For the 4th year in a row I have created and carried out a R.A.C.K. list (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). It brings me so much joy to share the spirit of Christmas with others…especially those who are least expecting. It’s a work in progress…some have been completed and some are still on the to do list.
Buy a hot cocoa or latte for Salvation Army bell ringers: Coming soon to a bell ringer near you!
Playing Secret Santa: For the past few years we have adopted a family that might need a little extra Christmas cheer. It’s completely anonymous and so much fun to think about how a family’s Christmas has been blessed when they were least expecting it.
Bell Ring for Salvation Army: Still coming…can’t wait to ring the bell with Jamie in Omaha on Monday!
Donate canned goods to food pantry: In the past I have matched my classes donation to the food pantry. but this year I just donated some items on a couple of different occasions.
Volunteer at the food pantry: I spent a Thursday afternoon a couple weeks ago volunteering at the food pantry in Greenville. I really enjoyed helping the people and also meeting some of the other volunteers (who were mostly retired :) )
Deliver Christmas treats to neighbors: We have always been lucky to have good neighbors, both back and Nebraska and here in Illinois. It is always fun to deliver some Christmas goodies to them. I didn’t do quite as much baking this year, but I was able to throw together a nice plate of cookies with some not so pretty Oreo balls and make a delivery.
Leave a gift for the mailman in the mailbox: For whatever reason this is one of my favorite R.A.C.K.s each year. It is so much fun sneaking a little gift card into the mailbox for our unsuspecting mail carrier. This is such a busy time of year for them.
Invite someone over for dinner: We have had lots of dinner guests over the past couple of months. Players come over almost once a week for a nice home cooked meal (or as close as I get to a home cooked meal). We also unintentionally fulfilled this R.A.C.K. with some dinner guests last night.
Donate Clothes to someone in need
Nursing Home – Adopt a Resident: For the 4th year in a row I also played secret Santa to the nursing home in Ashland. The first two years I created several small gift bags for some of the residents. However, the past two years some local community members organized an adopt a resident program. This year I was able to purchase a gift for a resident that will be delivered in time for Christmas.
Buy items for soldier care packages: Bond County (the county that Greenville is in) was collecting items to make care packages for local soldiers. I have always wanted to send a care package to a soldier, but didn’t really know how to go about doing it. This was the perfect opportunity as all I had to do was buy the items and drop them off in town. Soldiers give so much to us by sacrificing their time and families to serve our country and protect us. I wasn’t able to actually help pack the care packages, but 65 boxes were packed to send to soldiers who are from the Bond county area!
Operation Christmas Child: Back at the end of November, Trent and I packed two boxes to send overseas as part of Operation Christmas Child. This year I was able to get a tracking number to hopefully see where our boxes end up. Also, have you seen this story? I came across it online and it was a simple reminder that God is so much bigger than anything we could ever imagine.
Donate to The Raining Season Christmas party at the orphanage: It has been a long couple of months for the kids and staff at the Covering in Sierra Leone. Ebola continues to rage on in West Africa and the number of cases in Sierra Leone has surpassed its neighboring countries. The children at the orphanage have been on lockdown for about 4 months and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. In the past we have sent small gifts for the kids that we sponsor, but this year there is no way to get their gifts to them. Instead, we will donate a small amount of money so that all of the children can have some type of a Christmas celebration.
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness are about taking the attention away from a “me” world and bring the focus back to the real meaning of Christmas. While it does bring me so much joy to do these things, I am most grateful for the joy that it brings to others.
For today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is the Messiah, the Lord.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!