Now, I admit I’m cheating a bit this week with my Cowprint – firstly, this isn’t a photo, and secondly, it’s not even mine. But it IS the season of goodwill. Intrigued?
Thursday marked the first day of advent, the calendars flipping over to the twelfth month, the dusty decorations being hauled down from the loft. Blah blah blah – it’s the same story every year and I can never quite drag my sorry Scrooge arse fully into the spirit of things. There’s too much of some things (pressure, glutton, old habits) and too little of others (time, money, break in tradition) and each year I feel myself being swept along in an almighty wave of OTT excess.
Then I came across an advent project by my friend Lauren over at Dilan and Me, and I really, really liked it. So much so, I wanted to share it with you while there’s still plenty of time to get involved. Essentially, it’s an advent calendar based on the principle of random acts of kindness, whereby you go out of your way to do something, however big or small, for a stranger, expecting nothing in return.
It’s a brilliant way to engage your children with the concept that at Christmas, not everyone may be QUITE as fortunate as them. It’s something we’ve been trying to drum into Mouse recently with partial success: it’s a tricky thing for little minds to grasp, when they’ve (thankfully) never experienced hardship or suffering. We don’t want to traumatise her by showing her previous years’ Children in Need on a loop, but we do want to actively encourage empathy, compassion, and a sense of responsibility within our wider humanity. This calendar is the perfect vehicle to very gently introduce those things, at the same time as improving someone else’s day.
You don’t have to follow the calendar meticulously and do something every day. You don’t even need to stick to these activities. But this advent, if you could do ONE random act of kindness, then our little world will be a little happier. Social media lovers: you can follow along on Instagram and tag your images with #thejoyofbeingkind if you like.
Tomorrow’s suggested activity is to donate some food to your local food bank. Most supermarkets have collection bins exactly for this purpose, so when picking up your pint of milk or festive sarnie at lunchtime, consider wanging a box of cereal or some cans of soup in. It’s a lovely thing to do, honest.
P.S. December 20th though….no chance 😉