I’ve been hesitant to share this because I don’t ever want to share acts of kindness and have someone mistake it for bragging about the GOOD we try to do around here. It’s also not why I take photos of some of the things I do with my kids to give back. I record their kindness so that they can look back someday, remember their actions and do the same (or BETTER) with their own kids. And the only reason I’m sharing these is because I poke around on Pinterest a lot looking for new ideas and the only way there are ideas out there is if someone shares them.

These are not rocket science and they certainly aren’t super creative but just in case you’re in a rut and want a fun idea to do with your kids this weekend… consider acts of kindness!

Christmas Eve this year was a slow day for us. We had to be at church at 2pm, we’d had tons of family parties the few days before so we were taking the morning off and really enjoying the slowness. Of course when your kids are up at 6am, by 9am you’re ready for a little something! Our neighbors stopped by just to say hi and Merry Christmas. We were all in our jammies and were just hanging out while the kids did art projects. It was awesome. Then the dads decided to go for a run together so Kelly and I were left with five kids and dwindling art ideas. That’s when we came up with a few acts of kindness ideas, the kids got super exited, we all threw on clothes and hit the road!

The first thing we did was head to the grocery store. On the way in the kids taped enough quarters to these machines that a kid could get a toy/sticker/candy/gum from each. The kids thought this was AWESOME because of course this is where I tell them every week we can’t stop!

See the quarters taped on the glass? This was a super simple one but the kids thought it was really cool!

Then we went inside and bought some flowers and snacks. Once we paid we loaded everything in the car and let the kids run around taking carts from outside back inside. Of course they have employees that do this BUT it was freezing and the kids had a blast!

Then the kids noticed just how busy the store was, especially for Christmas Eve morning, and they wanted to help even more people so we let them help people load their cars or carry their groceries. Some people turned them down but most thought it was really sweet and let them help! It was crazy cold so we only lasted a little while but it was neat to see the kids so excited to help adults!

Next we headed to the fire station where the kids delivered all the SNACKS they had picked out at the store! We figured they’d probably gotten a ton of sweets and baked goods so we went the salty route!

They thought it was SO cool that we got to go inside and see the trucks, the pole and actual fire fighters!

Our next idea was kind of hard to figure out. The kids had found Hershey Hugs and Kisses and we thought it might be fun to give the bags to a bus driver to pass out to his/her passengers, but there aren’t a ton of buses driving around in Webster I guess because we never saw one. It was way too cold (and we were all under dressed!) to sit outside at a bus stop and wait for one. Plus we had to get home soon for lunch and showers so we could get to church. Kelly ended up having the brilliant idea to go to the bus depot/garage in Brentwood and see if anyone was just starting their shift. Sure enough, a bus pulled up to the building right before us and a whole group of drivers got out! They had been shuttled to work and were about to start work! We just pulled the car up, called one woman over, told her what we hoped she’d do with the candy and handed her the bags. She was SO sweet and SO excited! She even had a Santa hat with her and couldn’t believe she actually got to play Santa! We stayed in the car so I have no photos but it was a really sweet act of kindness for all of us!

The last thing we did was to take a bouquet of flowers somewhere. The idea was that NO ONE wants to work on Christmas Eve but a lot of people have to. So why not cheer them up? We tried the DMV but it was closed, we were running out of time so in the parking lot we noticed a McDonalds… when we suggested going there the kids thought that was so great!

When we walked in and handed out the flowers the employees were so excited! These are cheap as can be carnations and yet they certainly brought a smile to that restaurant!

My favorite part of doing things like this with my kids is seeing the change later. This was a fun, cold, crazy and quick morning of kindness acts so it’s easy to think it might not all sink in. But then weeks later we’ll pass the flower section at the store and one of my kids will ask if we can cheer someone up with flowers today. Or they’ll want to help someone who has a cart overflowing with grocery bags load their car. We like to go hiking/walking and we usually take a bag or two to pick up trash… almost two years after starting to do that my kids pick up trash anywhere they see it now! It sinks in. Maybe not the first time but if you make random acts of kindness (and some not so random) part of your routine it will sink in and I think grow our little one’s hearts just a bit each time. It doesn’t have to be expensive, elaborate or time consuming. But let them help guide you… let them make up the ideas or give them choices and let them chose. Other times just DO an act of kindness without saying anything to them so they can see it can be done anytime and anywhere.

One night over the holidays I had to run into the grocery store really fast and I had the kids with me. As we were walking in I instinctively was grabbing some change for the Salvation Army kettle. When we got up there the ringer asked me what time it was and when I told him it was 8pm he mentioned that the Salvation Army truck was an hour late to get him. I asked him how long he’d been working and he said since 7am. That meant he’d been ringing that bell for over 12 hours. We went into the store for the few items I needed and as I was checking out I got cash back. Without saying anything to the kids I went outside and handed the bell ringer $10 and told him to go inside and get a snack. I said we could watch his kettle if that helped. He was so grateful, said it was locked to his stand so he could leave for a minute and he ran inside to get a coffee and snack. As we were walking to the car Bailey asked why I did that and I just told her that I would hope someone would do something like that for me one day.

I think that’s what kindness comes down to. We all need a little kindness every once in a while and I think it’s so important to teach our kids that sometimes we need to go out of our way a little to give it to other people. And that in doing so we’re also trusting that God will bring the right people into our lives should we ever need them. I am not a big karma believer or anything but I guess it can never hurt to put good into the world when you can… and I certainly think we should teach our kids how to do that in as many ways as possible!