Ah, December. You’ve arrived – and super fast. It feels like my summer beach vacation and Labor Day were just last week. How can it be December already?!
December always brings a “romantic” vision of beautiful snow, cold, but not freezing, weather, and Christmas. Snow is only ever beautiful, in my opinion, when it’s freshly fallen and untouched. Then it quickly becomes slushy and dirty and nasty. I also despise cold/freezing weather. I belong in the South along the coast, somewhere. One of my guilty pleasure TV shows is Hart of Dixie, which I watch and re-watch on Netflix a couple times each year. I long to live in a small southern town like the fictional town of Bluebell.
Anyway, it’s December. Today starts Advent – the excitement and expectation of the birth of Jesus. There are many different kinds of Advent calendars out there. Aldi has a wine Advent calendar, but you can only buy it in England. There are Advent calendars filled with chocolate. Focus on the Family and LifeWay each put a free one for families on their websites. I’ve seen all kinds of Advent calendars. Recently, I came across this really cool calendar on Facebook. Courtesy of Action for Happiness, you can download & save this calendar here.
This isn’t so much of an Advent Calendar, but I love that it’s a Kindness Calendar. December, Advent, Christmas time is supposed to be about hope, peace, joy, & love. Yet, as we’re going through the hustle & bustle of this very busy season, we don’t see much kindness. I love some of the suggestions on this calendar – things like turn off all digital devices and really listen to other people.
When was the last time you went out to lunch or dinner with a friend and didn’t get your phone out (or tablet or whatever digital device you use)? This past Monday, when my husband and I met our friends for trivia, my phone was somehow left in the car. I enjoyed talking with my friend about the recent trip to Europe that she and her husband took. It was neat to sit and talk and really listen (and now I really miss Salzburg). I didn’t miss my phone.
Another suggestion on this calendar is to give compliments and another is to offer hugs. Don’t force a hug, but offer a hug. Compliments- those things can make my day! How hard is it to do that? What I see through this calendar is not just kindness, but positivity. Some of these things are what we should strive to do every day. Jesus told us to treat others the way we want to be treated. He told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. He even told us to pray for our enemies. As we go through this Christmas season, try using this calendar and incorporating it into the ordinary pieces of your life. Remember those 3 things that Jesus told us as you go through this calendar of kindness.
As the theme from the book Wonder tells us, “Choose kind”. It’s really not that hard.