This December, we’re focusing on slowing down, enjoying the season, and giving freely. To keep us on track I created an advent calendar. Each day we’ll pull out a card and complete the joy bomb written on it.
What are joy bombs? We’re so glad you asked. A joy bomb is the act of creating something, giving it away, and spreading joy. It’s similar to a random act of kindness; however, each item will have something handmade as well. Even a simple stamped tag attached to a freezer meal can make a major impact in someone’s life. Watch this video to learn more about joy bombs and the heart behind Crafted In Joy.
I started this project by typing 25 joy bomb ideas on 2.5 by 3.5 inch cards – one for every day of December leading up to Christmas. Some are less involved than others, such as “smiling at everyone you come in contact with” or “place change in the Salvation Army’s red bucket.” I’ve included a few examples below to get you started on your own advent calendar. Use it to explore different ways your family can spread joy this season. As an alternative, try 12 days of joy bombs leading up to Christmas.
30 ways to spread joy this Christmas
- Pay for the food or coffee of someone behind you in line.
- Send a thank you note to someone you are grateful for.
- Visit with the guests at a nursing home.
- If you’re traveling and staying at a hotel, leave a tip and Christmas card for housekeeping.
- Offer to help wrap someone’s gifts.
- Create or purchase gloves and scarves for a local homeless shelter.
- Find somewhere local to volunteer.
- Give a hot drink to a Salvation Army bell ringer.
- Take coloring books and crayons to a local hospital waiting room.
- Pay someone’s late fees at the library.
- Make a meal for someone.
- Leave quarters at the laundry mat.
- Donate clothes or toys no longer needed.
- Clip coupons, and leave them with the products at the store.
- Give someone your place in line.
- Offer to return someone’s shopping cart.
- Bring treats or Christmas cards to local nurses, firefighters, teachers, or police officers to thank them for what they do.
- Pick up litter around your neighborhood.
- Donate pet food, blankets, and toys to your local shelter.
- Shovel a snowy driveway.
- Leave a treat on someone’s porch.
- Give a stranger a compliment.
- Wash (or walk) dogs at a local shelter.
- Offer to put up an elderly person’s Christmas lights.
- Donate blood.
- Hold the door for someone.
- Leave a treat for the mailman or garbage worker.
- Offer to complete a chore or two for a new mom.
- Bake cookies for your neighbors.
- Place a kind note for someone to find.
Each card was decorated with the arrow shapes from Mixed Media Greetings and assigned a day with stamped numbers from Angelica”s Outlined Alphas. A little planning was done before picking the numbers – Such as assigning volunteering or yard work to days I knew we would be off work.
Next, I stamped the same numbers in green and red ink on white circles. The circles were put on glassine bags with 2 by 2 inch squares of holiday paper from Illustrated Faith. I slipped each card into the coordinating bag and taped the bags to baker’s twine.
My plan is to hang it on our fireplace mantle this evening when we get out all of our holiday decorations. I’m excited to see how my little family can spread joy and give to others this Christmas. Because the bags are undated, I can reuse them each year adding the same cards or new ones!
Are you planning to joy bomb others this Christmas? Use the hashtags #joybombs and #craftedinjoy so we can see your take on this simple advent calendar and how you’re spreading joy!