Christmas, oh Christmas! ‘Tis the season to be jolly! To offer presents of presence, slowing down with family to create everlasting memories and connections. While ideally inspiring gifts that go beyond the glistening wrapping paper strewn on the floor.

Yes, the essence of Christmas is family, friends and I’d like to think kindness – something that can change someone’s day, someone’s week and depending what it is, someone’s life! And who doesn’t want more of that in the world?

Kindness is immense, vibrant and really quite an easy, free gift to give for Christmas, or any time really. It’s also a great thing to teach our children!

A study at Yale University and Boston College, found that ‘something as simple as asking children to reflect on their past good deeds has positive effects on their behaviour’, says Arber Tasimi, one of the researchers. The study concluded, ‘recalling one’s own positive behaviour — rather than positive behaviours more generally—boosts generosity in children.’

So what are we waiting for? Let’s boost our children’s lives by teaching them how to immerse themselves in that ‘feel-good-factor’ of kindness.

While revelling in your quality family time this season, I thought you may like to try out some of the suggested acts of kindness from my family, or perhaps come up with some of your own. We’d love to hear what they are and how you, or the receiving person felt too, so please feel free to share your experiences at the bottom of this article.

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

The ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ movement has carved out a whole niche for kindness at Christmas. It’s called RACKs, Random Acts of Christmas Kindness. There’s so many great ideas out there, but here’s a few of our favourites:

1. Carpark bomb Christmas candy canes

Make up some RACKs Christmas candy canes, and bomb your local carpark by sticking these under people’s windscreen wipers.
kindness for christmas-candy canes

2. Secret surprise Christmas vegetable box

Make up a fresh vegetable box with seasonal fruit and vegetables, and choose a completely random house in your neighbourhood and leave on their doorstep.

Random acts of christmas kindness - vegetable box

3. Front yard thank you sign

Make a thank you card thanking your regular rubbish or recycling workers, or your postie or newspaper deliverer. Stick it in your front yard to bring some simple cheer to these hard working folk this Christmas.

Random acts of christmas kindness - yard sign

4. Inspirational painted rocks

This is a wonderful idea to do these holidays. Take the painted rock idea to the next level by painting inspirational quotes, or Christmas inspired themes, and hide these around your local park.

Random acts of christmas kindness - painted rocks

5. Handmade Christmas cards for your neighbours

Come up with a really simple handmade Christmas card idea. Add inspirational ideas to the cards, then drop them into all of your neighbours letterboxes.

_Make an Elf Christmas Card

More Ideas to Inspire Kindness

This list was inspired by my ten year old step-son, my partner and myself…

  • Get in touch with a friend you haven’t spoken to for a long time
  • Make breakfast for a family member –(yes please, I’d like mine tomorrow!)
  • Write a note of thanks to someone that’s been good to you
  • Give a toy, food or clothing to charity
  • Chat with someone who you think may feel lonely
  • Pick up rubbish in your community
  • Compliment someone five times each day
  • Write a kindness quote and give it to someone
  • Take baking to a rest home
  • Let someone in front of you in traffic

Inspired by Kids

I was inspired to write this article after meeting a group of uplifting, motivated students that are encouraging kindness within their school at Papakio, North Otago, New Zealand.

They’re currently, and lovingly, making and painting a ‘Buddy Bench’ to have in their school. A ‘Buddy Bench’ is a place where any child can sit if they’d like someone to play with – it’s enough to make the heart swell and bring a tear to the eye really. SO thoughtful, SO considerate and SO KIND!

This seed of an idea is growing for the children as they now work on ways to involve other schools and preschools across the country, along with families and individuals, because they would like their ‘budding seed of kindness’ to spread.

So if you’d like to join their list of interested parties, or know someone, or a school that would like to, please feel free to contact me with your details.

September 1st is New Zealand’s ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’ but why wait, do a random act of kindness every day!

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Philippa Murphy, is an author, speaker, mother and one of New Zealand’s leading postnatal educators at her worldwide postnatal practice, BabyCues- Nurture with Nature. Offering ground-breaking solutions for the prevention and remedy of Digestive Overload for newborns and infants, Philippa is also the founder of the non-profit organisation, ‘The Pudding Club – Crafting Postnatal Care in the Antenatal Stages.’

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