12 Days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Kindness and compassion are usually the motivations behind RAKs—Random Acts of Kindness.
The phrase caught hold through a book—Random Acts of Kindness—by Anne Herbert, telling true stories of acts of kindness. Defined as unpremeditated, inconsistent actions designed to offer kindness toward the outside world, RAK’s have become popular practices in our world today, counteracting, according to author Herbert, “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty."
Kindness and compassion began long before—in the beginning as we humans were first created by a kind and compassionate God. To be kind and compassionate was hardwired in us, though most of us have strayed from that approach to life in varying degrees.
The Apostle Paul emphasized the importance for children of God to live and love as Jesus did—putting on compassion and kindness (Colossians 3:12). Random Acts of Kindness should be a way of life for us.
My friend Heather has, for several years, sought to make this lifestyle real to her daughters, now 6 and 4. Every Christmas they have embarked on 12 Days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. The kind acts change as the children grow.
“We do 12 days...other people do more or less...whatever makes sense for their family and budget.” Heather explains. “Here's what we are doing this year for RACK.”
Day 1--Buy Coffee for someone
Day 2--Buy Groceries for someone
Day 3--Deliver treats to neighbors
Day 4--Make snack packs for Ronald McDonald House (with help from friends)
Day 5--Deliver snack packs to Ronald McDonald House
Day 6--Take thank you cards and treats to firefighters
Day 7--Give out candy canes to shoppers
Day 8--Give to Salvation Army Red Kettle—and ring the bell
Day 9--Take gifts to a family in need
Day 10--Prepare dinner for our church family
Day 11--Provide Redbox movies and snacks (leave $1, popcorn and candy taped to Redbox machines...we usually leave 2 at each)
Day 12--Give Starbucks gift cards to strangers or service workers
Other ideas we've done in the past:
- Give to Angel Tree
- Give treats for trash and delivery men
- Give Lotto tickets at gas pumps
- Buy dinner for someone
- Collect cans for food drive
- Serve meals to the poor
- Give treats for teachers
- Make ornaments for friends
- Send cards to soldiers
- Take toys to kids at the hospital
- Give to Toys for Tots
- Go caroling and hand out candy canes for neighbors
- Prepare a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
Wow! A beautiful practice, and great training for a lifetime of kindness and compassion.
Your 12 Days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness can begin today—after all the original 12 Days of Christmas began with Christmas Day and ended with Epiphany on January 6. The season of Advent, beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, is a month for Christians to await the coming of Christ in a spirit of expectation, singing hymns of longing. Then, on December 25, Christmas Day itself ushers in 12 days of celebration. RACK would be a great way to celebrate.But why limit your kindness and compassion to Christmas? We can celebrate and honor—and emulate—Christ every day as we look for ways to live and love as He did as a way of life.
What about you? What RACK’s might you do?
C2016 Judy Douglass