RACK 2012 & A DIY Advent Calendar

I’ve had several messages asking if I would mind sharing my RACK ideas for this holiday season, so I thought I’d share it here incase anyone else is interested.  I surely didn’t invent the idea of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, but I LOVE it.  I found most of my ideas for this year’s activities from the precious blog, Lil Light O’Mine.  If you want to read more about RACK’ing, you can check out what we did last year.

First up, I knew I wanted an advent calendar to keep myself organized this year, so I headed to Hobby Lobby to find some inspiration.  A few tiny little red clothespins and some red & white twine inspired me to make this as simple as possible. 


Everything I used was found at the Lob in the scrapbook/stamp section.  I made the little rosettes out of leftover leopard print fabric I had hanging around from another project.  Here’s what you’ll need:

*1 pkg. of Mini Craft Sacks {25 per pack…2.5”x4”}…$2.99

*1 pkg. Blank Tags {25 per pack…2”x2”}…$1.99

*1 pkg. mini clothespins {25 per pack}…$1.99

*Red & White twine…$4.99

*Vinyl {for the numbers} or # stickers

*Fabric {of your choice}…or anything else you can think of to fancy it up!


I used my Silhouette to cut the numbers {vinyl} to fit inside the tags}.  The font I used was “Century”…LOVE the way those numbers look!  So simple & sweet!  Then I adhered the tags to the front of the little sack.  You could also cut the circles out with a 2” paper punch OR with your Silhouette.  I made tiny rosettes with my leopard print fabric and adhered that to the top of the tag.  Then I just clothespinned the sacks to the line o’twine!  SUPER easy and SIMPLE!!!  And I love the way it looks over my window :)


The little sacks are the *perfect* size to fit all my little advent/RACK cards.  I created a set of little cards to fit inside and each card contains both a family Christmas activity and a {not-so} Random Act of Christmas Kindness.  I wanted it all in one little spot to make things as simple as possible!!!

advent3a  advent4

Here’s a closer look at what we’re doing this holiday season. 


The top part of the card is our family activity and the bottom is our RACK for the day.  I can’t tell you how powerful RACK’ing was for my family last year.  My boys will NEVER forget the sweet lady who teared up when she caught us putting a candy cane blessing on her windshield.  Mr. Spouse & I will never forget the look on our server’s face when we handed him our Christmas tip and explained why we want to pay it forward. {If you want to know more about that, you can read about it HERE}.  There is no greater blessing than being able to bless others with kindness and this will definitely be a tradition we continue for years to come.  Such a blessing to spread God’s love and keep the TRUE meaning of the season at the forefront! 

If you’re looking for more RACK’ing ideas, you can check out my Serving Others Pinterest board.

If you’re looking for more Christmas advent family activities, check out my Deck the Halls Pinterest board.

Happy RACK’ing to you, sweet friends!!!  Hope your holiday season is filled with more blessings than you can count!!!!


  1. Cara, I love this idea of sharing God's love with others, paying it forward, and teaching our own children about this through actions!! Thanks for sharing, it is PRICELESS!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized

  2. Mrs. Carroll,
    I think you're the best. This is a fantastic idea. My kids are grown but when they return from college we will be doing a RACK for the 10 days before Christmas. You are a great inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Wow. This is inspiring! I can't wait to have children and start these meaningful and FUN traditions with them. Absolutely love it!

  4. Love this! I like how the advent calendar is activities, not chocolate or things that are received. My boys are a bit young (2 and 8 mo) to appreciate this yet, but I will be definitely doing this next year!

    What i have learned

  5. So stinkin' creative. I love it. You should have an ETSY shop!

    You Might Be a First Grader...

  6. Cara,
    I just had to blog about your idea. It is so a terrific! Check out what I had to say.
    Claire :)

  7. Oh Cara, This is BEAUTIFUL! I absolutely love it.You are so inspirational.
    Thank you

    First Grade Fun with Mrs. Dunn

  8. Thanks for all the heart-warming ideas! I am going to try a few of them with my class. And of course your advent calendar is beautiful. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  9. What a wonderful idea, Cara. Thanks for sharing this. You are so crafty!

    Mrs. Wheeler’s First Grade
    Mrs. Wheeler TpT

  10. This is so inspiring Cara! I learn so much from you, in teaching and beyond...thank you!

  11. I am doing the same thing with my little girl this year! I absolutely love your RACK cards! I made an Advent calendar similar to yours this year{we must've had the same inspiration!} Here's mine!: http://rowdyinroom300.blogspot.com/2012/11/diy-advent-calendar.html
    Rowdy in Room 300

  12. Cara, I love, love your advent calendar {and all your RACK ideas!} I would love to start this tradition when I have children :) For now, I will try a few with my students!!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  13. Wow! I love all your RACKing ideas! Some of these are so easy to do yet are so thoughtful! I'm going to take some more time to do this during the holiday season!

  14. When I grow up I want to be like Cara Carroll! (Said this 45 year old woman!) You're the epitome of excellence in life ~ whether it's teaching or being a mom and wife. Keep up the inspiration and example to all of us! :)

  15. Wow! This is wonderful! I love your advent calendar, and I am so in love with your RACK idea. I am going to do this with my family, and as "Mrs. Cupcake" wrote, I'm going to do this with my first graders. It's never too late to start.

  16. I fell in LOVE with this idea when I saw your post last year. I RACKEed with my class last year and plan on doing it again this year!!


  17. I LOVE this so much!!!! Thanks for sharing your idea!

    First Grade Fanatic!

  18. You're are such an inspiration. I did this last year with my kids my all time favorite was putting candy canes on peoples car windows at Walmart. I have already started doing it today with my kids. Today we bought a candy bar for the checkout lady. You could tell it brightened her day. Thank You so much for such inspirational ideas. I plan on doing it every year with my kids now!ஐRikki

    The Hive

  19. This is so, so cute and easy! This is our first year making our own--but it's not nearly as fancy! Good ideas for something cute next year. :)

    the Reverie blog

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  21. That is beautiful. You gave me a way to redo my bucketfillers wall. Those little sacks lamented with the numbers are perfect.

  22. That is beautiful. You gave me a way to redo my bucketfillers wall. Those little sacks lamented with the numbers are perfect.

  23. Cara,
    would you be willing to put these in a document or pdf form for those of not as creative ;) to print off and use as well? I would LOVE to do something like this with my boys!!

  24. p.s. my email address is: rachelkelder@gmail.com

  25. Thank you Sweet Cara for helping us to remember that Christmas is about giving and looking at all of the ways God has blessed each one of us.

    You are such an inspiration. You are all heart and I am blessed by you daily. =)

    Heather's Heart

  26. I would love a printable copy of your RACK cards. I LOVE THEM! Are you going to make these available? You are such an adorable mo and an inspiration for all!

  27. I love your adorable Advent calendar!! Totally inspired me to make a classroom jobs board using some colorful twine that I bought and had no clue what to do with!! You are so creative!!

    Lessons with Laughter