A simple act of Christmas kindness which gives focus to festive family walks and offers a super way to build strong community connections.
Part of our ‘Communities Spreading Cheer’ series
Part of our ‘Communities Spreading Cheer’ series
We absolutely love this idea from Emma and her family in Greater Manchester. A simple act of Christmas kindness which gives focus to festive family walks and offers a super way to build strong community connections.
Over the past eight years, Emma Connell from Heywood and her husband and two daughters have evolved a tradition of seeking out their favourite homemade outside Christmas displays and writing to the households to thank them for all their efforts.
And, in a year when we are so limited in what we can do and community is so important, this is a wonderful new tradition to introduce in your family. Read on to find out more.
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in search of Christmas lights
How It All Began
Following a period of time living in Paderborn, Germany with the army, Emma and her family moved back to the UK in 2012.
They returned with a passion for Christmas decorations and were determined to seek out the best homemade displays around! ‘They go all out for the holidays [in Germany],’ explains Emma, ‘So, when we came home, we decided to go and search the local area to find some fabulous displays.’
The family soon started to choose their favourite homes and began voting between themselves for an overall winning design.
But then Emma’s elder daughter took things to a wonderful new level. ‘She said it’d be cool if we told them we loved it. So, the following year we armed ourselves with a card each and went out.’
It’s now become an annual tradition for the family to write notes to the houses they each choose, letting them know how much their efforts are appreciated. The cards are then delivered with a candy cane the week before Christmas.
Want To Sprinkle Some Christmas Kindness?
Add a sprinkling of festive cheer in your community with a Kindness Advent Calendar. Because no act of kindness is too small.
Turn advent on its head and donate to your local food bank with a Reverse Advent Calendar. Find out all about this new tradition and download our Reverse Advent Calendar Poster for your fridge door.
Fancy A Winter Walk?
15 of our favourite ideas for festive winter walks. Free, easy & perfect for getting the whole family out & about regardless of the weather!
what makes a good display?
Voting For Favourites
So, what do Emma and her family look for in a display? ‘We love to see it all, particularly lights. Lights and music together are great too! We look for effort as well – ones that have clearly taken weeks to complete.’
Emma has already chosen her winner for this year (photographed below). A house that have really gone all out with a spectacular display. And they are raising money for a local hospice too. A fabulous act of Christmas kindness combo!
Candy cane and card due to be delivered in the next few days!
Spread The Word!
Like what you’ve seen? Be sure to share with your friends.
Let’s sprinkle Christmas cheer far and wide!
bringing back German traditions
Any Other Ideas To Share?
With such a fabulous idea for spreading Christmas cheer, we asked if the family have any other traditions they would like to share.
‘When the girls were younger, we used to follow the German Christmas tradition of St Nicholas. On the night of December 5th, children clean and polish their boots and leave them outside the door before going to sleep. Next morning, they find their shoes filled with nuts, candy, and small gifts from St Nicholas. We used to use this as a way of sending our Christmas Lists too!’
Thanks so much to Emma and her family for sharing this wonderful idea.
We’d love to hear if you decide to follow the Connell family’s lead and thank your nearby homes for their festive efforts. Do you have other lovely traditions with your family? Let us know in the comments below. Read about other wonderful Acts of Christmas Kindness here.
Do you know our golden rule for fabulous Front Door Christmas Décor? Click here to find out more.
Looking For More Community Cheer?
More Acts of Christmas Kindness were on display in the Teeside area as a group of university students spread elvish Christmas cheer.
Six neighbours in Hull joined forces in an Act of Christmas Kindness, creating a dazzling Christmas lights display for their local community.
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Help us spread the word about this heartwarming project. And be sure to tag #jollyfestive when you do!
Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @jollyfestive for more inspiring stories of giving back this Christmas and beyond.
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