12 days of goodness this Christmas
Advent calendars that count down to Christmas with a chocolate surprise behind each door may taste good, but what’s even better is a lasting feeling of goodness shared with others.
Use the printable calendar to mark one off every day or add some of these ideas to your own advent calendar!
1. Spread goodness with a smile.
Smiling creates ‘feel good chemicals’ in our brain and can change the way we feel. It’s also free! Smile as you walk past people on your street. Catch someone’s eye in the shopping centre and smile at them. Or smile as you sign for your parcel delivery. Give yourself a goal to smile at a certain number of people today – whether that’s one or 12. You’ll feel good and it’s likely they’ll catch your smile, which will make them feel good, too.
2. Show kindness to a neighbour.
Is there a person in your street or network who is lonely or having a hard time? Or maybe you just want to surprise someone who would appreciate it. A few ideas include mowing someone else’s lawn, gifting them some flowers from your garden, taking out their bins on bin night or sharing some home baked goods.
3. Donate to make Wishes come true.
You can help brighten someone’s Christmas through a gift given from The Salvation Army Wishes catalogue. Choose from paying someone’s electricity bill, filling a child’s Christmas stocking, providing a street survival pack and more.
4. Pray to our good God.
Here at the Salvos, we believe in a good God who cares for us. The Bible says, “The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation” (Psalm chapter 145, verse 9, NLT). On day four, pray for goodness in these four areas: yourself, for someone you know who is struggling, for our country and for our world.
5. Do some good for the world.
Our Earth does a lot for us every day, so do something good for the planet! Pick up some rubbish in the bush or at the beach, plant a tree or use no electricity for one hour tonight.
6. No-cost random acts of goodness.
Today’s challenge is to find six ways to spread goodness in random ways. Some ideas to start with include asking a friend if you can help them with anything, spending time with someone who is missing a loved one this Christmas, letting another customer go in front of you in a queue, surprising a shop assistant with an unexpected compliment, giving up your seat on the bus or train, or singing Christmas carols at a nursing home. Get creative!
7. Volunteering is good for the soul.
Christmas is a great time of year to get involved as a volunteer. Your local Salvos church or hub may be looking for people to help collect and sort toy donations or serve on the barbecue at their carols service. Contact your local Salvos or find listings online.
8. Share goodness with your friends and family.
It’s good to care for strangers and for those who we love. Make a phone call, send a text message or write a card to some friends or family members. Add a Christmas greeting and a word of encouragement.
9. Believe in good for yourself.
Christmas can be a busy and stressful time of year. Find a comfortable spot to sit, maybe some tasty Christmas treats then take a moment to pause and recharge. Recognise what you are good at, and perhaps identify some areas in which you could grow over the coming year.
Is your commitment to growth for the new year getting on top of your finances? Find some helpful tips for your finances in our free eBook: You’re the Boss: Money wisdom for life.
10. Be thankful for the goodness of others.
Christmas is an ideal time to thank people for what they’ve done for you this year. Did a teacher go out of their way to support your child? Is the supermarket assistant always careful with packing your bags the way you like? Did a doctor help you through a rough spot this year? Has a colleague gone the extra mile to support you with your work? Have a conversation with them or write a note expressing your thanks.
11. Give your goods to others.
As the saying goes, one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure. Go through your wardrobe or kid’s toy boxes and donate gently used goods that you no longer want to your local Salvos Store. Give them another lease of life and allow good to circulate knowing your donation can support others.
12. Reflect on God’s goodness.
Make a list of 12 (or more) things that you are grateful for this Christmas season, or from throughout the year. “Everything good comes from God. Every perfect gift is from him. These good gifts come down from [God] the Father who made all the lights in the sky …” (James chapter 1, verse 17a, ERV Bible). Gratitude is a simple way to feel good, every day. There’s always something we can be thankful for – whether it’s sunshine, pretty Christmas decorations in the street or your favourite Christmas carol playing.
12 days of goodness
Use this advent calendar to share and experience goodness as you count down to Christmas.
Celebrate the good news of Jesus’ birth this Christmas with the Salvos. Find your local Salvos: salvationarmy.org.au/christmas/events/