Teaching Kindness at Christmas

Welcome back from the Thanksgiving break! Hopefully you had a relaxing weekend. We had such a memorable time in Nebraska surrounded by our sweet family – and an enormous amount of delicious food. This was my public service announcement for the day…

thanksgiving funny

Now that the turkey has been served, I’m officially in the Christmas spirit. Bring on the tinseled trees, sparkling lights, Jingle Bells and playful elves!

elf quote

{via} I love this quote from the movie, Elf.

We didn’t get back from our trip in time to decorate on Sunday, so I’ll be spending the week making multiple trips down from the attic and over to Hobby Lobby for a few dashes of fresh decor. One of the things I’m really looking forward to unpacking is our kindness elf, MaKayla.

Makayla

This is our sweet little elf, MaKayla.

She was new to the Andersen house last year and came at the perfect time. The kids were old enough and ready to transition from Elfie (our EOTS), and I wanted to find a fun way to integrate the true meaning of Christmas into our daily schedules. Enter our kindness elf.

Each day our elf delivered a message about kindness, and she gave the kids an idea for something they could do for others.

She brought a lot of joy to our house. And as we got to know her a little better over the holiday, we discovered some funny things – like her obsession with marshmallows.

One morning she had a half-eaten mini marshmallow in her lap along with her note. The girls thought it was hilarious and started leaving her treats each night. She didn’t get into any elaborate schemes like Elfie, but she had a few fun quirks that made her extra special.

Nordic Kindness Elves

These are some of MaKayla’s friends! We ordered her from this darling Etsy shop.

If you decide to adopt a kindness elf this season, here are a few activities he/she could suggest for your kiddos. These should take you from today right into Christmas Day!

  1. Donate three of your toys to a child in need.
  2. Tell a joke to make someone smile!
  3. Put change in the Salvation Army bucket.
  4. Leave a quarter in the candy machine at the grocery store entrance.
  5. Write a heartfelt thank you letter to the mail carrier.
  6. Drop off crossword puzzles and fresh pencils at the closest senior living center.
  7. Bake fresh cinnamon rolls for the neighborhood fire station.
  8. Visit a laundromat with your parents and leave quarters in the washing machines.
  9. Donate your old books to the library.
  10. Smile at someone you don’t know at school.
  11. Offer to do your sister/brother’s chores tonight.
  12. Feed the birds.
  13. Give your teacher a gift card for a cup of coffee.
  14. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
  15. Write a nice poem for your best friend.
  16. Make an ornament for the neighbors on either side of your house.
  17. Plant seeds that can be grown indoors.
  18. Write a “happy” note and leave it on someone’s car.
  19. Pickup litter.
  20. Say “thank you” to someone in the military.
  21. Donate shampoo and soap to the women and children’s shelter.
  22. Learn one new thing about a different culture.
  23. Let someone step in front of you in line.
  24. Make bookmarks and leave them in books in the library.
  25. Write down the names of three people you are thankful for – then let them know.

Have fun with your elf, and let me know what other things you’d add to the list. Here’s to spreading all kinds of kindness this season!

-Kate

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