Pay It Forward – New Theme for the 12 Days of Christmas
Many people are striving to bring the message of Christmas back to its
- Spend less money on stuff for those you love. Buy ONE less gift.
- Instead spend more time doing activities with them. Build those relationships. Go here for activity ideas.
- With the money you don’t spend on that ONE gift, give to those who can’t afford basic necessities. Give the gift of clean water . . . . check out a Samaritan’s Purse catalog of ways to help children and women worldwide . . . . give to your church benevolent fund to reach those in your church family and neighborhood . . . . or give to CAMA Services which also has worldwide projects to help the needy.
Or join in a unique way to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas. Read on to understand this concept.
Yesterday I came across a post on Jan’s Yearning for God. Jan introduced us to a blog called Chain Links which encourages and documents random acts of kindness. Trista Wilson is a 27-year-old blogger who wants to change the emphasis on Christmas, too. She asks,
“Remember when Christmas was really about bringing family together, the birth of Christ, and encompassing the spirit of giving?”
I love her line of questioning here . . .
- Since when did we need to ‘buy’ love from the very people who already love us unconditionally?
- And why can’t showing someone how much they mean to us consist of quality conversation and random acts of kindness …
- rather than topping last years Christmas gift with an even more extravagant one this year?
In order to “help us focus on what truly matters and get in the spirit of giving that Christmas was meant to inspire,” Chain Links has come up with a new theme for the 12 Days of Christmas (Dec 13-24) – Pay it Forward with random acts of kindness.
You can pick your own good deeds. Or you can follow the below list that
Chain Links has written as suggestions. It’s a great starting place for ideas.
THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS:
DAY 12: (DECEMBER 13)— Buy food for a homeless person (or someone in need). This does not have to be expensive. $5 should cover lunch.
DAY 11: (DECEMBER 14)— Write a kind, hand-written letter to someone who changed your life for the better. And no, I’m not talking about an email or a text…I’m talking about snail mail people. 😉 (This can be to a childhood friend, a teacher from the past, or even an old baby-sitter that impacted your life for the better.)
DAY 10: (DECEMBER 15)— Pay for the person’s order in line behind you in either the coffee drive-thru, fast food, a tollbooth, train ticket, etc. (There are a LOT of options here…)
DAY 9: (DECEMBER 16)— Put grocery carts away in a random parking lot for other shoppers or find carts that others have left behind. It will help the employees out by bringing them indoors where they belong.
DAY 8: (DECEMBER 17)— Write a letter of thanks to the armed forces. (Yes, even if you don’t support the war. Remember that these people are risking their lives daily in order to ensure our safety and Freedom).Here is the address: A Million Thanks 17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355 Villa Park, CA 92861
DAY 7: (DECEMBER 18)— Buy or bake something for a neighbor. You may know them well, or you may have never even introduced yourself. So here’s your chance;)
DAY 6: (DECEMBER 19)— Buy a $5 or $10 gift card for a grocery store, gas station, coffee place, etc. Leave the gift card on a random park bench or windshield of someone’s car.
DAY 5: (DECEMBER 20)— Do something kind for the elderly. This can be anything from helping them to their car with heavy groceries, holding the door open for them, volunteering at a retirement home, or even raking their leaves.
DAY 4: (DECEMBER 21)— Tape quarters to a vending machine. So simple, yet so convenient! I honestly cannot count how many times I have wanted a snack or a soda, but could not dig up that last quarter to satisfy my craving.
DAY 3: (DECEMBER 22)— Leave a generous tip for a server, barista, or bartender–along with a nice note. This will most likely make their night. Having been in all three of these positions, I know how easy it is to get discouraged when guests are difficult and do not tip. This could turn their entire day around!
DAY 2: (DECEMBER 23)— Purchase a gift card at a local grocery store (of any amount). Turn around in line, and hand it to the first person you see. Then walk away. No explanation is needed. I’m sure their expression will say it all.
Day 1: (DECEMBER 24)— YOUR turn to choose a random act of kindness. I thought it would be fun to see the different ideas everybody comes up with for this last day before Christmas. Be creative. The sky is the limit. =)
experiences of those who do these or other random acts of kindness.
By The Way – if you planned on giving me a present, I’d love it if you used the $ to buy Gift #2 – food for a week for a hungry baby ($9).
Your Turn . . . . How are you going to ensure that this Christmas is more about spending TIME with loved ones? And that it includes helping ONE person in need?
Related Movie . . . Christmas on Division Street. This moving story shows a kid from a wealthy family coming to care for, befriend and really SEE some of the homeless in his new city, Philadelphia. This new attitude trickles into the lives of his family and friends after a tragic event. I saw this on Netflix instant streaming.
Related Posts . . .
- 6 Ways to Decommercialize Christmas. Does it bother you that stores start selling Christmas decorations and Christmas themed gifts as soon as Halloween is over? Are you offended that many stores are bowing to politically correct pressure and requiring their clerks and cashiers to say “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas? Read on for 6 ways to put Christ back into Christmas.
- 7 More Ways to Decommercialize Christmas. Do you feel that the true meaning of Christmas has become lost in the wrappings, trappings, and political fights? Well read on for 7 more ways to put Christ back into Christmas.
- 10 Acts of Kindness Ideas and 20 Acts of Kindness Ideas
- Everyone Can help One Child. My poorest/deprived day is unimagined wealth to a majority of the world. Especially to the children. I can give up some “extras” in my life to help a child. A cup of designer coffee . . . a Thrifty’s ice cream cone . . . an item from McDonald’s Dollar menu . . . a pair of clearance shoes from Wal-Mart . . . a gas station car wash.
- Perfect Gift Takes Reflection and Sacrifice. The Christmas movie, The Bishop’s Wife, helps me to think about what’s truly important at Christmas and what gift I’ll give to the birthday Boy/God named Jesus.
- When Christmas Gets Radical: Whose Birthday is it Really? How a question from a child changed the Voskamp’s way of “doing” Christmas: “if we get wrapped presents for our birthdays, real sacrifices from people who love us — they gave up other things to give something to us — then why don’t we do that for Jesus’ birthday?” Read this post by Ann for their answer.
Entry filed under: Christmas, Main, Ministry Opportunites. Tags: advent conspiracy, cama services, feeding the hungry, help the poor, Random acts of kindness, samaritan's purse, the 12 days of Christmas: Pay it Forward.