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Random Acts Of Kindness Ideas & Printables

Hi friends. Are you enjoying the 12 Days of Christmas Tour of Homes as much as I am?

Today Elizabeth is up and I seriously couldn’t wait for this one – I knew it would be colorful and gorgeous, and it sure is!!

Next Tuesday, December 16 is reserved for you to share your holiday home, I can’t wait to see how you celebrate this special time of year! Come on by and link up!
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Over the last couple of years I have shared some random acts of kindness ideas around Christmastime and for some reason those posts have been hugely popular in my blog stats. It’s heartening to know that there are people, many people, who want to spread love and light around this great big world of ours and make it a better place!!!
This morning I read a story about how an anonymous person walked into my local Toys R Us and asked to pay for some items on layaway.
When the customer service person asked which layaway account, the anonymous person, now known as the Layaway Angel, said ALL OF THEM…..to the tune of $20,000 and 157 accounts being paid off in full!!! Imagine the joy for the parents who have items on layaway, working hard to get the money to pay of the debt so they can have some presents under the tree for their kiddos?!

That is so amazing and I am adding that to my life bucket list, but you don’t have spend $20,000 to be extra kind. You don’t even have to spend a nickel, if you don’t have it to give. I encourage the kids to commit even the smallest of acts when they are out and about, like offering to take someone’s grocery store cart back inside from the parking lot or what have you. Those little things make a difference in the world.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE how my kids get into RAKs. They especially enjoy the ones that involve some conspiracy, and they think it’s so funny to see people’s reactions when a stranger does something kind for them. We aren’t doing the Random Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar this year (you can read about that here) but we are going to commit some RAKs together this Christmas season, it’s my favorite tradition!

In case you’re looking to commit some too, here is our list from years past with a few new ideas thrown in. Some are silly, some cost money, many are free, and all are intended to bring some cheer to someone else. Merry Merry!!

Dedicated to my brother Jim, who received many acts of kindness in his life, 
and who also had a soft spot for the poor, the lonely and the sad.
 
At the end of our lives we
will not be judged by how many diplomas we received, how much money we made or
how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry and you
gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me
in.”- Mother Teresa

1. Give blood (find a Red Cross location near you here).

2. Buy (RED) items (but first watch the cutest video of all time!), of which up to 50% of the sale directly to the fight against AIDS. {Read more about how (RED) is working towards an AIDS-free generation.}  

3. Make a donation at the local food pantry, and mark the calendar to make donate in the summer, when their donations run low.
4. Leave baggies of quarters taped to machines at the laundromat.
5. Make a batch of soup for someone. I recycle glass jars for this purpose, they are great for gifting soup! My Minestrone Soup is quick, easy and a crowd pleaser, I double the batch when I make it and give half of it to friends and family.
6. Bring a stranger a Christmas wreath.
7. Donate to Toys For Tots (find a location near you here.)
8. Help someone in a grocery store parking lot load bags into their car.
9. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
10. Send an anonymous present.
11. Let someone go ahead in the checkout line.
12. Take 5 minutes to pick up litter in town.
13. Ask an elderly neighbor if you can help them with something.
14. Donate books to your local library or school.
15. Return a shopping cart for someone.
16. Buy a gift certificate at a restaurant or the mall food court and then give to person behind you in line.
17. Tape a gift certificate for a free car wash to a stranger’s car.
18. Send a care package to a soldier via Operation Care Package.
 
19. Bring a sandwich to a homeless person.
20. Send a funny old photo to a friend just to make them laugh.
21. Send diapers to low-income families (http://www.diaperbanknetwork.org/)
22. Send an email or a note to a manager about an employee that does a great job.
23. Leave a good book in a hospital waiting room (with a note that it’s free for the taking).
24. Tape change in a baggy to a vending machine.
25. While Christmas shopping, share a coupon with another shopper.
26. Bring flowers to the secretaries at our schools.
27. Donate your old cell phones to Cell Phones For Soldiers, who are committed to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans.
28. Hold the door for everyone going in and out of a public place for a few minutes, and say Merry Christmas to them.
29. Compliment a mother of young children in a store for doing such a great job with her kiddos.
30. Drop of a few pair of warm socks to your town’s senior center.
31. Leave a big tip for a restaurant server.
32. Hide a few dollar bills around the Dollar Store.
33. Forgive someone who is in a bad mood and be extra kind to them.
 
34. Help a neighbor who is shoveling snow.
35. Leave a small surprise for your family members.
36. Bring a small treat to your neighbors (see Pam’s adorable ideas here!)
37. Pay everyone you talk to a compliment in the course of one day.
38. Sponsor a child through Compassion.
39. Pay the tab for the person behind you in a coffee drive through.
40. Ask someone if they need help wrapping Christmas gifts.
41. Bring coffee to a construction worker, police on detail, or anyone working outside.
42. Sort clothes and donations at organization that supports the impoverished in your city (Massachusetts readers: Cradles To Crayons is a wonderful organization.)
43. Visit an elderly person and spend some time chatting with them.
44. Hand out gloves and mittens to the homeless, or leave them on park benches (check the dollar store!)
45. Send a letter to a teacher or mentor from your life’s journey to say thank you.
46. If you are shopping on Amazon for the holidays, check out Amazon Smile. You can select a charitable organization and, at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU, a portion of the sale will go to that charity. (I chose the Joe Andruzzi Financial Assistance Program, which directly supports families who have a member battling cancer.)
47. If you know someone who has just lost a family member, CALL THEM to check in on them. Listen to them. And then make them laugh!
48. Make holiday gift baskets for impoverished mothers who are struggling to get through the holidays (My Brother’s Keeper is a MA based organization.)
49. Get a group together and spend a whole day making meals and handing them out to the homeless. You’ll have fun and do something wonderful at the same time. (The Elisha Project is a Providence, RI based organization.)
50. Invite someone you suspect will be alone to spend your holiday celebrations with you.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read this list!
I wish you the merriest and brightest Christmas season
and
may your heart be full of love.
XOLisa
{via}

 

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Melanie Robinson

Saturday 27th of December 2014

I love this post dedicated to your brother, Lisa!Such a sweet way to keep his memories alive in your life. So many great ideas to give to others. Sometimes the holidays can get so busy, I overlook things like this and can end up feeling very empty. Would love to add new traditions of giving ourselves away next year!

Melanie Robinson

Saturday 27th of December 2014

I love this post dedicated to your brother, Lisa! What a great way to honor him & keep the memories alive. Would like to do more things like those on your list with my family & create new traditions over the years. :) Sometimes I feel so "empty" over the holidays- a clear sign to do for others!

Brandi

Monday 15th of December 2014

Love your ideas. Such a beautiful way to spread some holiday cheer by doing something nice for a stranger. A pleasant smile and holding the door for someone else are thoughtful gestures too.

Dana Frieling

Friday 12th of December 2014

Such a great reminder during this hectic, expensive time of year that kindness is free and easy to spread!

pam {simple details}

Friday 12th of December 2014

Such a heartwarming and inspiring post, sweet friend! I love checking out your list (thank for the nice mention!). We like to commit to dropping something in the Salvation Army red kettle every time we pass one during the season, it's my goal to have my teenager be a bell ringer, I think it would be a great learning experience. Love your ideas!