This is the first in a series of posts on "Advent Acts of Kindness." Advent, the period of time leading up to Christmas, is a period of reflection and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Historically, this meant a period of fasting, charity, and penance to ready the soul. Fasting isn't really part of the preparation anymore, but charity and penance still are. So while Advent calendars are a convenient way to count down the remaining days until Christmas, the season is marked by more than decorating and wrapping gifts. Even if all the rest of your tasks are done, you're not ready if your mind and heart aren't ready.
One great way to truly prepare for Christmas is to show kindness towards others, especially those less fortunate. With this in mind, I thought I'd put together a list of ideas for small acts of kindness and post one each day throughout Advent. I did this partly for selfish reasons, because I want to start a tradition of Advent Acts of Kindness for my own family, and partly because I thought you lovely readers would enjoy the ideas - and I do hope you enjoy them!
Advent Act of Kindness #1: Take advantage of a canned food sale and buy extra to donate to your local food bank. Most grocery stores run weekly ads in the newspaper, or you can pick up a copy near the door when you go shopping. Food banks always need a variety of foods, and demand is especially high this time of year. If you're unsure what is needed, you can call and ask. This week in my town (you can check to see if something similar is planned in yours) it's especially easy to donate because the mailmen are picking up food donations on Saturday - all you have to do is leave the donations for them to pick up!
I hope you all had a blessed first Sunday of Advent!