50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays you can do by yourself or as a family to bring the magic of Christmas to the hearts of others.

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays
Courtesy of Unsplash

I try to do acts of kindness throughout the year, but during the holidays I’m especially mindful to do them. As my kids get older, it’s a tradition I love to do with them. I want to instill the habit of doing good in the world.

As a Christian, I believe we are supposed to be a light in a dark world. We should be an ambassador for Christ, showing his love through acts of love, kindness, and mercy. Even if you aren’t a Christian, you can’t deny the affect that kindness has on the world. Whatever the motivation, the holidays seem inspire random acts of kindness.

Choosing What Not To Do

Save Your Judgement

Now before I list some of the things my family does, I want to preface it. Kindness doesn’t have to cost anything. Kindness is as simple as paying someone a compliment or holding the door open for someone. Maybe it is returning someone’s cart or giving someone your place in a long line. Sometimes kindness isn’t what you do, but what you choose NOT to do.

For instance, the next time you see something you disagree with on Facebook, choose to extend mercy by scrolling by instead of hammering someone with your opinion. In fact, one of the places in most desperate need of kindness is social media. Everyone is so quick to judge and condemn others. The world doesn’t need your opinion about everything. Instead, commit to being a peacemaker and withhold your sanctimony. After all, you and me are incredibly flawed. Choose to be kind instead of being “right.”

Forgiveness

Just recently, I’ve seen some horrible acts of unkindness. In one instance, a man at a craft store couldn’t tell where the line started and accidentally cut in front of someone. The woman he cut off, went up the counter and started slamming her fist and screaming at him. The man apologized and explained, but she was unmoved by his apology and continued yelling inches away from his face. The man left broken and shamed.

Another time, I saw an older man come into a parking lot and nearly clipped someone. He parked beside me. The woman he cut off, parked her car directly in front of his, blocking him from getting off and entering the store. She then proceeded to get out of her car and yelled obscenities at him through the window. It was an accident and it’s not like he crashed into her. It was a near miss, but she was determined to draw blood for it.

Things aren’t going to go our way sometimes and when that happens we have a choice. We can respond with kindness or viciousness. Over the years, I’ve learned most people don’t intentionally set off to ruin our day. They’re busy, distracted, or simply make a mistake. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. One way to spread kindness is simply by extending someone forgiveness. Show someone undeserved love. It’s that kind of mercy that inspires others to be kind. It has a ripple effect.

50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays

  1. Leave a basket of treats to thank mail carriers
  2. Let someone cut in front of you in line at a store
  3. Organize a group to sing carols at a nursing home / retirement community
  4. Offer to babysit a friend’s kids so they can get a date night out
  5. Bring a crossing guard or traffic directing police officer coffee or hot chocolate
  6. Donate canned food to a food drive
  7. Give a stranger a gift card
  8. Donate a toy towards a toy drive like Toys for Tots
  9. Put up Christmas lights for an elderly neighbor
  10. Make a Christmas care package for a far away friend or relative
  11. Let someone know you’re thinking about them with a holiday card.
  12. Give to a charity
  13. Donate pet food at a local pet shelter
  14. Donate blood or plasma (it saves lives)
  15. Volunteer at a shelter
  16. Surprise someone with scratch off lottery ticket
  17. Donate blankets or coats to a shelter
  18. Volunteer at a food bank
  19. Return shopping carts in parking lots during the busy shopping season
  20. Tape coins to a vending machine and treat someone to a snack
  21. Help an elderly person with yard work
  22. Donate change for bell ringers
  23. Give a server a generous tip
  24. Walk a neighbor’s dog
  25. Pay off a school lunch debt
  26. Host a book drive for Operation Paperback
  27. Donate used toys to a battered women’s shelter or orphanage
  28. Pet sit for a family who is out of town for the holidays
  29. Say a prayer for someone
  30. Hide a dollar in the toy section of a dollar store
  31. Drop off treats to a fire or police station
  32. Volunteer at church
  33. Donate your wedding gown to a baby who has died
  34. Gift diapers to a family with an infant
  35. Pay for a strangers meal or coffee
  36. Give someone your parking space
  37. Invite someone with no family to spend Christmas with you
  38. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic
  39. Send a thank you note to a soldier
  40. Hand out gloves and mittens to the homeless
  41. Pay for someone behind you at the drive through window
  42. Babysit for a single mom
  43. Take a homebound or elderly person to church
  44. When you disagree with someone on social media, choose to stay kind instead
  45. Bring in your neighbor’s trash bins
  46. Call an old friend
  47. Do something unexpected for your spouse
  48. Bring in goodies for your co-workers
  49. Pick up trash
  50. Give up your seat

Being kind is fun and it makes you feel good. I hope you enjoy doing 50 Acts of Kindness for the Holidays. PIN this post for later and share on your Facebook wall to get others involved.

Take a look at some of my other Christmas activities in The Ultimate Christmas Bucket List. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

Monster Halloween Gift Tags

Halloween is upon us and I’m sharing these cute monster halloween gift tags, perfect for all your spooktacular gifts and treats.

monster halloween gift tags

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Halloween is here and today I’m sharing a FREE printable! I know how much my readers love the free printables (Thank you for telling me!) and so I’ve made a cute set of Monster Halloween gift tags for you to use. Personally, I love using these on treat bags, but you can use them on basically anything you want.

This year I used them on party goody bags, snack mix treats for school and soap and hand-sanitizer gifts for our teachers. I even put this on a bottle of wine I took to a party! Get creative and use them on any kind of gift-giving you do this Halloween.

monster halloween gift tags

Download Now

The monster halloween gift tags are in a pdf file. You’ll need Adobe Acrobat or some other pdf viewing software to use them. Just print them out, trim, hole punch and tie around your gift or treat. I recommend printing them on white card stock paper for best results. Enjoy!

I’d love to see how you use them. If you are on Instagram, be sure to snap a pic and tag me at @my_beautiful_mess_blog

If you’re looking for an awesome treat, you need to try my Monster Munch Snack Mix. It’s so easy to make and the best part is it can be a fun Fall activity to do with your kids. Also if you are looking for other fun Fall things to do, take a look at my Fall Bucket List. It’s a great way to make to celebrate Autumn and make it extra special.

Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s fall, y’all! It’s pumpkin spice season and I’m sharing my favorite, natural, super easy slowcooker pumpkin spice latte.

slow cooker pumpkin spice latte

I have a confession, for years as soon as it was September, I headed over to Starbucks for a pumpkin latte. Living in Texas, we don’t have much of a Fall here, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying all things Autumn (Check out my Fall Bucket List here). I love them so much that I decided to try making them at home. Today I’m sharing one of my most favorite recipes of all time. Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I’m not always a huge fan of pumpkin spice stuff. I mean, seriously, can we all agree that pumpkin spice tortilla chips have gone too far? So when I say I love this pumpkin spice recipe, you can trust me. It is perfect for crisp autumn mornings in your PJs or you can even take it with you in a thermos for a hike. Personally, I love making a decaf version for evenings by the fire or outdoor bonfire.

Ingredients

To make this recipe, you’ll start by brewing a strong carafe of your favorite coffee. If you want really good coffee, consider grinding your own beans. and using bottled water to brew your coffee. Using quality ingredients, is what really makes a good cup of coffee.

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it calls for canned pumpkin. I discovered this recipe many years ago and I wasn’t a huge fan of pumpkin spice because I had always had it with artificial flavoring. This recipe uses natural canned pumpkin so it isn’t overpowering. Just a lovely, subtle taste of pumpkin. I also prefer using cinnamon sticks to ground cinnamon. If you use ground spices, it floats upward and then accumulates on the top of your coffee, so keep ground spices to a minimum.

For this recipe, I prefer using whole milk even though I’m a typically 2% girl. I think the texture just seems to be better. If you’d like it richer, you may use half and half. If you are serving for a dinner party or if you plan on having several cups of it, you can always brew decaffeinated coffee or do half-caff. Its perfect for dinner parties and Thanksgiving so coffee is always ready with dessert.

Serving & Storing

This pumpkin latte is divine. I make it for all occasions, but it’s especially good for entertaining. You can certainly make it over a stove, but I love doing it in a slow cooker. Guests can serve themselves. Best of all, because you are making it in a slow cooker, it stays hot. Did I mention the house smells delicious too?  The aroma of cinnamon is just lovely in the house when this is in the slow cooker. While we are discussing coffee, if you are looking for a great coffee maker, you need to look into the NINJA Coffee Bar. It is awesome. It brews six different sizes including a full carafe and multiple single-serve sizes. It also has a milk frother and has a cold brew setting. I bought it to replace a Keurig that died after less than a year of owning and I’ll never look back!

I love serving it in beautiful mugs with whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice on top, and a cinnamon stick, but you can make it as fancy or as casual as you want. I will add that I have found this does not store well. So I recommend making a fresh batch instead of warming up again.

Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte

This recipe is great for everyday entertaining. It’s a simple fall recipe you make ahead of time for a crowd. It combines hot coffee and milk with fresh pumpkin and fall spices. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

  • 12 Cups Coffee Hot, Strongly Brewed
  • 6 Cups Whole Milk or Half and Half
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree Canned

Instructions
 

  • Add milk and vanilla to warm crockpot 
  • Add strongly brewed coffee ( I use a French press to control the strength)
  • Add sugar, stirring well
  • Add pumpkin puree and stir frequently until fully incorporated
  • Cover and cook on high. It reaches peak temperature within 2 hours. 
  • (Optional) Serve with whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon stick

Notes

Notes: For a sugar-free option, Splenda does well in lieu of sugar. For late night serving, you can use decaffeinated coffee. 
Keyword autumn, coffee for a crowd, crockpot, drinks, entertaining, fall, latte, pumpkin, slowcooker, spice

Looking for other great fall recipes? Try Zuppa Toscana Soup Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for other easy recipes! Don’t forget to PIN this post for later!

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Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte first appeared on My Beautiful Mess

The Best Fall Bucket List: 50 Fun Ways to Celebrate Autumn

Crackling fires. Football. Chilly nights. Pumpkin spice everything! Welcome Fall with The Best Fall Bucket List: 50 Fun Ways to Celebrate Autumn.

The best fall bucket list

My husband and I started a tradition when we got married. We have a Christmas advent calendar. For 25 days, we celebrate Christmas by doing something Christmas or winter related every day. I can honestly say, it absolutely gets us out of our rut and into the spirit. It’s a great way to spend quality time together and to make memories.

So this year, I decided to do the same thing with fall. It’s been so much fun and the kids love it too. Here are 50 ideas that you can do to get that into the Autumn mood.

Also, I’m giving away a free printable to help you plan your fun-filled Autumn Calendar. You’ll need to make sure you have Adobe Acrobat or other pdf viewing software to view and print it.

The Best Fall Bucket List

  1. Take a Nature Hike
  2. Make a Fall Wreath
  3. Decorate Pumpkins
  4. Watch a football game
  5. Drink Spiced Pumpkin Latte (my recipe here)
  6. Go Black Friday shopping
  7. Visit a Haunted House
  8. Make a Costume
  9. Make & Drink Hot Apple Cider
  10. Decorate Your Porch for Fall
  11. Go Camping
  12. Stargaze in Your Backyard
  13. Plant Fall Flowers
  14. Bake Pumpkin Bread
  15. Watch a Scary Movie
  16. Go Apple Picking
  17. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
  18. Build a Bon Fire
  19. Read a Scary Story
  20. Try a New Fall Recipe
  21. Explore a Corn Maze
  22. Roast Pumpkin Seeds
  23. Light a Fall Candle
  24. Look at the Fall Foliage
  25. Plant Fall Vegetables
  26. Go On a Hayride
  27. Start a Gratitude List
  28. Make a Fall Floral Arrangement
  29. Decorate Your Mantle for Fall
  30. Visit a Farmers Market
  31. Roast Marshmallows in the Fire
  32. Read by the Fireplace
  33. Play Touch Football
  34. Make Carmel Apples
  35. Bake Fall Themed Sugar Cookies
  36. Plan a Fall Family Photo Shoot
  37. Bake a Pumpkin Pie
  38. Play In the Leaves
  39. Attend a Fall Festival
  40. Make S’mores
  41. Attend a Halloween Party
  42. Go Trick or Treating
  43. Have Fun Apple Bobbing
  44. Bake an Apple Pie
  45. Visit a cemetery
  46. Learn the Thriller Dance
  47. Listen to Halloween Themed Music (playlist here)
  48. Build a Scarecrow
  49. Make Caramel Corn
  50. Try a New Fall Craft

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to PIN this post for later and share it on your Facebook wall. Also, before you leave please subscribe to my blog for future posts, giveaways and FREE printable every month.

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