How we’re doing Advent this year

We are on a never-ending journey to make Christmas more meaningful for our kids.  And no, I don’t mean by purchasing more gifts … I mean by buying less and helping them truly understand Jesus’ love and why we celebrate Christmas.  It is not about Santa, and Rudolph, and Christmas trees, and watching our favorite Christmas movies, and buying a bunch of gifts for people.  Although those are fun secular things too, they are not what we are celebrating.  We made the mistake early on of getting too caught up in the extra bells and whistles of Christmas, and now we are slowly re-teaching our kids
(and ourselves).  It’s about getting caught up in consumerism less, and instead giving more of ourselves and our time.

I can’t think of a better way to teach our children about the gift of Christmas and to truly honor Jesus on his birthday, than by serving others.  The way Jesus would, on a level that the kids can understand.  I have created an ever-growing Pinterest board of ways to serve others, and I adore all of the creative ideas.  Teaching children to have a heart like Jesus and to serve is such a beautiful thing, and we want to start passing that onto our children during Christmas.  So this year for Advent, although we are still doing lots of fun Christmas crafting, we are excited to be “RACK-ing” people … doing a Random Act of Christmas Kindness per day, up to Christmas.  The kids are totally on board and keep asking when December 1st is coming 🙂  So very sweet!

Although we may have to alter the order of our days, here is a basic rundown, beginning on December 1st:

  1. Create Prayer Sticks for our family and friends to help us remember to pray for everyone.
  2. Read “The King’s Christmas List” and then pick out several gifts from their website to send to people around the world.
  3. Handwrite letters and draw pictures to mail to others.
  4. Paint rocks and then leave them wherever we go throughout Advent.
  5. Write happy notes and then leave them on car windshields in a parking lot.
  6. Make homemade cookies to give to neighbors we don’t know well.
  7. Handmade gifting!  We will be making handmade gifts all day!
  8. Find a homeless person to give a meal to.
  9. Leave a big tip when we’re out to lunch after church with a nice note.
  10. Tape quarters to a few vending machines.
  11. Leave a sweet treat and a note for the trash men in the morning.
  12. Go caroling with our MOPS group.
  13. Take doughnuts to the local Fire Station to thank them for their service.
  14. Hide dollar bills in the toy section of the Dollar Store.
  15. Make and colors cards, and then visit an Assisted Living facility to pass them out to people who need a little pick-me-up.
  16. Pick toys out of our rooms to donate to others.
  17. Take dinner to a new adoptive family.
  18. Pay for someone else’s toll on the highway.
  19. Leave a sweet treat and a note for the postal workers at our local post office who we see a lot!
  20. Take lunch to someone at work.
  21. Pass out Sillybandz to any children we happen to see (we are planning on doing this on a special trip out somewhere, but I am not sure of the date yet)
  22. We are hoping to visit a hospital to donate arts and crafts supplies to the children’s areas (I am still waiting on confirmation from the hospital).
  23. Tape quarters to a laundry machine at the local laundromat.
  24. Leave a sweet treat for our mailman, who so diligently delivers our mail (even during a hurricane!).
Ok, that’s our list!  I will be doing some posts for these throughout December (especially of the ones we’re doing at home), but I want to be as present as possible and am going to try to not take my camera with me on outings.  We’ll see how that goes 🙂  I’d love to hear more ideas for serving with your kids from other readers, especially if you have done something that seemed to really impact your kids!  It will be great to tuck those little nuggets away for future use 🙂
Happy Advent everyone!  Here is the note we will be using during Advent – I created it using inspiration that came from several other blogs that have done something similar in the past.

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  • November 27, 2012 - 2:23 am

    Julie - WOW you are sooo inspirational and amazing. I struggle to find the time with working and then being home 1/2 the time for these amazing ideas. I am saying this now I am going to do this…Can I steal most of your ideas? Did you make a list to hang or just on paper? I struggle with religion and would love to figure out where I am, but for sure I try to teach my kids about giving and not receiving and I love this. You are so wonderul dear.ReplyCancel

  • November 27, 2012 - 2:32 am

    Amy Sullivan - Nicole,
    Oh, my…pinned you right, back baby! FANTASTIC ideas. I’m especially a fan of taping the quarters to different places and painting the rocks. Fab!ReplyCancel

  • November 27, 2012 - 2:33 am

    Johanna - this is a GREAT idea! We were just talking at the table about how to love more this Christmas! And how to give and serve in our community! This is a great idea!
    Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • November 27, 2012 - 3:19 am

    Briana Almengor - I love this idea ; I think we’ll try it during a different time of year. I’m sure your kids are going to love it!ReplyCancel

  • March 25, 2014 - 1:10 pm

    A RACK kind of morning » Living Out His Love - […] spent last Friday morning out on the town RACK’ing.  It was a load of fun.  We went to the Dollar Store to leave dollars for other kiddos to […]ReplyCancel

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