Amy’s Free Ideas

Becoming a “Secret Angel” is a fun way to get your kids thinking about other people--ways to help people or to make them happy. Your kids will need some ideas to get them started, then step back and see how creative they can get! Here is how it works: everyone in the family writes their own name on a piece of paper, then folds the paper in half. Without looking, each person chooses a piece of paper with a name on it, and spends the rest of the Christmas season trying to do nice things for that person, but keeping it a secret. Then on Christmas Day, or on Christmas Eve, everyone reveals who has been doing all those nice things! Once they get the hang of it, they become addicted to the fun of doing nice things for other people.

An alternative way to do this is for each person to put a piece of hay in a manger each time they do something nice for someone else in the family. By Christmas day, everyone’s efforts will combine to make a nice bed for the baby Jesus. In this case, it doesn’t need to be a secret, and you can do nice things for anybody, not just one particular person. This method does require a nativity set with the baby that is loose from the manger, or a manger that will have a doll put in it on Christmas morning. Any box will do for this--it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you have girls, you should have any number of dolls that could be used to put in the “manger” filled with hay on Christmas morning. What to use for hay? Be creative--it can be from a left over hay bale from fall decorations, dried weeds from an empty lot, pine straw from the yard, or shredded paper.

Ideas for Preschool aged children (these children will need a lot of help, both with ideas, and with doing things...not many secrets at this age!!)

  1. 1.Do another person’s chore, such as setting the table

  2. 2.Play with a sibling

  3. 3.Help make cookies and leave them in the person’s room

  4. 4.Hide candy under a person’s pillow

  5. 5.Be quiet during a baby’s nap, or father’s nap

  6. 6.Go get father’s shoes, slippers, remote control, something to drink, etc.

Ideas for elementary aged children

For Dad:

  1. 1.Shine Dad’s shoes

  2. 2.Wash the car

  3. 3.Get newspaper from outside 

  4. 4.Pour morning coffee

For a Sibling:

4. Make another person’s bed

  1. 5.Do another person’s chore

  2. 6.Read a book to a sibling

  3. 7.Play with a younger sibling

For Mom:

  1. 8.Wash dishes or unload the dishwasher

  2. 9.Fold clothes

  3. 10.Help put up Christmas decorations

  4. 11.Take out the trash

  5. 12. tidy a room

  6. 13. vacuum a room

For anybody:

  1. 14.Make cookies and leave them in the person’s room

  2. 15.Hide candy under a person’s pillow

Ideas for pre-teens and teenagers (at this age, they usually don’t need any help, unless it is transportation because they can’t drive yet. One exception is coming up with ideas for Dads--they seem to be harder to do favors for!)

For Dad:

  1. 1.Scrape ice off the car

  2. 2.Clean the inside of the car

  3. 3.Clean the garage 

  4. 4.Buy Dad’s favorite coffee

For a Sibling:

  1. 4.Buy or make a favorite treat

  2. 5.Do another person’s chore

  3. 6.Teach a sibling how to do something

For Mom:

  1. 7.Clean the kitchen

  2. 8.Clean a bathroom

  3. 9.Clean the living room

  4. 10.Spend some time talking to her (this can be done without the mom realizing, but whether she does or not, will be especially appreciated!!)

  5. 11.

For anybody:

  1. 12.Make or buy a favorite treat and leave it in the person’s room

  2. 13.Hide notes of appreciation under a person’s pillow, etc.

Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is the time for the “Big Reveal.” There might be big surprises of who did what, or your kids might know exactly who did things for them. The important thing is to show appreciation for what has been done, and Mom and Dad can lead the way by example of being overjoyed and showering their “angel” with appreciation and praise. If siblings are not duly appreciative of the kind things that have been done for them, pull them aside and instruct them on some things they can say in gratitude. Add as much silly pomp and ceremony as possible to make this celebration fun, too.