24 Kindness Ideas for Advent
In last Sunday’s sermon, I listed out 24 ideas to be extra kind and loving in this Advent season. You could try to do one a day all the way up to Christmas or, given the busy-ness of this season, you could choose two or three of these ideas to try out. Either way, you would help prepare your heart for this wonderful season. We pray and sing in church this Advent phrase: “Stir up your power, O Lord, and come!” Practicing any of these kindness ideas for Advent would be a great way to invite God’s power to truly stir up your own hearts in this season of watchfulness, waiting, expectation and hope. So here are my 24 ideas, listed briefly. (It took me much longer to say them in the sermon, of course!)
1- Daily devotions/prayer — create a holy moment in each Advent day.
2- Attack your closet, purging some things you no longer wear, and donate the good stuff.
3- Donate blood.
4- Babysit a friend’s young children so they can have a few hours to do whatever is needed in their busy December.
5- Listen to a piece of music that stirs the embers in your soul! I always love a time to re-visit “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen.
6 -Pay somebody’s tab, or buy their coffee without their knowing it.
7- Volunteer to read at an elementary school or a homeless shelter.
8- Respond to a call for extra generosity this month (our church has some ideas, but there are a host of great causes out there!).
9- Go caroling (or come support our FoC Singers as they carol at Byerlys on Dec. 14 from 2-4).
10- Write a real live pen and paper thank you note to somebody who has meant a lot to you this year.
We’re on a roll – so let’s keep going!
11- Fill the car with kids or friends, add hot cocoa, and go out to see the light displays in your community, signs of hope and joy in the darkness of the winter night.
12- Leave a treat for your postal carrier, or the delivery guy or gal.
13 – Watch a favorite holiday movie with a loved one (I even suggest a Hallmark romance!).
14 – Ask to see the manager at a restaurant or a store…but instead of lodging your angry complaint – tell them what a great meal you had, or how much you appreciate their customer service.
15- Say this to a family member: ‘is there anything I could do for you right now?’
16 – Tape some coins to a vending machine with a candy cane. It’ll be such a fun surprise for the next person who finds that gift.
17 – Stop by an animal shelter to spend some time playing with pets who are awaiting adoption.
18 – Take a brisk walk through your neighborhood, saying a silent prayer for each home that you pass.
There’s only six left for me to list for you, but remember, these fun and kind activities can truly help God’s power to be stirred up in your lives this month. I hope and pray that by doing any of these things, you will feel the blessing that comes from being a generous disciple of Jesus. Here’s the rest of the list:
19 – (this is a secular but fun idea) Buy a couple of scratch off tickets and put them on a few random cars in a parking lot.
20 – Give a teacher friend of yours a box of Ticondaroga #2 pencils to be shared with any students in need.
21 – Share some holiday baked goods with your child’s bus driver, or the custodian at work, or a neighbor.
22 – Send a care package to someone in your family tree that is away at school, or in the military.
23 – Next time you get mad at the latest political piece of frightening news, don’t just spout off in anger; but instead, pause, bow your head, and pray for God’s wisdom to guide our nation in the ways of peace.
24 – On the day before Christmas itself – figure out one important thing that you will do to honor and acknowledge Jesus on his birthday!
I wish you all a blessed Advent season as we together keep watch for the surprising ways God’s power will be stirred up in our lives.
See you in church! –Pastor Josh