Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar

by Angela on November 29, 2011

Deena and I joined the Random Acts of Kindness movement a while ago and ever since have continued to share some of the posts from the website.  The great news is it seems that many others have jumped on board with this movement as well (not as much our doing as it is the doing of so many others at spreading the word).  In fact, I have heard so much about Random Acts of Kindness lately that it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. 

Recently my friend and neighbor, Ashley, mentioned she was going to change up her kids’ Advent calendar this year to include these Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK).  One of my other friends and neighbor, Glennon, did a fabulous write up on it  and featured Ashley, so I won’t reiterate (couldn’t do it nearly as well as Glennon anyway).  BUT do check out Glennon’s blog, Momastery.  She is an incredible writer. 

So anyway, all this wordiness is really just to let you know that this whole idea is not my own, but instead I jumped on the coat tails of my friend as well as the coat tails of strangers I found on Pinterest who are doing the same thing. 

FIRST, I had to make an Advent calendar.  There is nothing religious about my design (although some may feel very religious about candy):

advent calendar - full

advent calendar - closeup 1

advent calendar - closeup 2 

However, this far exceeds last year’s countdown to Christmas which was made from scrapbook paper, could barely hold a piece of chocolate, and started falling apart before Christmas even got here.  No, this year I upgraded.  This year I used toilet paper rolls.  Ta-da!

advent calendar - tp rolls 2

Oh yeah, only the best for my family.  Now before you get all grossed out, I only used toilet paper rolls from our own bathrooms (I did not ask for donations).  So if the TP rolls are funky, it’s our own funk and not someone else’s, of course.

Also, if you look closely, my countdown only goes up to the 21st….come on family, use the bathroom more often already!!  Maybe I’ll make beans for dinner tonight…and tomorrow for lunch, and dinner again, until I get 3 more toilet paper rolls.

Anyway, I had a huge list of RACK ideas from my friend, Pinterest and the Random Act of Kindness website, but the hardest part was organizing the list by day.  I had to take into account all of our schedules and spent a lot of time writing and re-writing my list.  I’ve shared my list below for anyone who wants ideas for now or in the future for any reason whatsoever. 

I’m really excited to see how my kids react to this and even more excited to see how much they will learn from this experience.  I don’t think kids are ever too young to learn the power of kindness, the satisfaction of giving and the pride that comes with making someone smile. 

So get RACKing!


Angela’s kids’ Advent calendar RACK list:

Thursday, Dec 1 – Write thank you notes to your teachers

Friday, Dec 2 – Bring neighbors’ trash cans from the curb to garage doors

Saturday, Dec 3 – Call grandparents and tell them that you love them

Sunday, Dec 4 – Bring Christmas tree tag gift card to church

Monday, Dec 5 – Donate needed items to the local homeless shelter

Tuesday, Dec 6 – Donate toys to Toys 4 Tots

Wednesday, Dec 7 – Go to library and pay overdue fees for 5 people and while there, put dollar bills in some of your favorite books

Thursday, Dec 8 – Count your blessings and write them down

Friday, Dec 9 – Tape microwave popcorn to Redbox machine

Saturday, Dec 10 – Pick up trash/litter anytime you see it today

Sunday, Dec 11 – Put a candy cane on 10 cars in the neighborhood

Monday, Dec 12 – Write a thank you note for the crossing guard at school

Tuesday, Dec 13 – Bring care packages to carline helpers

Wednesday, Dec 14 – Leave treats on 3 neighbors’ porches

Thursday, Dec 15 – Bring treats to CCD teacher and office staff

Friday, Dec 16 – Deliver towels/blankets to animal shelter

Saturday, Dec 17 – Donate coloring books, crayons and magazines to hospital waiting room

Sunday, Dec 18 – Bring $1 from piggy bank to church to put in the collection basket

Monday, Dec 19 – Help organize toys for the Salvation Army

Tuesday, Dec 20 – Help organize toys for the Salvation Army

Wednesday, Dec 21 – Deliver treats to local fire department

Thursday, Dec 22 – Leave treats in mailbox for mailman

Friday, Dec 23 – Leave treats out for trash collectors

Saturday, Dec 24 – Enjoy Christmas with people you love and sing happy birthday to Jesus


UPDATE:  Merely FIVE minutes after I wrote this article, I find this in the bathroom:

advent calendar - trash

Seriously family??  I only said in huge, bold, bubble letters to NOT throw out any toilet paper rolls.  Sheesh.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Beata October 31, 2018 at 3:03 am

I love it. I’m gonna make it to my girls. Thank you.

Melissa K November 16, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Hi there. I just finished wrapping all 25 rolls. And I’m thinking how can I store this so it doesn’t crush for next year?

admin April 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I hang mine on a hook on a wall in the same location as my other Christmas decorations and it has held up very well. Sometimes I have to re-glue or re-staple things when I take it out for the season.

AmieJo December 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

I love the random acts of kindness countdown. We are totally going to have to do this next year. Maybe we will do the last 12 days before Christmas this year. Mikie might under stand a little this year. Thanks for the great idea. Oh, I use toilet paper rolls for lots of craft. I mean it is covered by the toilet paper until it is all gone so really its not so bad:)

Jessica November 20, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Hi, I am just wondering what paper you used? I have tissues and I have tulle, but this paper looks a bit hardier, and since I am mailing this as a gift, I am afraid tissue or tulle will not be so sturdy.


admin December 3, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Hi Jessica – I used scrapbook paper to glue around the outside of the toilet paper rolls, but for the candy/notes inside the rolls, I used regular tissue paper, like what you would put in a gift box or gift bag. I hope that helps!

Ang November 20, 2014 at 1:17 am

For those who are interested, I have a list of 80 acts of kindness ideas for children and families to do during December as an advent count-down to Christmas here: http://angathome.com/2014/11/20/blessing-buddies-80-acts-of-kindness-ideas-for-a-christian-elf-on-the-shelf-alternative/

admin December 3, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Awesome, thanks!

Amber W November 14, 2014 at 10:31 pm

What did you use for the inside of the toilet paper rolls? Paper? I can’t tell from the picture!
Thanks! Love this idea!

admin November 14, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Thanks! Yes, I used tissue paper! I put the treats or little notes on the tissue paper and rolled them up and twisted the ends. Then I put them through the toilet paper rolls with the ends sticking out to look like candy.

Sheila @ Pennies of Time December 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

Shared this last year and will be sharing this again! Great idea and resource!

admin December 2, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Thanks Sheila!

Melissa French November 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I knew I was saving those toilet paper rolls for something! I have the stuff to make this right now! 🙂

admin December 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Awesome Melissa! So glad your toilet paper rolls won’t go to waste! 😉

Angela December 2, 2011 at 7:28 am

Awesome, thanks Kelly! I like the clean up someone else’s mess idea because I constantly telling them how I have to clean up after everyone else. They need to feel my pain, haha. 🙂

Kelly December 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Ok. So I’m not as crafty nor as organized as you. We have our own little house that Grandpa made for us. It’s usually just filled with candy, but today I’ve spent some time creating notes to stick in each one too. I wanted to throw two more ideas out there that I’m including that hopefully will be easy enough for my boys to initiate and do on their own.
1.) Clean up a mess that you didn’t make.
2.) Be kind to three new people. (that’s what I wrote although I intend to explain that I mean three people who aren’t your usual buddies or playmates…)

Angela November 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Heather, thanks so much!! I happened to have lots of extra scrap paper that I used, but wrapping paper would work just as well (4.5 x6 inches is the measurement needed for TP rolls, just fyi!). You could cut down paper towel rolls too. If you get 24 TP rolls between now and Dec 1, I will be REALLY impressed (or worried, haha!). Seriously though, yes I had a small stapler that I used to staple them all together. I’m really excited for December to get here!!

Heather November 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

This is SOO stinking cute!! (and of course a wonderful idea too!) The question is, getting those toilet paper rolls together in the next few days. hmm… Did you just use wrapping paper to wrap it, and then staple them together? Thanks for the idea! Heather

admin November 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Thanks Kate! The awesome (or not so awesome) thing is I had so much scrapbooking paper that I didn’t need to spend any money to make this!

Kate November 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm

So well done Angela! Love that you put some of the scrapbooking paper to use. Your list is perfect : ) Thanks for sharing.

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