15 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

It’s the season of giving. It’s the season of goodwill. It’s the season to remember Christ’s birth, and His love for all humankind. In this post, I am excited to share with you one of the most rewarding “activities” I have participated in over the last couple of years – Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.).

Christmas is a busy time and often a season that is hard on the budget, but I encourage you to share the Christmas spirit of love and joy by choosing even a couple R.A.K. If you have children, this would be a great activity in which to enlist their help. In doing these simple acts, we embody the true reason for the season. The very first Christmas was the greatest act of kindness ever performed. God sent His only Son to a sad, angry, and hateful world that we might be redeemed from our sin. During His life on earth, Jesus performed many acts of kindness when He healed the sick and fed the hungry crowds. Matthew 14:14 says, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” This is just one of the many times His heart was moved with kindness.

While I strongly believe in developing a spirit of kindness throughout the entire year, Christmas is the perfect opportunity to start the habit. So here are 15 of my favourite R.A.K.:

  1. Leave a small gift in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
  2. Tape some money to a vending machine.
  3. Leave a “Thank You” note taped to the bathroom mirror for the janitor at work or school.
  4. Leave small amounts of money around a dollar store.
  5. Do a family member’s chore without telling them it was you.
  6. Tape some money to a parking meter.
  7. Give compliments to at least 5 people in one day.
  8. Leave a positive note in a library book.
  9. Leave a coffee shop gift card in a hospital waiting room.
  10. Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  11. Give a larger tip to a waitress/waiter.
  12. Send flowers to someone unexpectedly.
  13. Buy coffee for all your co-workers.
  14. Tape money to the wash machine in a laundromat.
  15. Leave a note of encouragement somewhere in a friends house (and don’t sign your name).

I have prepared for you printable cards to include with your R.A.K. (or R.A.C.K. as they are typically called at Christmas). Just click on the image below to download the PDF file:

Be sure to share your favourite R.A.K. ideas in the comments.

Merry Christmas!

Joanna

The Art of Journalling

What do think about when you hear the word journal? Some people think of a stagnant book where only the days happenings where recorded in a bullet style manner. Others think about the diaries of love sick young girls. If this is the way you think, then please keep reading. I hope I can change the way you think. If you’ve always enjoyed journalling, I hope this post inspires you to journal more.

Why Journal

I have found there to be many benefits to keeping a journal. Journalling helps gather my thoughts on a specific situation or issue. It also serves as a place to layout my goals and record an action plan. I find journalling a great way to discover and understand my true feelings. I can write a lot in my journal that I might not tell someone else. In my journal, I write about positive, happy feelings, but I also at times vent my anger and sadness. Writing down my feelings helps me understand them better. (Even if I later rip the page out!) Journalling is also a great way to keep track of important dates and record special memories.

Successful People Journal

Many successful and famous people have kept journals. Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and Beatrix Potter are just a few noteworthy people who journalled. In looking at some of their journal entries, we can see their inventions, inspirations, or action plans taking shape. Their journal is where it all begin.

Making a Habit of Journalling

Many people, including myself, find it difficult to journal on a regular basis. Keeping a daily journal can be beneficial, but don’t be discouraged if that doesn’t happen. Sometimes, I go for weeks without journalling, but I try to keep my journal easily accessible for when inspirational thoughts come my way. I can grab my journal and quickly jot them down. I also try to remember to journal after important life events. Sometimes I journal when I am bored. Sometimes I journal when I need a way to express myself. Keeping my journal out where I can see it, reminds me that it exists. Journal writing shouldn’t be a chore that you have to check off your daily to-do list. It should be something that you enjoy. That’s why it is important to make the actual journal fit your personality. If you like the professional look, buy a leather bound journal and use black ink. If you like being creative, buy a colourful notebook and use brightly coloured ink. Whatever your style, make it personal. That way you will feel more inspired to actually use it.

Journal Prompts

Of course, I couldn’t write a post about journalling without giving you some concrete ideas of what to write in it. So here are a few ideas:

  • Record the environment in which you are writing. (If you are sitting by the lake describe what you see, hear, and feel.)
  • Describe a recent special event. (What was said and done and how did you feel? What did your like and dislike about it? Did anything humorous happen?)
  • Make a wish list. (This could be items you would like to receive as a gift or places you would like to visit, etc.)
  • Describe your pet(s). (What breed are they? What is their personality? What do you enjoy the most about them?)
  • Write a fictional short story. (Use people, places, and situations you know well as inspiration but change the names.)
  • Jot down a project to-do list. (Record the major projects you would like to undertake such as building a new shed, putting together a quilt, or planting a vegetable garden.)
  • Record your favourite childhood memories. (Who was there? What did they say? What did you do? How did you feel?)
  • Describe the neighbourhood where you live. (What style are the houses? Is the neighbourhood old or new? Are the people friendly? What kind of lives do the people live? Is there one word that sums up the atmosphere?)
  • Make a list of pros and cons. (Is there an important decision you need to make? What could be the positive and negative outcomes?)
  • Record meaningful things that people have said to you. (Did someone recently give you a nice compliment? Did your child say something special to you?)
  • List your favourite books/songs/scriptures. (This is a great reference tool in the future.)
  • Write down all your dreams and aspirations. (If you could do anything, what would it be? How can you work towards fulfilling that dream?)

I hope this post has inspired you to start or re-start the wonderful art of journalling. Please share your journalling thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Happy journalling!

Joanna

Let’s Say Thanks

Thank You cards seem to be a thing of the past, but most people still enjoy receiving them. That is because we all like to feel appreciated. When we do send Thank You cards, we often send them for a specific gift or action. But I like the idea of sending random Thank You cards to people who have positively influenced my life – either in the past or the present.

I am going to challenge you to do that during this season of Thanksgiving. Whether you have already celebrated Thanksgiving or will celebrate in the next few months, the entire fall season is a time to reflect on all the things for which to be grateful.

Start by sitting down and making a list of people in your life whom you would like to thank. Here are a few ideas:

  • past teacher
  • aunt or uncle
  • friend
  • grandparent
  • parent
  • past coach
  • pastor
  • neighbour
  • coworker

Now, why not send out one Thank You card each week for the remainder of the season or send out one Thank You card each day next week.

At first it may seem a little awkward to randomly send someone a Thank You card, but I can assure you it will mean a lot to the recipient!

Happy Fall!

Joanna