The Kindness Elves Christmas Tradition + Giveaway

{This post contains affiliate links.}

“Sprinkle Kindness wherever you go”  ~The Kindness Elves

Tis the Season! and the kids have been busy coming up with their wish lists for Christmas.  On their lists are the typical “wants” like a Nintendo Switch and L.O.L Surprise Dolls, “needs” like clothes and good books, and things like “something for my brother” or “something for my sister,” that warms our hearts & puts a smile on our faces.

As our family prepares for the Christmas Season, we have decided to come up with a new tradition…A Kindness List, with the purpose of teaching the kids to focus not only on themselves but on other people as well.  To help inspire us along the way, we will be using The Kindness Elves!

The-Kindness-Elves-Kindness-is-contagious-pass-it-on-680x505

The Kindness Elves was started in 2013 by Mom Anna of The Imagination Tree.  The elves encourage kids to carry out acts of kindness to friends, family, neighbors…just about anyone!  Earlier this year, I bought the Kindness Elves Set and Storybook (because story time is a favorite around here).  I still can’t get over how cute the little elves are and with many options to choose from, you can be sure to find the right ones.  Isn’t their elf house adorable?  It has a working mail box for sending and receiving Elf Mail.

Just recently, we received the Kindness Elves Accessories Pack, that includes 50 wonderful Acts of Kindness cards, a Little Book of Big Kindnesses memory book, postcards, stickers and a bottle of magic sprinkles.  This is such a fun tool to have and I cannot wait to get started with these.  You can also find a Family Bundle Pack and a Classroom Bundle Pack on the Kindness Elves website.

I’m looking forward to sharing our Kindness List with you in the weeks to come.  To get things started, this is our first act of kindness this month.  Rebekah decided to draw a thank you picture for our school crossing guard and we gave it to him this morning.  He was so sweet and said, “I’m going to keep this forever.”  🙂

20171201_082840-01

Who would like a Kindness Elves set of their own?  We have just the opportunity for you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!! – I’m teaming up with Anna at The Imagination Tree to give one lucky reader a Kindness Elves set.  To enter, leave a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas tradition is, what tradition you hope to start or ideas you would write on a Kindness List.  For extra entries, tweet about this giveaway or share about it on Facebook, and let me know in the comments section.  Giveaway ends on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at 11pm PST.

The giveaway is now closed and the winner is….

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 8.04.44 AM
Chosen by Random Name Picker

Start your own Holiday Traditions with the Kindness Elves this year!

 

A Sibling’s Compassion

I told Micah that there was only three and a half more weeks of school left.  He became overwhelmed with grief and started to cry.  “I want more school!”  “I’m going to miss my friends.”

Rebekah heard her brother sobbing and walked over to him.  “Hug,” she said.  “Kiss.”

IMG_5713

Though Bekah is often annoyed when Micah gets in her face or frustrated when he takes things away from her, this little sis has a big heart for her Goh Goh (big brother in Chinese).  She will quickly toddle over to Goh Goh, comforting him with gentle pats or giving him her blankie.

A sibling’s compassion.  Glimpses of God’s heart and love in moments like these.

Bayside Church Compassion Sunday

My friend Lindsay invited me to go with her to volunteer at a Compassion International event up in Roseville a couple of Sundays ago.  Leaving the house around 6:30am, we made the two hour drive up to Bayside Church for their Compassion Sunday.

When we first arrived at Bayside Church, I was struck by how big the campus was.  They offer 5 worships services (2 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday), and I believe their sanctuary can seat about 2,500 people.  That’s a lot of people (x 5 services)!  Christian musician Lincoln Brewster (I love his music!) is on staff as their Worship Arts Pastor and they also host the annual Thrive Conference, a 3-day ministry event for pastors, ministry leaders, staffers and lay volunteers.  As a lay volunteer, I might just have to check out this conference next year.  🙂

IMG_5536
IMG_5529 IMG_5534

Toward the end of each service, the Pastor (it was a guest preacher from another church) shared about Compassion’s ministry and invited the congregation to consider sponsoring a child.  Hundreds of people felt the call to become a Compassion Sponsor for the first time or they decided to sponsor more kids in addition to the one(s) they already had. Lindsay and I helped pass out t-shirts to people who signed up that day.  It was their thank you gift.  Over 900 kids were sponsored over the course of the weekend.  Isn’t that just amazing?!  Praise God!  =)

IMG_5526

In-between services, we got the opportunity to visit the Compassion Experience that the church was hosting on their campus for the week.  My family visited the Compassion Experience when they were in San Jose and we heard Brinda’s story.  More details about that experience on my blog here.  There are three stories to choose from and this time, I experienced Reuben’s story.

IMG_5535 IMG_5537The last room you walk into is filled with child information packets.  Here they give you the opportunity to sign up with Compassion if you want to.  We got to meet a special guest who flew in from India for the event.  It was Brinda!  She works for Compassion now.  What a blessing it was to meet her!IMG_5533Though the day was long and my legs & feet were tired/sore from standing, it was a very blessed time for me.  I had fun serving with my friend and enjoyed our chats during the drive there and back.  I was very much touched by the hearts of those who became sponsors or added more kids that day, because I knew that their sponsorship was going to change a child’s life.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” ~Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

IMG_5538

If you’re wondering if I am a Compassion Sponsor…I am not.  But, we do sponsor children through World Vision, which is another Christian humanitarian organization. I’ll need to write an update about our WV kids soon.  =)

Chocolate Bunnies

We bumped into our next door neighbor after school yesterday.  He was in his driveway washing his car windows.  (Our neighbor is in his 90s and still mows the lawn himself too!)  As we walked passed his driveway, he looked up and waved to the kids.  Thanking us for the valentine we left for him last week, he said…”I have something for you” and went into his house to fetch something for the kids.  He came back out and handed Micah and Bekah each a chocolate bunny.  What a sweet and thoughtful act of kindness!  We felt very blessed.  The kids are looking forward to eating their chocolate bunnies, but they will have to wait until Easter.  =)

IMG_5235

Love Your Neighbor

A few weeks ago, Micah told me that he wanted to make Valentines and give them to his neighbors.  So that’s exactly what we did.  He started with drawing and cutting out the hearts.  On Valentine’s Day, we went to eight neighbors’ homes and left the Valentines in their mailboxes or mail slots.

Drawing heartsIMG_8022CuttingIMG_8026Writing his name on the back of the heartsIMG_8025I also included Valentines from DaySpring that had a bible verse on the back.  IMG_8197This is how we packaged them.IMG_8199Delivering a Valentine to our next door neighborIMG_8200

IMG_8202

IMG_8203IMG_8204IMG_8207

One of our neighbors either heard us or saw us through the window, because she opened her front door to say hello.  Micah quietly handed her the Valentine and her face just lit up with a big smile.  She thanked Micah and asked if it would be okay if she gave this Valentine to her dad.  Her dad, who has alzheimer’s and dementia, had brain surgery recently and is recovering in an outpatient facility.  We told her we would pray for him. As we said goodbye, she said…”this really made my day.”  🙂

I am hoping that we can make this our Valentine’s Day tradition, by sharing with more neighbors a little bit of God’s love year after year.