It’s getting closer and closer to the 1st December which means only one thing; advent is just around the corner. Now I’m sure most people, myself included, have those chocolate filled calendars at the ready but what if I said I had a calendar that is way better than the £10 Lindt one? Kindness costs nothing but is so much more fulfilling to do for advent rather than eating chocolate (although definitely eat chocolate too) so I’ve put together this alternative advent calendar in the hope it inspires people to be more kind. So here is a list of 25 different things or random acts of kindness to carry out this advent. There are no rules for this and no order, I figured a list would be easier than having to do things on a particular date. You can print off the list or write them pieces of cut up paper and pick out our of a jar every day. It’s totally up to you!
The Kindness Advent Calendar
Share this with someone kind
The more of us who can take part the further the kindness will reach.
NSPCC Letter from Santa
Every year the NSPCC team up with the big guy to help keep the magic of Christmas alive for children across the UK. For a £5 donation, your child will receive a personalised letter from Father Christmas himself and the donation will help the NSPCC keep children safe.
Sign up to Perfect Strangers
I recently discovered this project on Instagram and instantly fell in love with the whole concept of it. The idea is you sign up, they paid you with a stranger from anywhere around the world (or you can opt to be paired with someone from your country if you like) and you make up a parcel full of your favourite things and send it to them and make a friend! I love love love this idea so much and I am so excited to join in!
Send a gift to a woman or a child in a refuge this Christmas
Refuge is a charity for women and children escaping domestic violence. Christmas without a home can be distressing enough, especially for children but often that is the price to pay for safety for some Mums and her little ones. Why not help a smile on someones face this Christmas by providing gifts for those women and children. For a while now, Refuge has run a Gift List Appeal to make sure every woman and child they look after receive a gift this Christmas. They have a gift list online with items such as lipsticks, a winter hats, a bath toy, a winter coat, teddy bear, body lotion, train set, etc which you can buy for a woman or children to open this Christmas.
Leave a note in a library book
Write a kind note on a post-it and stick it inside a library book ready for the next reader to find.
Support a small independent business
It’s easy to get swept up in sales and deals big brands dish out around Christmas time but consider buying even just one of your gifts from a small business. You’ll be helping puts someone’s Christmas dinner on the tables or a present under the tree for their child too.
Some of my favourite independent shops are:
Delilah Darling – Laura makes some beautiful hand knitted and vintage-inspired children’s clothes including the most beautiful popcorn bonnets. I have put in an order for one for Lily and I cannot wait!
Play Hooray – Claire is the bible of play. Her ideas and playPROMPTS are fantastic for getting involved in fun play activites with your kids. Her playPROMPT cards would be a brillaint gift for any parent!
Flora Fairweather – Hollie makes the most beautiful crocheted pom-pom blankets as well as various crocheted and knitted items all in such lovely colours!
I Can Cards – Amy sells self-esteem in the form of affirmation cards for children, single parents, warrior women as well as ones aimed at those with anxiety or depression. These little cards of positivity are uplifting reminders that however much self-doubt makes you think you cannot achieve something – you can.
Mutha.Hood – Home of #StrongGirlsClub with products that scream girl power! I love everything this shop has to offer, especially the Strong Girl Club tees!
Ashton Confectionery – Maria makes amazing fudge (including candy cane which is amazing and Biscoff which looks equally as amazing!) and a wide range of handcrafted chocolates which would make amazing stocking fillers!
Send a Goodie Box to a soldier
Support Our Soldiers organise a yearly Christmas Goodie Box Appeal where you fill a sturdy shoebox full of Christmas goodies for one of our soldiers to enjoy along with a card or a letter. This is a great way to boost morale and just to give back in any small way we can for those out there fighting for us.
Remember to take reusable bags when you go shopping
It’s easy to forget bags but taking your own or even opting for a cloth or recyclable bag if you forget yours is a better option than sending more plastic ones to a landfill. If you already use your own bags then how about choosing an item with cardboard packaging over plastic? Every little helps.
Plant a tree
With the amount of deforestation happening around the world we could end up with no forests by the time the next century turns which is shocking. Planting a tree is one of the kindest things you can do for the world.
Have a toy cull and donate any unwanted things to charity
Everyone has a pre-Christmas toy cull, don’t they? If you don’t then you definitely need to or your house will more than likely end up looking like a Toys r us threw up everywhere. Collect anything not played with, outgrown, etc and donate it to a local charity shop, doctors surgery or hospital.
Buy a homeless person a warm meal
Whether you can afford a Greggs sausage roll and a cup of tea or a 3-course meal, offering what you can to someone less fortunate is about as kind as kind gets.
Pay it forward
Whether it’s paying for a strangers cup of coffee or their whole food shop. Kindness goes a long way.
Pick up litter
If you can’t be kind to the only home we have then who can you be kind to? Picking up even just one piece of litter you spot on the way home every day will help more than you may think.
Make or donate baby clothes to your local hospital
When Eloise was born she was a lot smaller than I expected and we ended up having to borrow some tiny premature sized clothes and hats from the SCBU. If it wasn’t for those donations she would have been in sleepsuits that drowned her. If you can crochet or knit then even just making some little hats for your local SCBU will help tremendously and keep a little head nice and warm. If you’re making hats yourself, be sure to make ones smaller than you think you need, often these are the sizes that hospitals are in shortage of. It’s also worth checking ahead with your hospital if they are looking for donations first but there will always be one that is in need.
Feed the birds
As the weather is getting colder it’s not just us that feel the cold, our feathered friends do too. Giving them something to eat will help keep them nice and warm and give them the energy to survive the winter.
Learn simple greetings in Sign Language
So many people are interested when it comes to learning different spoken languages and BSL is often sidelined a bit. It takes a few minutes to learn a sign and the difference could be that you can communicate with someone who would often be left out of conversations. Even learning the alphabet would mean you could communicate to someone who is deaf or HoH through finger spelling.
Donate to your local food bank
Don’t worry if you can’t afford to buy much, Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone but even a tin of beans will help. Lots of families who need to turn to food banks at Christmas are those with kids so a chocolate reindeer, a selection box or other festive treats may be the only one a child receives this Christmas. It may also be worth checking with your local food bank to ask what items they are in need of at the moment because it can vary so much but generally, any non-perishable foods are great as well as sanitary products, nappies and toiletries.
Instagram kindness bomb
Take time out to comment something nice on a bunch of Instagram accounts. Whether you know the person or they are a complete stranger, a kind word can make such a difference.
Share a quote about kindness on social media
Choose a quote about kindness that really inspires you and post it online.
Say thank you to your Postie with a card or a gift
The Royal Mail are cracking people, they ensure that our post is delivered safely every day and probably deliver a good percentage of our Christmas gifts so why no show your local postie how much you appreciate them with a card or gift this Christmas.
Leave an eco-friendly shopping bag in a trolley
Grab a fabric or other eco-friendly bag in the trolley at a supermarket and leave a note to say it’s free to take and save some plastic from the ocean.
Smile at strangers
The hustle and bustle of the days leading up to Christmas can leave many of us feeling short-fused and the sheer amount of people piling into shops to get any last minute bits and pieces can lead to frustration. A few friendly smiles can melt even a heart frozen by Elsa herself.
Donate some pet food to an animal shelter
There are loads of pet rescue places dotted about the UK who would be more than grateful to receive a donation of food for the animals they keep there. Even things like old quilts and blankets will be useful and loved by various animals.
Check in with an elderly neighbour
Quite often, Christmas can be very lonely for a lot of our elderly, especially those who live alone. Taking time to pop round to say Merry Christmas or to have a cuppa could make someone’s day. Even just putting a letter or card through the door with your phone number should they need anything can be enough to put a smile on their face. Do be aware that some elderly people are quite nervous about opening the door to strangers so maybe dropping a letter through the door saying you’ll stop by on X date at X time would be a good idea if they’re on their own or particularly nervous.
Write a gratitude list
Write a list of everything and everyone you’re grateful for. It’s easy to concentrate on all the shitty things and we often overlook the amazing things in life.
Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day.
I hope you enjoy injecting so much needed kindness into the world!
Click here to print my Kindness Advent Calendar