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25 Days of Christmas: Spreading Joy This Holiday Season - Antsy Labs

25 Days of Christmas: Spreading Joy This Holiday Season

We love the holidays. We love them so much, we’re supersizing the 12 Days of Christmas to 25! And we're doing it with our "Carol of the Coin."

Our families look forward to the best parts of the Christmas season -- spending time together, expressing gratitude for each other, living in the moment and loving every one of us. We like Christmas presents, too, but the time leading up to Christmas is increasingly crammed with commercials and encouragement to buy things for ourselves.

We think it's just as important to think about other people in our lives -- what they mean to us, how we can say we're truly grateful for them. So we created a special Christmas coin and Christmas story book to share our views of the season and offer ways to demonstrate your affection for friends and family. Get our Christmas coin and Christmas story book together, too.

Spin Our Christmas Coin and Make a Wish -- or Be Someone Else's Wish

"Make a Wish" and "Be a Wish" are the two sides of our Christmas coin. Each day leading up to Christmas, spin the coin and follow its instructions. If it's "Make a Wish," think of a gift you'd like to receive. If it's "Be a Wish," do something kind for someone you love. Write a letter. Recite a poem. Do a chore. Find an unusual or personal gift that expresses your feelings for them. Make the gracious offering of your spirit, to someone you love, for the best Christmas tradition of all.

Our Christmas coin is like a full Advent calendar of good deeds and kind words for Christmas. And because we know how hard it is to shop for someone, and even harder to think of something wonderful you can do for them, we've thought of 25 ways to spread Christmas cheer.

Do you have any special holiday traditions? Email us or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Merry Christmas!

25 Ideas For Spreading Joy in December

December 1st - Bake Cookies For Friends & Family

Start the Christmas season off with some fresh-from-the-oven fun. From snickerdoodles to sugar cookies, grab your favorite recipes - or look up a new one - and get baking. For an extra joy-spreading treat, bring the baked sugar cookies along with icing and sprinkles for an impromptu cookie-decorating Christmas party.

Cooking for yourself is central part of adulting, and we've got the perfect Christmas adulting gift for the journey. Our IRLA Adulting challenge medals are part of our line of In Real Life Achievement awards (IRLA). Our medals let you set goals in a variety of interests and reward yourself for milestones on your way to total mastery. IRLA challenge medals are visual reminders of the challenges you've faced and defeated in your quest to be the best version of you that you can be.

December 2nd - Share The Carol Of The Coin

While a lot of Christmas carols and traditions remind children to be good, we wanted to offer a different take in The Carol Of The Coin. We created this illustrated children’s book - centered around The Christmas Coin - as a way to get children excited about giving back to their families and communities, while still acknowledging the joy that comes with receiving gifts themselves.

You can learn more about The Carol Of The Coin: A Spin On Tradition by clicking here.

Our IRLA Reading medals are a great motivator for reading challenges for kids. They also jumpstart grownups who've fallen into too much TV and need suitable daily and weekly challenges to get back to the readers they used to be.

December 3rd - Help Deck The Halls

Decking our own halls is one of the highlights of the holidays, as we haul out the boxes of lights and ornaments. But there are plenty of other halls in your neighborhood that could use a helping hand, too. From the elderly in your own neighborhood to community centers and libraries, reach out and see how your family can spread joy by making other homes bright, too.

December 4th - Donate Toys With A New Type Of Christmas List

Kids often don’t need much encouragement to make their own Christmas lists. What if you could kick off the holiday season by reframing the idea of a Christmas list to be one that’s connected with donating, too? One idea could be that they make a second Christmas List that centered around the toys they would be happy to give away to other children this holiday season.

December 5th - Very Special Volunteering

The holidays are a wonderful time to share your time with others. While prepping meal deliveries at food banks or spending afternoons at senior care facilities are important, you can also consider using your professional skills to help others. From tax prep to legal workshops (and other ideas from Midnight Mission), look for ways to give the gift of your expertise. 

December 6th - Surprise Your Service Provider

Mail carriers and garbage men and women show up daily and weekly to make our lives run more smoothly. Given the holidays can be a time of intense work, colder weather, and shorter days, there’s perhaps no better time to show them a little love. Consider a handmade card, a home baked goodie, or a giftcard to a local coffee shop for a warm beverage and a pastry treat.

December 7th - Contribute To A Coat Drive

 

With the carols and hot chocolate also come cooler temperatures. While winter may not get its official start until December 21st, it’s time to start layering up. On that note, think of those who may not be fortunate enough to have the coats, jackets, and sweaters they need. Look through the closet for what you don’t wear much - or what the kids have outgrown - and donate them to a coat drive.

December 8th - Wish Them A Happy Holiday 

Though it may sound simple, wishing your coworkers and neighbors a happy holiday season is a nice gesture, especially in the middle of the holidays when we can get distracted by all the festivities. Take a minute to wish them well!

December 9th - Invite The Elderly Neighbors For Eggnog 

As we get older in age, traveling to visit family and friends can become more difficult. Though your elderly neighbors may have family plans for the holidays themselves, help keep the whole season bright by inviting them over for an early December cup of eggnog or cider.

December 10th - Start A Handmade Tradition

Spreading joy during the holiday season doesn’t just happen in the moment. It’s also something that can develop over the years. Invest in future holiday feel-good moments by starting a handmade tradition this season, like making your own wreath or decking the halls with handmade arts and crafts.

December 11th - Send Handwritten Christmas Cards 

Accompany your already-taken Christmas family portraits with some handmade cards for a fun way to surprise the friends and family on your Christmas list.

December 12th - Cut A Tree, Plant A Tree

Depending on where you live, cutting down a Christmas tree can play a big role in the family tradition. Whether you’re cutting down a live tree or taking one from a Christmas tree lot, consider balancing that out by planting a real tree, too for the joy of giving back to the world around us.

December 13th - Crafting For Christmas

Not like kids need a reason to get excited for cutting paper, using sparkles, or playing with glue, but creating crafts for Christmas is an easy, fun way to spread holiday cheer. (While it may also spread quite a bit of holiday mess to clean up, that’s nothing a broom can’t handle!)

December 14th - Send Cheer To The Whole Family 

From sending cards to sharing meals, time with family is a big part of the holidays. However, those are just two points on a spectrum of joy-spreading possibilities. For the family that can’t travel to be with you this year, schedule video calls where the kids are dressed up in their finest holiday threads (or ugliest sweaters) and share the cheer digitally.

December 15th - Bring Used Books To The Library 

Whether they ask for them or not, young readers often get a deluge of new books during the holidays. This year, spread the joy to the community by getting read of some of the already-read books in your collection.

December 16th - Animals Need Cheer, Too

Stop by your local animal shelter and volunteer for an afternoon of joy that you’ll likely enjoy as much as they do. Though certain animal shelters may have age limits connected with certain responsibilities, it doesn’t hurt to reach out and ask how you can help.

December 17th - Sweep Or Shovel For Your Neighbors 

From falling leaves to falling snow, the transition from fall to winter leads to sidewalks that need sweeping and shoveling. Spread the joy to your neighbors with newborns, single parents, and elderly friends by offering to keep their walk clear of debris.

December 18th - Christmas Film Day 

Organize a mini-marathon for neighbors, friends and families. Not only does this function as a way to introduce the young ones to some Christmas classics, it’s also a great chance to take part in some fun family activities and traditions.

December 19th - A Neighborly Dinner 

With the holiday seasons often packed full with family events, school parties, and work soirees, it’s easy to get lost in the commotion. Your neighbors - the ones who’ve held packages for you, watered your house plants, or returned lost animals - deserve to be a part of the celebration, too. Depending on where you live and the size of the community, consider organizing a small dinner or weekend potluck to bring everyone together.

December 20th - Give More Than 20% 

Planning a holiday meal out? Or even a lunch while you’re getting your shopping in? Consider leaving a tip over the customary 15-20%. Maybe it’s 25% for December 25th? Whatever the amount is that you feel comfortable with, it’s sure to spread joy for the hardworking restaurant staff keeping us fed during one of the busiest times of the year.

December 21st - Shop At (And Review) A Local Business 

For the Christmas gift that keeps on giving, swing by a local business for a last-minute present for yourself or for your family. Then later that evening, drop them a kind word or two on their online presence of choice (like their Google Business profile or Facebook page). This twofer helps keep the lights on at the business (and may just light up the business owner’s day, too).

December 22nd - Silent Night (Well, Silent Electronics) 

Part of spreading joy during the holidays is being present to notice the joy that’s right in front of us. From the rapt faces of little ones sitting on Santa’s lap for the first time to a neighbor’s finished lighting display, being present helps the details pop. For tonight, embrace Silent Night and silence your electronics to be present with your loved ones.

December 23rd - A Hot Cocoa Stand For The Holidays 

If you’ve got young ones with lemonade stand experience, let them know their services are needed again with a Hot Cocoa Holidays stand. To make this sweet stand even sweeter, swap out the prices for suggested donations, and take the day’s earnings to a local community organization.

December 24th - Walk Around And Look At The Lights 

Before you hunker down for an evening of family traditions and movies and eggnog, take one last stroll around your block. From city lights to country lanes, see what your neighbors have been up to, say hi to one another, and wish them happy holidays. Part of spreading the joy is letting others know their efforts have been well-received, so bundle up and enjoy the festivities.

And on December 25th, on Christmas Day in the morning…

Treat yourself to all your favorite Christmas traditions. Put on your favorite Christmas movie, stay in your pajamas until late, sip on spiced cider, and take a moment for yourself. For all the joy you’ve spread, remember that your own joy and happiness are also worth the effort, too!

What about you and your family? Do you have traditions for spreading joy throughout the holidays? Let us know below!

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