Once again, as the end of the year and Christmas approach, as a family we have spent time thinking about our Calendar of Goodwill. As I have mentioned previously, this is something that we started when Chief was born. We became so conscious that the Christmas season can quickly become a time to expect gifts rather than focus on the spirit of giving, and we wanted to redress the balance a little. Don’t get me wrong, like many parents I enjoy spoiling my boys within reason and seeing their faces light up when longed for toys, books or games emerge from brightly wrapped parcels tucked under the Christmas tree, but I want to instil in them a sense of balance too.
The idea is simple. During December we do a sort of reverse advent calendar, that we have called our ‘Calendar of Goodwill’. It is small gestures, either free or costing very little, that we can make together, to give back to our community, to our family and friends, and to those who have helped us during the past 12 months. Some actions are a regular feature on this calendar, and indeed are things that we do during the course of the year as well. Others are new ideas, or stem from something that has happened during the year where we wish to express gratitude to someone for their kind words, actions or for keeping us in their thoughts.
I do hope that you might be inspired this year to join in with this calendar, and if you are be sure to use the hashtag #CalendarOfGoodwill on social media so that I can be inspired by your actions too!
So, what are we up to this year…?
- Make cards for charity
- Make a meal for a friend
- Buy a suspended coffee (https://suspendedcoffees.com/)
- Take treats in to our local A&E department for the staff
- Put money in a vending machine for the next user to find
- Donate gifts to a charity to sell on
- Volunteer our time
- Leave a book in a coffee shop as a present for whomever finds it
- Give flowers to a relative
- Make Christmas boxes with gifts in for those in need
- Buy Secret Santa presents from a local business
- Make mince pies for our neighbours
- Donate food to the food bank
- Keep the bird feeders topped up with food
- Go on a community litter pick
- Make some eco friendly wrapping paper and share it with friends
- Make a card for the postman
- Surprise a member of the family with breakfast in bed
- Build a bug hotel
- Play board games with children
- Bake goodies for staff and residents at a care home
- Say thank you to someone who made a difference to us this year
- Leave a positive review of a small business you love on Google, Facebook, Etsy or a similar platform
- Chalk a happy message on the driveway
- A bonus one! – Host a Christmas meal
What would you add? Don’t forget to let me know if you take part!