“Throughout our lives, we experience special moments that bring us great happiness and joy.
“We really look forward to them, and often mark our calendars as these times get closer; Christmas is one of these times.
“It is a time we spend with family and friends, celebrating the birth of Jesus.
“As we count the coming days, think about how the ‘gift of Jesus’ can change us and make us better people. Think, too, about the gifts we might share with others to show them that we care.
“Christmas is worth the wait.”

– Anthony Cleary, Director Mission & Identity

Focus on Giving Thanks and Giving Back this Advent with these 24 acts of, and reflections on, kindness suitable for the entire family.

1

iLight 2020 (Jesse Tree)

Looking for a meaningful way to celebrate Advent with your family? Creating and decorating a Jesse Tree is the perfect excuse to come together and learn more about Jesus’ family history. Join us here

2

Become a leader of charity

A ‘Gift of Goodness’ will help show families in need they are not alone.

Start fundraising, or donate with CatholicCare, to help provide fresh food hampers… because everyone deserves to have a Christmas.

3

Handmade greeting cards bring a special joy

Bring joy to someone who doesn’t expect it – draw a picture or make a Christmas card for an elderly neighbour.

Sending a card to an elderly person can help them ease their feelings of loneliness and isolation during the festive season.

4

Play with someone new on the playground at recess or lunch

To quote William Butler Yeats, “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”

So why not make the silly season the time when you find a life-long BFF.

5

Join in singing

Nothing says Christmas like a family sing-a-long. Join in with St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Enfield

Watch them as as they sing Christmas favourite “Feliz Navidad.

6

Say Christmas with flowers

Fresh flower deliveries to a nursing home are a great way of brightening elderly patient’s lives for weeks.

Send Christmas poinsettias, also known as the flower of the Holy Night. The shape of the flower and leaves are sometimes thought of as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus.

7

Give a compliment to someone or smile at a stranger today

“Even a smile that we can share with the poor is a source of love. An outstretched hand can always be enriched by the smile of those who quietly and unassumingly offer to help, inspired only by the joy of living as one of Christ’s disciples.” (Pope Francis, 17 November 2020 Twitter post)

8

Bake Christmas treats to share

A plate of Christmas cookies

“Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)

9

Cue the holiday playlist

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord with this virtual school choir.

10

Love watching Christmas light shows?

The Lights of Christmas will be returning to St Mary’s Cathedral tonight (10 December).

The free all-weather light and sound show runs  8.30pm – 11pm every night until Christmas. Details here.

11

Making music at a distance

Come together as a family and sing as one with this school choir.

View the Carol here.

12

Celebrate the coming of Christmas with a song

The celebration of the birth of Jesus has long been celebrated in song, and hearing this well-loved Christmas carol is sure to stir powerful emotions.

View the song here.

13

Give a life-giving gift to children and communities in need

A core part of Catholic Mission’s work is the development and sustenance of children in some of the poorest communities around the world.

Learn more about their work with children and how to donate here.

14

Pictures tell the Christmas Story

Modern-day Magi depicted as a farmer, doctor and fireman are among the themes portrayed in the Christmas Story Art Exhibition. Click here to view a virtual gallery.

While viewing the artworks, talk with your child about their views on the true meaning of Christmas.

15

Villalicious Cooking: Christmas inspired recipes

Cook with Villa Maria Catholic Primary Hunters Hill.

RECIPES HERE

16

Donate your old toys or books

The Smith Family’s Toy & Book Appeal is your opportunity to help bring a smile to a disadvantaged child’s face this Christmas.

With your help, they are aiming to support 32,550 Australian families with children living in disadvantage for the 2020 Toy & Book Appeal.

17

Sounds like... charades

Charades has to be the most fun you can have with family and friends, and Christmas makes for a great theme.

Charades words and phrases can be divided into the following categories:

  • Carols and songs
  • Decorations and objects
  • Characters and Movies

18

Coping with grief at Christmas

If you’re struggling with the loss of a loved one this Christmas time, know that you are not alone.

HeartFELT is a new weekly prayer gathering for families experiencing grief. Read more here.

19

Sing for the joy of the shared experience

Watch this choir performance.

VIDEO HERE.

20

Volunteer this Christmas

SEEK Volunteer is a non-profit initiative designed to make volunteering easier.

For more information on volunteering safely during the coronavirus pandemic, view Volunteer Australia’s practical guide for volunteers.

21

Bring out the hugs this holiday season

Smiling girl hugs woman

22

Write a letter of gratitde

Write a letter giving the reasons why you appreciate someone, and hand-deliver it.

Thank you is spelled out with Scrabble tiles

23

Spread love everywhere you go

Stick post-it notes with nice messages written on them around your house, school – or somewhere in public… just because.

Imagine their surprise when they find it. It could be the very pick-me-up they need!

24

Say your Christmas prayers

As the saying goes, “A family that prays together stays together.”

This holiday season, take a moment to gather with loved ones and to say a Christmas prayer.

You can reflect on the blessings of the past year while counting down to baby Jesus’ birthday.