Over the years we have celebrated a multitude of advent calendars with our family.
A myriad. A profusion. A deluge. A plenitude.
We’ve had candy and gifts and countdowns and pin the ornament on the tree type of advent calendars.
But this year? This year I wanted to try something different. Something to celebrate a season that isn’t really about us. Something to make a small difference in a big way.
This year, I wanted to leave a joy trail.
It started small.
I bought these cards and stickers in the Target Dollar Spot aisle. I had no idea what to do with them (seriously does anyone ever know what they are going to do with the cute scrapbook supplies that work their way into the cart?)
So they became an advent calendar.
I wrote 25 acts of kindness and then clipped them onto my mason jar rack in the kitchen.
Not just any advent calendar.
A calendar about leaving a joy trail and doing things for others every day.
Each of the notes has something (some small, some a little bigger) that (hopefully) will add a little joy to someone’s life.
Every morning we open the note, read it aloud, spend that day leaving a little joy and then?
We report our stories back each night over dinner.
I know it’s December 2.
I probably should have posted this a little earlier.
But in case you wanted to follow along, here’s what is inside each of these notes:
1. Let someone go ahead of you in line
2. Give someone a compliment
3. Write a letter to someone special
4. Hold the door open for someone
5. Tell someone thank you for something they’ve done for you
6. Walk the cart back to the front of the store
7. Call your grandmother (or another relative) and tell them you love them
8. Say something nice to someone you don’t really like
9. Be someone’s cheerleader
10. Give your advent gift to someone special
11. Smile at three of your friends in school–don’t tell them why
12. Share your dessert at lunch
13. Help a teacher in some way without being asked
14. Help your mother in some way without being asked
15. Get a donation bag ready to donate
16. Be super enthusiastic if someone has good news
17. Write a note for your friend and leave it inside their textbook
18. Text someone you haven’t talked to in a while
19. Make cookies for someone special
20. Leave two nice post-it notes for your sibling to find
21. Say something nice to someone who is shy
22. Have a no complaint day
23. Give someone your favorite book
24. Tell your mother you love her
25. Remember the reason for the season
Obviously, these are designed for middle-schoolers, but you could adjust for your own family.
The goal is to cut through the noise and cacophony of all the commercialism and it’s all about me-ism and make a small different.
Because after all, the smallest drop of joy can spread ripples…
…which can move the mightiest of oceans. 🙂