Many people are becoming increasingly disheartened by the commercialisation of Christmas.
A lot of traditions have gone by the wayside and most children these days are more preoccupied with the getting, rather than the giving.
If you are feeling like this, why not encourage your children to refocus on the meaning of the holiday season by sharing the love and doing some random acts of kindness (RAOK)? It could even become a new family tradition!
It is amazing how good it feels to do nice things without expectation of something in return. Not only will it make someone’s day brighter, your children will get the satisfaction of knowing they were the ones responsible for it.
It’s also important to remember ROAK don’t always have to cost money, which is why they are a great thing for kids to be involved in.
Encourage your children to think about what skills they have and work together to come up with age appropriate ways they can do something nice for others. It could be while you are out shopping, in your neighbourhood or in the wider community. The possibilities are endless.
Still not sure where to start? Here’s some suggestions:
- Offer to help load groceries into someone’s car
- Return someone’s trolley for them
- Leave a token/coin in the trolley and pass it on to the next person
- Do a candy cane drop on a row of parked cars (best for undercover car parks if you are in Australia!)
- Send a picture, postcard or email to troops serving overseas via Message to the troops
- Donate preloved toys and books to a local children’s charity
- Help out at a local soup kitchen or meal service for the homeless
- Visit sick children in the local hospital (make sure to check visiting hours etc)
- Go sing carols or play games with residents at a local nursing home
- Offer to mow a neighbour’s yard
- Write christmas cards to friends, family and neighbours
- Pick some flowers from your garden and present them to a favourite teacher/coach/neighbour with a handwritten note
- Participate in a Christmas appeal such as the Salvation Army Wishing Tree
- Help out at a local animal shelter by donating food or time to help care for the animals
- Say Merry Christmas to strangers
- Bake some Christmas goodies and drop them of at your local police, ambulance or fire station
- Pick up litter in a local park
These are just a few ideas to get you inspired. Of course, there are also popular RAOK’s such as paying for someone else’s coffee, groceries, etc. if you have the ability.
Your family might even decide to have a ROAK advent calendar where you perform one ROAK every day in the lead up to Christmas.
Keep in mind that some people might be taken aback by unsolicited help or kindness and may not know how to react. In some cases it might be better to ask before doing something for someone (such as mow their yard) just to be sure it’s ok!
So get your family into the spirit of Christmas by sprinkling kindness and cheer everywhere. It will be the gift that keeps on giving.