So, here we are at December 5th – quite late in the evening where I am I might add! And today, like most days I have been flat out, ‘getting things done’. I had both my little ones home with me today, and we were busy – right from the crack of dawn when my smallest decided to rise and (noisily) shine.
We had breakfast, we hung out Christmas lights in the front yard, we baked Christmas cookies, we watched The Incredibles (again 🙄), we did washing, we ate, we cleaned. You get the picture. And while I was busy doing all of this, at the back of my mind I have the nagging thought that Christmas is rapidly approaching – less than 3 weeks away – and I feel as ill-prepared as ever.
Despite the mad rush that I know is coming (I do the same thing every freaking year!), I am so excited about Christmas this year. My parents have decided to hold their annual festive celebrations on Christmas Eve for the first time, which means we won’t have to run between events like we usually do 🙌. It is also the first year that Evie is really ALL OVER this Christmas caper. She is excited about the presents, celebrating with her cousins, all the bright and shiny decorations, eating (and preparing) yummy food – the whole thing.
But with all the glitz and glamour that Christmas brings, I have been cautious about her becoming too occupied with all the ‘getting’ at Christmas and not enough about the ‘giving’. It is completely understandable that at just less than 4 years of age, when you ask her what she loves most about Christmas, she says ‘the presents’. And while I absolutely love this excitement and enthusiasm, I do want to instil in her from an early age the understanding that Christmas is actually about the joy you receive from giving and being kind to others.
So there I was troubling myself thinking of all the ways I might get Evelyn to actively participate in Christmas giving and kindness, when I came to the somewhat inconvenient realisation that there is not a great deal that I do in this space that I could even model for her!
Aaaaand THUD! I smacked my head as I tumbled off my pedastal.
Yes, we sponsor a child and donate to a handful of charities, but really at the end of the day, I could not think of anything concrete and tangible that I could honestly say to Evelyn, ‘now THIS is what Christmas is about’. And while that is not ideal for Evelyn, it is also pretty damn average for me, as it means I am failing to live the values that I wish to impart on my children. Bad Mother!! Bad HUMAN!?! Fortunately, the first step to change is realising that there is one to be made, and this was certainly a gentle nudge in the right direction.
So where to begin? In addition to your more traditional tokens of giving, I love the idea of ‘random’ acts of kindness, as it highlights the fact that kindness can come in even the smallest gesture. And let’s be honest, for those of you who know me personally, I am the Queen of Random – so a quirky little ‘what the heck?!’ style of giving is right up my street.
With that in mind, I spent a little bit of time thinking about a few small things that I could do over the remainder of the festive period that focus on the joy of giving, of connecting and sharing with people I love, as well as offering somewhat ‘random’ acts of kindness.
Ever the Risk Consultant, I didn’t want to overcommit, and so instead focussed on only a handful of things that I knew I would be able to do in the coming weeks.
My planned acts of kindness really are a mixed bag – ranging from some more meaningful and sentimental ideas – connecting with an old friend, writing to thank someone who helps me; right through to the downright random – paying for someone’s coffee, paying for someone’s drive thru meal, dropping off some cold drinks to hot workers (and the less attractive ones too, I suppose.) I kid, I kid. Rob – stop reading now.😁😁😁 We are talking about the crazy Perth summer here in case any confusion remains! 😄
I have made this little card template (which you can download here) for some of those more random ideas – to make things less confusing and more enjoyable for those on the receiving end! The idea is that people may receive their free coffee, or cheeseburger, or vending machine change and when gifted the card, shake off the random dust and be inspired to engage in their own random act of Christmas kindness.
The cards may also be useful in case I need to whip something out when Security come to see why I am loitering around vending machines or parking meters – ‘I’m just trying to be kind, dammit!’
So despite the eclectic mix of ideas, I really am confident I can knock these off, and of course my little pint size wing-girl will be right there with me, hopefully taking in a thing or two, which in turn she will be able to teach her little sister.
There are of course, SO MANY different things you could do over Christmas to demonstrate the joy of giving, and I am sure as the years go on this list will evolve, as I am hoping this is the start of a new tradition for us as a family.
If you decide to partake in your own random kindness I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you! Maybe you could tag me in any pictures of your escapades, or of you using the little random kindness calling card 😄. I will be posting my more random adventures on my Instastories so be sure to keep an eye out!
And if you do get bothered by Security wondering why you are doing loops of the drive through, or wandering onto constructions sites without steel caps and a hard hat – just tell them Tam sent you! And wish them a MERRY CHRISTMAS!