Meaningful Christmas: The alternative advent calendar we should all take part in this December
December, to many of us, especially when we have children, is pretty much the most expensive time a year.
It can be all too easy to get caught up the buying frenzy, feeling like we have to buy the biggest, most amazing presents, getting roped in by crazy Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales, buying, buying, buying just to make sure we are keeping up with the Jones' and everyone else on the street too.
Many of us are also doing the tradition of advent calendars – counting down the days from December starts until Christmas rolls around. And although the idea in itself is sweet, it means that advent now too, the whole month of December, can turn into a bit of a consumerist gift- and chocolate galore.
Which is why we love this alternative advent calendar the Church of Sweden recently shared on their Facebook page. It turns advent into a time of kindness and care – which, really, when you think about it, is what it should be all about, after all. And don't worry – as most of you are not fluent in Swedish, we have shared the translation below the image:
Dec 1st: Hold open the door for someone.
Dec 2nd: Write an encouraging comment to someone online.
Dec 3rd: Light a candle and pray for someone going through a hard time.
Dec 4th: Say 'thank you' at least five times.
Dec 5th: Ask someone how they are.
Dec 6th: To a clean-out and pass something on to someone who needs it more.
Dec 7th: Listen properly and let a whole conversation be about someone else than you.
Dec 8th: Let someone get ahead of you in a line.
Dec 9th: Ask someone in for a gingerbreak cookie.
Dec 10th: Find out something about this year's winner of the Nobel Peace Price (which is always awared on December 10th).
Dec 11th: Tell someone what you admire about them.
Dec 12th: Write yourself a note with this reminder: 'You are valuable' and stick it somewhere visible.
Dec 13th: It's St. Lucia Day. Find out how you can light up a child's life more – especially someone who really needs it.
Dec 14th: Send a Christmas card to someone who is lonely.
Dec 15th: try to appreciate things you take for granted more.
Dec 16th: Make contact with someone you haven't spoke to in a while.
Dec 17th: Send 3 texts that are filled with love.
Dec 18th: Pray for someone who has had to escape their homes because of war.
Dec 19th: Cycle, walk or take the bus instead of getting in your car.
Dec 20th: Pick up rubbish and throw it in the nearest bin.
Dec 21st: Eat something vegetarian today.
Dec 22nd: Have patience and don't let stress consume you.
Dec 23rd: Leave a Christmas present, homemade if possible, in a public place with a note that says: "For you."
Dec 24th: Enjoy the magic of Christmas, and remember; one child can change the world.