When we first got married we wanted to start all these new traditions. Some of them didn’t stick, but my favorite one we do every Christmas (or try to at least)! We call it: 12 Days of Service. It’s just a spin off of 12 Days of Christmas. We pick 12 people we want to serve… it can be people we know, or strangers on the street. It kinda came to us because we were both going to school and were so broke but wanted to share the Christmas spirit somehow! It has been a huge blessing to our little family and I hope that we can keep it up in the coming years.
If you want to join our family this year here are some ideas we’ve come up with and a few we’ve done that have made our Christmas season that much sweeter. They don’t have to be anything extravagant, in fact the more simple the better. I also feel like it’s a wonderful lesson to teach our kids in the midst of their long lists they write up for Santa. 😉
Here are a few ideas:
- Leave coins in a zip-lock bag taped to a washer/dryer at the laundry mat.
- Bring dinner to a widow or neighbor you don’t know.
- Free hot chocolate stand.
- Pay for someone’s food behind you at the drive-through.
- Write love notes (or for little ones color pictures) for family and friends.
- Pick a family to do Sub for Santa for.
- Pay for someone’s Redbox.
- Donate toys or books.
- Read to the kids at a Children’s hospital.
- Play bingo with the elderly at a nursing home.
- Return a stranger’s shopping cart for them.
- Bring flowers to your neighbors or someone who is having a rough day.
- Sit by someone who looks lonely.
- Compliment or smile at a stranger.
- Stop by grandparent’s just to say hi.
- Offer to babysit for a stressed out mom.
- Create “care” baskets for tired parents at the NICU.
- Help a friend clean out their house or organize a room.
- Make meals for a mom who just had a baby.
- Go to the dollar store and have your toddler pick out all their favorite toys to give to another friend who is adapting to a new sibling.
- Leave a note or treat in your mailbox for the mailman.
- Make sugar cookies and go caroling to your neighbors.
- Bring in all the trash cans in the neighborhood.
- Write thank you notes to give to your nearest fire station or police station.
- Make a jar of “Gifts to Jesus” with goals and service you want to do in the coming year.
I also love the idea of turning all of these into an advent calendar to do for the whole month of December! If you join in, use hashtag #12daysofservice to share your ideas!
(I also just recently discovered The Giving Manger which is a similar concept that I’m all for. Check them out!)
What are some of your favorite Christmas (or other holiday) traditions? Would love to hear!