep your eyes open.  There are people all around you who need to know that God loves them and that Christmas is more than overloaded schedules and overspending.
·         Pray and ask God to use you to touch someone each day.
·         Invite God into your driving, shopping, talking, etc.
·         Remember that these ideas and projects are not meant to be stressful but to restore Christmas joy!
·         Check out these blogs for the original inspiration and printables:

Ideas for your cards:
·         You are a child of God, and we pray that you would experience His love.
·         Write/print your favorite Bible verse
·         Please enjoy this treat and know that someone prayed for you!
·         Use purchased Christian Christmas cards
·         The Legend of the Candy Cane found here:

I hope all these ideas are helpful to you and get you thinking about how you can spread true Christmas joy this season!


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