Daily Random Acts of Kindess

Back on the second day of this month I wrote about a different kind of Advent Calendar. Essentially, instead of doing a Christmas count down with a tiny piece of chocolate each morning, we are doing a random act of kindness for each day leading up to Christmas.

So far we have:

  • Donated food to the food bank
  • Paid for the customer behind us at Tim Hortons (coffee shop)
  • Make friends with someone
  • We were generous with hugs and smiles
  • Donated coloring books and crayons to the dotctors office
  • Did chores without being asked
  • Delivered cookies to the RCMP (police) and Paramedics
  • Made homemade bird feeders for our feathered friends (and a couple squirrels)
  • Donated some of our toys
  • Called family members we hadn’t talked to for a long time
  • Rounded up stray shopping carts in a parking lot
  • Shovelled a neighbor’s driveway
  • Surprised the garbage/recycling collectors with a box of chocolates
  • Ran an errand for a friend
  • Write a nice letter and mail it to someone who doesn’t get much mail
  • Had a family fun night
  • Lent a helping hand
  • Volunteered at an event in our community
  • Chose our 3 favorite decorated houses and gave them a certificate
  • Baked cookies and shared them with the boys’s teachers and bus driver

Tomorrow we’ll be on the road travelling for an over-nighter. Crash has yet another oral consult to find out what can be done about his front tooth that has come in pointing towards the back of his mouth. Braces? Surgery? Something else entirely?

While we are at the hospital on Wednesday we will “candy cane bomb” as many cars as we can (64 since that’s how many candy canes we have). Each on has a Merry Christmas message taped to it and we’ll leave them randomly under windshields.

Then on Thursday we’ll leave money in vending machines so that when people go get a treat or drink they’ll find it’s already paid for.

Upon our return we will only have 2 more Random Acts of Kindness or, as Bang calls it, Random Actness Kindness before Christmas morning.

The whole purpose when we started this was teach the boys the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about the gifts we’re going to get or Santa or Christmas lists. It’s also not about all the decorations or the sweets. It’s about being thankful for what we have. It’s being thankful that we are able to help others simply to make them feel good. It’s about the first rule of Christmas:

It is far better to give than it is to receive.

Bang took to it like a reindeer to flight. He was eager to help. If you could have seen him during the event where we helped serve 250 senior citizens turkey supper you would have seen him serving plates of food and later handing dishes over to be washed. While Crashed joined us and was eager to help he would still ask, “Do we get anything for helping?” No. You get thanked.

But it’s hard when you’re 9, I guess. To his credit, we have caught him doing more for others. Holding doors, helping others when he can, and attempting to think of others first. He’s made “gingerbread men” for the doctor(s) we’ll see tomorrow by drawing people on brown cardboard and coloring them. So we take our wins where we can. Perhaps he is learning after all.

Chores (or how to use child labor to your advantage)

We have been himming and hawing about giving Crash and Bang an allowance for doing chores. A little incentive to help around the house. Well, I finally created a chore chart. Then it was critiqued by DW and a few changes were made. I based it on a few others I found online. Though the others just didn’t fit what I was looking for. I wanted simple. I wanted it left open for change each day. There chores will change from day to day depending on what needs cleaning and how much time they have.

For example, Crash vacuumed the stairs yesterday. That’s not something that gets done every day. Once a week will suffice around here. Bang put the clean silverware away after the dishwasher was run. That’s something that only needs to be done when the dishwasher is run. In our house that’s about 3 times a week.

I wanted a chart that could be filled in day to day as needed. Most of the charts I found online had the chores filled in already. Or the days of the week weren’t laid out properly. Or it was too colorful and distracting. My chart is perfect. It shows the whole week so we can plan ahead if we want. It’s left open so we can fill in whatever our hearts desire for them to do. It has plenty of space to give them plenty of chores without being too demanding.

It also has a spot for us to deduct earnings from them. BWAHAHAHA! Right now their deductions are only 10 cents. However, there are several ways they can be deducted. Peeing on the toilet seat because they left it down. Leaving a cup or bowl laying around. Not putting their dirty breakfast or supper dishes in the dishwasher. I’m sure more will be created as we climb the learning curve.

They are now four days into doing chores. They are still growling about it. Fingers are crossed that sooner or later (praying for sooner) that it becomes routine. But if I know Crash well enough, he’ll growl about until he moves out. Bang, on the other hand, without his big brother around is eager to help.

Right now they are earning up to $3 a week. One dollar is for them to spend. One dollar is for them to save. One dollar is for them to spend on someone else – birthday, Christmas, etc.. This comes to 75 cents per day for six days. This leaves them with one day without chores. Their first pay day will be this weekend. We’ll see if it motivates them to clean more or not!

chore chart xls

This  Chore Chart is an xls spreadsheet that will open in Excel

This Chore Chart is a PDF that will open in adobe