Posted: Thursday, December 1st, 2011
I have to admit it…I woke up kind of giddy this morning. It’s December and that means it’s officially Christmastime! (I respectfully abhor disagree with the retail world’s attempts to have Christmas start two weeks before Halloween. Sigh.) Yes, I know it’s an overwhelmingly busy time of year. And yes, I know I’ll spend too much money this month. And no, I don’t know how I’m going to avoid gaining 5, 10, a lot of pounds in the wake of all the festivities. But I don’t care. I love it. I love, love, love, love, love, love it. I love the lights and the music and the smells and the…well…the giddy!
What I don’t love, is what happens to my children in the face of all the wonder that’s available to them this month. It’s not their fault. When else do I actually encourage them to sit down and write a list of every material thing their hearts desire? When else do I allow them this much sugar and TV time? (I could watch that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer every night of December). So it’s not their fault, but it’s only December 1st and they’re already acting more like Halloween monsters than Christmas angels. (“I want….”, “I want….”, “I want…”). How do I turn them back into angels without taking away all the giddy?!?
Like so many of my parenting struggles, my solution has come from a quick phone chat with my fabulous sister-in-law. Yesterday she introduced me to RACK (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness) and I haven’t been so excited about anything since I can’t remember when.
RACK is very simple…you just set a goal, with your kids, of celebrating the advent season with 25 acts of selfless generosity. One kind act a day. Doesn’t have to be complicated, shouldn’t be expensive, just a moment of their time to help brighten someone’s day, make them smile, and help them remember how delicious this season really is. Ideas my SIL suggested include gifting an extra coat to someone on the street who needs it, shoveling a neighbor’s walk, taping a quarter to a gumball machine, or buying a cup of coffee for a stranger.
To help us keep track of our Acts, I created a little calendar. And to help make RACK contagious I made these simple cards to hand out to our “victims”. (I chose not to include our names to keep the idea of doing good without getting rewarded). I’ll share them both here.
I hope lots of you will join us in “RACKing December”. Let me know how you put your own spin on this ideas and what Acts your kids come up with. And happy, happy holidays!