Agnostic Humanist In The South

Spreading Joy

I have been trying to talk to the kids about the idea of Spreading Joy in their lives. I like to imagine that this would be the equivalent of Sunday school at church. We talk about how important it is to Spread Joy and not negativity and how that chain reaction can create MORE joy in their community. After school I ask them if they did anything to spread joy in their day and it can be anything from helping another student or sitting with someone new or even just making someone laugh. We had a FREE! Spreading Joy lemonade stand in our front yard. We are basically just trying to keep this as a general theme in our lives and we’ve decided to expand this to a holiday theme. So! The kids and I are sending homemade care packages to people who need some joy in their lives. We asked for suggestions first on Facebook but if we get caught up with those names we may ask you guys! It takes us awhile to make the items that go in there, we haven’t even put together our first one yet, but I’m really hoping this is well-received.


We’re making clay ornaments and drawings and things called “Joy Cards” where we do zendoodles around the word JOY. I wanted to try to find something like a giftcard for a free Redbox rental, but there’s really no way for us to do something like that for less than $5. I don’t really have the funding to spend money on this, we’re hoping that just the creative spirit in each item in the package will be enough to make the person on the other end smile.


But if you can help us think of anything else to do/add, please let me know! I really want the kids to do the majority of the packages, but I am working on the projects with them so there will probably be one piece in each one from me.

What do you think? Do you have any other ideas of things the kids could make? I was thinking about pipe cleaner ornaments, something light for shipping and supplies, but simple enough that the kids could do it. But I’m open to other ideas if you have any!

7 thoughts on “Spreading Joy”

  1. Could you get felt from the craft store and make ornaments? Print a star off in word – cut out the star on paper and then use it as a template to cut out a star in the felt. Then use blanket stitch (there are instructions on the web) to sew it up and stuff it with toy stuffing – add a little ribbon or something so that it can hang from the tree. I think the kids should be able to do it – sorry if it’s a rubbish suggestion lol.

  2. My son and I have really enjoyed doing shrink plastic stuff in the past. Nikki seems to enjoy drawing, so she could draw on the plastic, then you could help her shrink it in the oven. It is super cool to watch it shrink. It is very light weight. I’m not sure how much the sheets are, but you can use Sharpies and other markers so you probably have most of what you need. There are tutorials on Pinterest, just search shrink plastic or Shrinky Dinks. You could even put your Zentangles on them, punch holes in the plastic, shrink them, and make ornaments.

  3. I’m making my own geek Christmas tree ornaments this year – made my own colorless playdough/salt dough, used cookie cutters (Star Trek and Star Wars of course, but Christmas cookie cutters would be perfect for this), and baked them. They’re just waiting for some paint now. It’s all the fun of making sugar cookies, slightly less messy, and no sugar binge!

  4. What about friendship bracelets? You can get thread at the dollar store and there are a gazillion ways to braid the thread and tutorials all across the web. You could make them bracelet size or even to be placed on key chains. What a neat reminder to the recipient to spread joy!

  5. If you do want to do a $5 gift card (not sure if you wanted to hit $5 or be below $5?) Starbucks is a good option. It’s enough to get a drink with and they are everywhere.

    Maybe include alist of your family’s favorite joy filled holiday activities? Also, I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen this site, but they may have some ideas you can adapt. (They remind me of you).

  6. I think Redbox does allow you to buy codes for their red box codes and you can buy them in multiples of 5, 10, 20, or 50 (
    $1.20 each,no discount if you buy more). then you should be able to just give out the individual codes. I did this last October and then they changed how they did things in November 2013, and looks like they made a change back.

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