There’s no better time than Christmas to spread a little cheer and goodwill to others. And there’s no sweeter family activity than offering holiday helping hands—together. That’s why Hallmark has created the Garland of Good Deeds, a booklet full of acts of kindness written on colorfully designed strips you can make into a decorative paper chain.
Inspired? Create and share by tagging @HallmarkStores.
Here are a few tips for using the Garland of Good Deeds:
- Pick pages from the booklet. Do the good deed printed on the paper strip together as a family, then connect it to the next completed deed and so on until you have a festive paper chain to brighten your home with holiday cheer.
- Take turns choosing a link and deed. Let each family member choose an activity that speaks to them and, if the kids are old enough, let them take the lead on seeing it through or organizing it.
- Don’t feel pressure to do a good deed every single day. During the holiday rush, some days you can’t find a moment to breathe (or a parking space), so don’t stress if you can’t always get to the garland.
- Go backwards. Make the garland first. Then pull off a link every day and perform that good deed.
The blank garland links are for your own ideas. A few thoughts to get you started:
- Start close to home. Maybe your neighborhood needs litter picked up or your school needs donations. Think about local needs or a foundation or cause that is special to your family.
- Adopt a family. Many cities do “adopt a family” programs, or maybe you know someone who is struggling this year. Can you contribute a gift or two toward their wish lists or volunteer your wrapping skills?
- Be nice to each other. Use the blank links to do specific things to make members of your family feel loved.
You can also consider good deeds for folks who are still quarantining or working extra hard.
- Write notes to friends or family members. Haven’t seen someone in a while? Send cheer to those who might be stuck in the house. (Find helpful hints to help kids address an envelope here.)
- Write a holiday wish. Use sidewalk chalk to write messages on neighbors’ driveways or sidewalks.
- Write thank-you notes and holiday wishes for hero helpers. Include medical professionals, mail carriers, package deliverers, bus drivers, grocery store employees, teachers, coaches, etc.
- Surprise grandparents or other loved ones. If you can’t visit in person, do some conference call caroling or use video chat to sing them your favorite holiday songs. Bonus points for dressing the part with fun hats and scarves.
Hang your garland by the chimney—or anywhere else in the house—with care.
- The garland can be displayed anywhere. We recommend letting the kids take the lead and be in charge of creating it and hanging it to get them more involved in the “deeds” part of it.
- Make it pretty. Connect the paper links with double-sided tape for a cleaner look or make it even more festive with colorful washi tape.
- Be mindfully merry. While creating the paper chain, be sure to discuss what giving and acts of kindness bring to others: Talk about how what you do, even as just one person, affects the world. You can find more ideas about kids and giving here.
- Don’t stop at the last page. Love and generosity have no season! Keep the kindness going into the new year by adding your own paper strips.
We hope your family makes memories and spreads love with the Garland of Good Deeds book! We think you’ll love it…and, hey, we can all use a little help getting on the nice list.