Hi Loves, 

Merry Christmas!  I hope this holiday season has left your heart overflowing with love after time spent with family and friends. 

I think as we get older the meaning of Christmas becomes so much more apparent.  The gifts are no longer wish lists of materialistic things.  They are now more about connections with others and appreciation for time spent together.  That’s where my mindset is as I grow older each Christmas.  

With this new season of life (and decade), I’ve noticed that the word “kindness” keeps creeping into my vocabulary.  Maybe it is my word of the year, or maybe my heart tugs at my consciousness watching the homeless community in my area.  I think about the little things I take for granted like a warm bed when I see people sleeping in sleeping bags on the cement in nearby parking lots.  Life can be so hard and kindness matters.

Being kind is so often said.  However, it is an action.  I kept milling around the idea of how can I keep myself accountable.  I googled kindness calendars.  There are a ton of them online for December.  I played with the idea of making my own.  Then it occurred to me as I walked through Target that the pre-made Advent calendars would do the trick.  All I needed was paper to write my ideas on and tuck them into the individual pockets.

Although Advent calendars are traditionally executed in December, I believe this is something that should be practiced and used all year long.  When you are battling anxiety or stress, you will feel so much better shifting your thoughts to helping others.  I heard a person say one time, “if you are that stressed out, you need to help or serve someone else and stop focusing so much on yourself.”  Harsh but true.  

So here is my little DIY kindness calendar.  I like the simplicity of the black and white Hearth and Hand Advent by the Magnolia collection. I kept thinking about what I could use to cover the “Merry Christmas” stitched in the cloth for the month of January.  It occurred to me to print a horizontal 8×10 photograph and pin it to the cloth covering the out-of-season stitched title.  Yes I know that each month has more than 25 days.  You can solve that issue by doubling up tags or tasks in the pocket for the number of days in that month. 

Each tag has one act of kindness written on it.  The tags can be found at Hobby Lobby, Walmart or even Target in the office supply section.  However, post-it notes would work.

I used a felt holly marker to move along the calendar so I could keep track of where I was.  You can use the date as your guide or move a piece of candy for each act of kindness you do.

Placement of the calendar in your home is key.  Our apartment door is magnetic.  I placed a magnetic hook and the calendar is visible each time we walk out our apartment door. It’s a daily reminder to go out of your way for others.

In creating the list, I picked things I could do.  No point of saying you will watch someone’s kids for them when you don’t have anyone with children in your life.  You might need to reword it to say watch someone’s pet.  As you are together with family, ask them what they do to show kindness.  The answers are perfect for tags on your calendar.  Take it a step further by having family or friends write in their own handwriting things you could help them with or ways to demonstrate kindness.  My grandma wrote some of my tags.  Her handwriting is everything to me. 

Here’s my simple list of kindness ideas.  As I evolve, the list may change or some of it may stay the same, depending on the need.  The purpose is to hold myself accountable, not as an extra to-do on my list each day: 

  • Clean up someone else’s mess
  • Listen – stop interrupting
  • Allow someone to merge in traffic
  • Put your phone away in the company of others
  • Tell 5 people today to have a great day
  • Compliment the first person you see today
  • Pick up litter
  • Give someone a book that changed your life
  • Donate scarves/blankets around your city
  • Leave 10 positive comments on social media
  • Take your grocery cart back to the store once you are done
  • Bring coffee to a co-worker
  • Hold an elevator or door for someone
  • Do not complain about anything for the entire day
  • Donate food, money or books
  • Ask the person who is serving you how their day is going
  • Write or send a thank you note to someone
  • Share your resources with others – you are a wealth of knowledge
  • Let someone ahead of you in line
  • Venmo a family member money for a coffee or a movie
  • Write some positive affirmations for yourself
  • Babysit for friends and family — for free 
  • Leave $2 taped to a vending machine for the next person
  • Make brownies or cookies for a neighbor/friend/family member
  • Reflect and record how much joy this season has brought you

Even though I love this DIY and I think it’s super cute — it’s not necessary.  You can write down each one of these points in your phone or a calendar and do the same thing.  This post and DIY is 100% about spreading kindness – not creating an advent for you to participate with.  It’s more of a clever way to keep you on track.

Oftentimes we forget that the small actions can mean so much to others.  So go out of your way to do something kind for someone else.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Spread kindness around like glitter, and most importantly BE KIND TO YOURSELF. 

See you here at the same time, same place next week. 

Until then remember your energy is your greatest currency.  Let kindness be that energy.



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