As the calendar rolls over into December it brings forth the usual gasps that it’s only 24 days to Christmas Eve. There are so many expectations at this time of year and often the pressure of living up to all these expectations can cause a lot of stress for many people. We all get caught up in the perfect gift, the right outfit for the office party, the ultimate front door decoration or family events. Add to that the cost of the holidays, in an economic environment like we have right now, and it can all lead to a level of anxiety that seems disproportionate for a Christian event celebrating the birth of a savour child. The hype and commercialism of Christmas has become so much larger than why there is a holiday. It becomes even harder if one is isolated or grieving or financially burdened.
I saw this list last year and thought that it had a lot of merit but to remember it among the to do list seems difficult. I obviously needed to print it off and remind myself regularly about the importance of being present and giving love and light. Somehow it seems like a great concept but I struggled with the reality of how to transport it into actions.
Then today I caught sight of this link on my English cousin’s feed today when she shared this link. The blog is called Make Today Happy and the link will take you through to her site and today she has posted a free download advent calendar. It is a free download for an advent calendar of a different sort. Pop on over and grab your Advent Calendar Link here.
Today’s action is to share it forward so that more people can focus on #kindnessadventcalendar and #ChristmasKindness. The plan is to create a kindness ripple effect in your own community and so that is my plan for the next 24 days.
Our kids used to love pulling the chocolate out of our advent calendar although occasionally it caused fights when they were younger. As they aged they would often forget in the rush of handbell concerts, field trips and sports. They remember the concept though and this year Alyssa bought her dad a beer advent calendar for his birthday. Well minus the expensive box for it — just 24 beer in boxes. But that works. Beats the heck, cost wise, out of the scotch advent calendar that suggested I get Ron.
For sure I will still buy presents, bake cookies and attend parties. But I have a great plan for donating food as a friend has a refuge family from the Congo that needs help ( want info? contact me for details) so I’m creating a garden parcel complete with recipes for that day. I’ve got ideas for the some of the kindness ones. I will, for sure, be blogging about the impact on myself and perhaps others.
This is a great twist to the holidays; a chance to pay forward and make tiny changes in our daily lives to make the day special for others. It’s time to share our blessings. Although you could probably still grab a chocolate from our traditional advent calendar.