Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Seasonal Kindness--A Collection of Great Ideas

It seems like everyone writes about kindness this time of year. I've been wondering about re-playing some of these ideas in February or March, when people are just plain tired of winter.

However, it is December and not March, so for now I will simply share some of the wonderful ideas I've come across recently.

A colleague of mine shared this website with me recently on which there is an assortment on different kindness ideas to be added to an advent calendar. Some ideas include donating winter coats and baking cookies for neighbours. The free printables can be found here:

Cookie recipes:
 If those ideas seem a little too ambitious at this busy time of year, this calendar, available as an advent calendar and a kindness calendar for those who don't celebrate Christmas, has some simpler, but still meaningful ideas

Another simple idea is to keep items handy to give to homeless / needy people as you encounter them in your travels. Bus tickets, subway tokens, and coffee shop gift cards fit nicely into any purse or backpack. Blankets, hats and mitts can be packed in the car. Taking time to look at and talk to the recipients can also make a huge difference.

Many food banks, soup kitchens and shelters are inundated at this time by seasonal well-wishers who tend to disappear after the holiday rush. Making a plan to help year-round is much more helpful in most cases.

An idea for the adults that can save lives is to give blood over the holiday season. This is a simple gift that costs nothing, and many are able to do.

If you know of someone for whom the holidays will be difficult due to loss of a loved one, divorce, illness etc., spending time with them doing something fun and not necessarily holiday related can help them get through the season. Often those who need it the most are the ones who fall off of the radar--this is the time to search them out and be there for them. Along similar lines, seniors' residences and hospitals often welcome volunteers to come in and visit and/or read to their residents.

The celebration of "Twelfth Night" can be a good time to consider some of these ideas as well, since the pressures of the season will have passed, and (perhaps) a little more time is available.