You’ve Been Jingled | Teach Generosity With A Creative Pay-It-Forward Holiday Tradition

You’ve Been Jingled | Teach Generosity With A Creative Pay-It-Forward Holiday Tradition

A perfect way to spread holiday cheer, while teaching your children about generosity, is to start the pay-it-forward tradition of bringing jingle joy to your neighborhood. Building upon Halloween’s “You’ve Been Booed” concept, you can start the tradition of “You’ve Been Jingled” so that everyone in the neighborhood can participate in spreading some joy to one another. It feels just as good to give as it is to receive when you make giving fun and exciting for the kids.

Teaching Generosity to Kids

Parents play a big role in helping kids develop generosity, both through encouragement and example. Helping your child learn generosity will help them to be more empathetic and build strong, positive relationships. Assembling a “You’ve Been Jingled” bin can also make children feel part of something bigger.

Create a Pay-It-Forward Holiday Tradition

To start the “You’ve Been Jingled” tradition in your neighborhood, begin by putting together two bins of goodies to deliver anonymously to two neighbors. Include a sheet that says “You’ve Been Jingled” and an explanation of the concept. Also include a sign that says “We’ve Been Jingled” for the recipient to display so they won’t get jingled twice. You can make your own sheets or print out a pre-made sheet.

Fill the bins with holiday items, like cookies, candies, pencils, ornaments, etc., and stealthily drop them off to a neighbor’s porch without being caught in the act. Your neighbor will be so surprised and filled with joy when they see what they’ve received. Best of all, they’ve now been tagged and are able to pay-it-forward and bring jingle joy to two more neighbors!

Let the Kids Lead the Jingle

This activity can be entirely child-led! They can choose which neighbors to surprise. They can choose items to include in the bins. They can create art to share. They can choose the cookie recipes they want to try. They can write out directions or cut out printed materials. And they can take charge of the most exciting part-dropping off the goodies without being caught in the act!

Gather Goodies for Your “You’ve Been Jingled” Bin

There are so many treat options with the end-of-year holidays! You can include food and beverage items like hot chocolate bombs or hot cocoa mixes, candy canes, cookies, specialty coffee or tea, and other sweets. School-related items like pencils, erasers, dry erase markers and erasers, coloring pages, stickers, or books are always appreciated. Winter-specific items like lip balm, mittens, or tissues are a great idea. Don’t forget the parents! Include a couple of adult beverages or coffee mixers because parents need an extra pick-me-up at this time of year!

Remember to be mindful of all traditions and celebrations. Not everyone celebrates the same holidays in the same ways. If you aren’t sure which holiday they celebrate, just try not to be too specific with your goodies. If you do know, it might be a great learning opportunity for your family to research how other religions and cultures celebrate their holidays or how they show gratitude. Maybe include a drawing of what your children have learned about the neighbor’s culture or religion. Here are some ideas and recipes for Jewish holidays!

Bring Holiday Cheer to Your Neighbors

Finding a random bag of goodies on your doorstep might be confusing so make sure to include an explanation sheet that says “You’ve Been Jingled” at the top. You could print it on fancy paper, or make a handwritten note. It should also wish them happy holidays and explain that they are invited to pay the act of kindness forward by bringing jingle joy to two more neighbors. You should include a sign that says “We’ve Been Jingled” for them to display on their front door letting others know that they should not be delivered to again. They will also need to make two copies of the instruction sheets and the “We’ve Been Jingled” signs.

Jingle Delivery

This may be the best part for your little ones! They’ll need to scope out the neighbor’s house to make sure that they’re home but not near the door. You could also deliver when they’re not home but you have to make sure they’ll be home in time to bring in the bins before it freezes or gets wet from the elements. You’ll want to start the deliveries at the first of the month before folks start going out of town. When the coast is clear, have your child hang the goody basket on the door handle or set the bin somewhere safe. Quickly ring the doorbell and run for it! In this day and age of Ring doorbells, I’ve had my kids wear skis masks to hide their identity!!

Watch The Jingle Joy Spread

Once you’ve delivered your “You’ve Been Jingled” bins, the kids will have to wait patiently to see who will be the first to pay-it-forward! A fun activity will be to walk about and search for “We’ve Been Jingled” signs throughout the neighborhood. They won’t all appear at once so you can search several times a week.

Don’t forget the houses without children. Adults need cheering up just as much as everyone else! You can tailor the goody baskets towards the individual. You can even help move the process along by preparing the extra signs and sheets for your recipient. Two is a minimum so if you want to deliver more than two “You’ve Been Jingled” bins, go for it! You’ll have a better chance of the pay-it-forward continuing on!

If you don’t live in a neighborhood that is conducive to this type of activity (no other kids, houses too far apart, etc) you can easily adapt this to other social networks. You could do a sports team, a classroom, a friend group, etc. Just be sure to explain exactly who is included in the instructions.

“You’ve Been Jingled” may just be the new holiday tradition your neighborhood needs. If you start early enough, the whole neighborhood will have been jingled with a surprise delivery of special treats and gifts right to their doorstep. Go brighten someone’s day and let your children experience the joy of sharing kindness.

You've Been Jingled

Click here if you’re looking for other activities and events this holiday season. And check out our article on holiday volunteer opportunities for families!

2 thoughts on “You’ve Been Jingled | Teach Generosity With A Creative Pay-It-Forward Holiday Tradition”

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  2. Pingback: 50 St. Patrick's Day Activities For Kids | Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Home

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