Thursday, December 5, 2013

Simple Christmas Kindness with Extra Gum

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I'm so excited about this post! I know, I know, I say that a lot, but this one just got me a bit nostalgic, which I love. Fun crafty things with mint gum are something I remember being a part of Christmas time in my childhood and I really wanted to incorporate it into something I could pass on to the boys too...

Do you remember the candy trains you made during Christmas time as a kid? I can't quite remember which part was which candy- lifesavers for the wheels I think. And a pack of gum for the body. Glued together just right to make a train ornament that I remember was just too heavy for the branches! Something about those kinds of little things just brings on the nostalgia... memories of Christmas' past :) Those kinds of little things are the reason that Christmas is so beloved to us now, that we are trying to pass on the spirit we feel to our own kids.

I had the chance I think of an idea to share with you using Extra mint gum from Walmart- polar ice, peppermint and spearmint flavors that you find in the checkout area like below.

I think as a kid I thought that bright green gum was pretty much the only kind there was- my parents chewed it and nothing else. I can see why- it's flavor lasts and lasts! Peppermint is my personal favorite- not even just at Christmas!

Anyhow... every Christmas I make sure to share something that you can use to complete some random acts of kindness. Find my post from last year HERE. I really just like stuff that revolves around kindness to do with the boys anytime- they need it to balance out all the wrestling and pounding that goes on around here!

So I created a few little tags that fit just right on a pack of Extra gum that can be used to turn them into little gifts of kindness. That man sitting alone across the restaurant? I've seen how his light changes when given a little token to let him know he's being thought of... that memory brings happy tears to the surface honestly. Indulge me a second, won't you?...

Last year Cooper noticed an older guy sitting across the way at a restaurant. When got up to leave before we were done, I slid Cooper a candy cane that had a little kindness note attached to it. We had put them together beforehand and packed them around for just such an occasion. He grabbed the candy cane and ran over to the man at the door, giving it to him quick and running back, beaming. No words had to be spoken, and we really wanted to stay on the down low, but I did try to get a peek of his reaction. And I promise you that Cooper's bright face, smile and enthusiasm, made that man's day. He left with a smile. And Cooper's light increased too! He was so proud of himself and just felt good, felt goodness, having done that.

love that memory and want the boys to have lots of them just like it in their childhood.

The nice thing about putting together little gifts intended for kindness is that they can be used so quickly! We didn't have time (nor was there a need) to scrape windows for that man at the restaurant. Sometimes you can't do more than just hand something to someone and move on. These packs of Extra gum are perfect for just such a time! They'll be easy to stash in your bag and have at the ready...  (I know, I know, my bag is pretty much full of trash...)

Notice a tired Mom really struggling to get all her kids into the grocery store ahead of you?
Grab a pack of gum with your kindness tag on it and tuck it under her windshield wiper real quick.

Seems like your waitress at dinner is having a particularly tough shift?
Add one of these to your tip.

Overhear the person waiting behind you at the checkout having an unpleasant cell phone conversation?
Prop one of these up on the check writing space for them to find.

You've just improved those peoples day. And really, you've improved your own.

Acts of kindness like this feel amazing. They make you want to do more. We can't usually supply all of Christmas for everyone we'd like to, but we sure can make their season (and ours!) a titch brighter for just 96 cents :)

Grab the tags for the packs of Extra gum HERE... six of them on one page to print :)

I also wanted to create a little something with the actual sticks of gum- like I remember doing with those candy trains as a kid. I decided the gum needed to be "ruffled." Kinda like those old style colored candies ya know? I added a strip of glitter tape to the seam to keep the wrapper together and then bent each piece up and down to create an 'S'.

I did several without the tape also, so it's not essential, just seemed to help and looked cute too :) Then I cute a piece of a TP tube to hot glue the gum ruffles to.Turned out pretty fun I thought :) I turned it into a keepsake to remind us of the gifts of kindness we'll be giving this Christmas...

You can grab this ornament printable HERE, then just print and cut a small photo of your family (or from your kindness outings!) for the opposite side. Both sides just hot glue on :) And now you've got a little reminder of the memories you made giving little gifts of kindness this Christmas.

Next year when you're unpacking ornaments again, you'll remember that lonely man in the restaurant, that tired waitress, and the thrill on your kid's face as they run back to you after giving 'something Extra' to them. You'll want to do it again. :)

Wishing you a very Merry 'Extra' Christmas- I would LOVE to hear about your gifts of kindness if you use these!

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