Kindness Advent 2017

This is our 7th year doing our kindness advent.  This formed after losing my Mom suddenly and being plunged into intense grief.  We do not do this to show off or to make people think we’re amazingly great people.  Let me put your mind to ease real quick…this morning I yelled at my kids BEFORE we got to school, I say too many curse words, sometimes I drink too much, I’ve already had chocolate this morning and sometimes if I decide not to purchase an item in the store I don’t return it to it’s spot and put it on a random shelf.  I mean, we are struggling on SO MANY levels and there is so much more I could say, but yikes, you guys might run away and never look back.

So this isn’t a show off kind of thing, this is a deep rooted tradition that formed from great sorrow and has made it’s residence among our Christmas holiday.  Sometimes we spend more money, sometimes we spend less.  A lot of people get hung up on how much this costs, but you could totally do this completely free…kindness does not always cost money.  And to each their own…different strokes for different folks.  Not everyone’s finances are the same by any means, so just make changes as you need to.  I want to be super transparent so last night I sat down and added up how much this years is going to cost and we came in right under $250.  We have 2 big items on the calendar this year…donuts for our elementary school and sending cookies to Mott Hospital in Michigan…Everett’s heart surgery hospital.  Both of those are running us around $120 together, but they are super important to us this year so we figured it out.  If we cut those costs we would come way down on our money we’re spending this year.

  So here’s the list of our activities this year:

Share candy canes.  Send fun mail.  Buy soap for prison ministry Christmas gifts.  Take treats to our funeral home.  Angel Tree bag in honor of Everett.  Take donuts to school staff.  Decorate someone’s mailbox.  Give away a redox bucket.  Leave sticky notes on public bathroom mirrors.  Take peoples polaroid photos.  Surprise yard inflatable.  Treat for our trashman.  Ornament delivery.  Load bubble gum & trinket machines with quarters.  Share Sonic happy hour.  Take someone breakfast.  Return shopping carts.  Treat for our mail carrier.  Cards & treats for our pediatrician’s office.  Gift card for a single parent.  Cookie delivery to Mott Hospital.  Snack for Salvation Army bell ringer.  Paint wood slices and leave around town.  Give someone flowers.  Leave encouraging notes on cars.

So there’s this year’s list.  I’ll be sharing details here probably on Fridays and daily over on Instagram so feel free to follow along.  If you need more information on how this gig all got started and for lots of ideas THIS POST is a great place to start.  And I do not lose my mind over this.  This is such a fun tradition everyone looks forward to it so there’s zero pressure.  If an activity doesn’t get done, it does’t get done.  No biggie.  No one needs anymore crazy pressure.

You can CLICK HERE to see our list of last years activities.  And CLICK HERE for a recap of other year’s activities and ways we’ve displayed our advent.

Today we kicked things off by sharing candy canes with friends.  I bought some cheap mini candy canes, the kids divided them up for their classmates and they all headed off to school to share away.  Crazy easy.

And tomorrow we are sending fun mail.  Everyone wrote kind notes to a friend last night and I took anyone who wanted to use their own money to purchase a treat for their mail friend to Target last night too.  I loved seeing what they each chose and this was no money out of my pocket.  Harper is a pretty big giver…she’s more of a go big or go home gal…so she has quite the goodies to share.  Sending mail is one of my most favorite things!

(Blocked out addresses because, ummm, privacy & we want our recipients to be surprised.)

Hope you guys enjoy your weekend!  It’s Friday and officially December.  Raise the roof.


  1. People actually put things back on the correct shelf? Girl, please.

    As my life continues to fall apart, you continue to encourage me to ‘want’ to keep trying to mend it back together. Some days the ‘want’ is all I have. So when a card arrived in the mail unexpectedly this week with Everett’s sweet smile staring back at me, well, all I could do was commit to taking another step forward. Thank you, thank you.
    All of us

  2. Andrew Marsh says:

    Kelleys!!!! You really are the tops!! Bless you all and bless you always!! Much love from across the pond!!

  3. You inspired us to do a Kindness advent several years ago. I love the lessons it teaches our kids and the joy it creates. And to kick it off right, we started today with delivering flowers (in a pickle jar!) to our 98 year old great-Grandma.

    You are right, you are not perfect, but you are still amazing and inspirational, even through the darkest time of your life.
    Much love and prayers to you and all the Kelley’s.

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