This year, instead of buying the same cheap fake-chocolate advent calendars I always buy for the kids, I thought I’d try some sort of kindness advent calendar to instill some more kindness, gratitude and giving into our holiday traditions. I’ve heard of different types of kindness advent calendars, like the ones where you donate a canned good to the food bank for each day in December, or buy little gifts to donate to people in need, or the kind where you do a random act of kindness each day until Christmas.
Last year my kids collected canned goods each day and we donated them to Community Care around the holidays. It was a nice way to get the kids involved in giving and remind them that not everyone has enough food during the holidays.
This year I found My Kindness Calendar, a Toronto company that creates reusable kindness calendars for everyday use. The Christmas Advent Calendar is exactly what I was looking for to add to my family’s Christmas traditions.
We received the Christmas Advent Calendar in the mail this week and we are all so excited to use it this year. My four kids (ages 8, 6, and 4 year old twins) had big smiles on their faces when we opened up the package and I explained how we were going to use this advent calendar for the month of December.
The Christmas Advent Calendar is made of a reusable fabric-based material. The decals can be used countless times without losing their stickiness, so the calendar can be used year after year. Also, the calendar and decals are extremely durable – the decals spring back to life if folded or crinkled – which is super important when dealing with little hands handling them each year!
In addition to the easy and fun acts of kindness included with each calendar, customizable decals are also included, so kids (and adults) can add their own acts of kindness. This is a great way to get your kids thinking about different ways to help and give during the holidays. The decals also have little pictures of the acts of kindness, so even my four year olds can choose which act of kindness they would like to do, even though they can’t read.
Maran Stern-Kubista, the founder of My Kindness Calendar, says the key to making My Kindness Calendar engaging for kids is the ability for kids to define and customize their experience as they come up with a daily action plan, instead of just doing what is asked or required. Children begin building personal accountability when they choose which acts of kindness to do, and they are proud when they complete the task.
My kids have already started thinking about which acts of kindness they would like to choose when we start using the calendar in December. They’re excited to be helpful and giving this Christmas. And I’m excited to add this Kindness Advent Calendar into our yearly holiday traditions!