This holiday season, many families are choosing to forego their Christmas travel plans and everyone could use a little extra cheer!
A perfect way to spread holiday cheer, while being completely socially distant, is to start the 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 everyone in the neighborhood can participate in spreading some joy because we all need it this year.
You’ve Been Jingled
You start 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. Fill the bins with holiday items and stealthily drop them off without being caught in the act. Your neighbor will be surprised and filled with joy when they see what they’ve received. Best of all, they 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 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.
Goodies for Your Jingle Bin
There are so many treat options with the end-of-year holidays! You can include food 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. Winter specific items like lip balm or tissues are always appreciated. Don’t forget the parents! Include a couple of adult beverages because all parents really deserve it this year!
Remember to be mindful of other 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.
Don’t Forget the Jingle
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” sign.
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. Before the day arrives, make sure they’re not out of town–especially important if it’s raining or snowing out, or if there are any delicate items in the bin. When the coast is clear, have your child hang the goody basket on the door handle or set it somewhere safe. Quickly ring the doorbell and run for it!!
Pro Tips for Your Jingle
Lots of children will be at home without extended family this holiday season. It may be unprecedented and parents may be looking for a distraction. A fun activity will be to walk about and search for “You’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.
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 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.