25 days of kindness – December 21st
December 21st is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, or in other words, winter solstice. With only 7 hours and 25 minutes of scheduled daylight here as it is, it hardly felt like the day broke at all with such low lying fog. Not to worry! Any excuse to fill my room with the flickers and fragrance of scented candles is much appreciated.
I thought I would match the shortness of the day with a brief blog post. After my failed attempt on Saturday, I successfully managed to deliver some magazines to the doctor’s surgery for anxious patients like myself to flick through in the waiting room.
So there you have it, short and sweet! I read that, like with most festivals, it is traditional at winter solstice to feast. And that is exactly what I plan to do. A cosy night in with good friends, cheesy Christmas films and even cheesier pizza!
25 days of kindness – December 20th
Three is usually a crowd, but not today.
The rough plan: a day out in my hometown to meet and old friend for a catch up and to sort out some last minute bits and bobs for Christmas.
Added bonus: the opportunity to carry out three acts of kindness that I wouldn’t normally do.
Numero uno (e due)
In light of my recent bedroom overhaul, I have a lot of books in need of a good home. My academic foreign language books are more likely to find an appreciative owner if I sell them online, but for general chick-lit novels and detective stories, Oxfam books is ideal.
However, I guessed the store’s opening time incorrectly (this seems to happen to me a little too often…), so with half an hour to kill in the damp British weather, I wandered into the nearest shopping mall. Almost immediately upon arriving I was collared by a representative for Amnesty International. Now, usually in this situation I would rattle off the unoriginal yet effective “Sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush!”, but I knew full well that this was an outright lie. So I stayed. And I listened. And I signed up. Am I in the financial position to subscribe to every charity who stops me in the street? Absolutely not, but one every now and again doesn’t hurt.
Last but not least
My wallet and load feeling somewhat lighter, I turned a corner and saw none other than a Big Issue vendor. If you read my blog yesterday, you would know that I bought the magazine when I was in Leeds, so before I had thought twice I found myself saying “Sorry mate, I’ve already got that one!” and walked away. Cursing myself for sounding so rude, I turned around and asked if I could get him a hot drink instead. “Ooh, a tea would be grand, thanks!” The man has good taste, I thought.
P.S. I am thrilled to have been nominated for a Liebster Award, so watch this space for my Liebster post and nominations!
25 days of kindness – December 5th
So far in my challenge, my acts of kindness have been aimed at specific people or causes. With that in mind, today I decided to be a little more ‘love actually’ on the cliché scale and do something completely anonymously for a total stranger.
Whilst I was in the local supermarket stocking up on emergency chocolate, I picked up a scratchcard with a top prize of £100 000. Just to clarify, I do not encourage gambling – you should only play if you can afford to lose – but I’ll occasionally slot a scratchcard inside a friend’s birthday card as an I’m-too-poor-to-buy-you-a-real-present-but-I’d-buy-you-a-big-one-if-I-could kind of gesture.
Pen and post-it note at the ready, I scribbled a short message, stuck it to the card, and posted them through the first letter box I passed.
Bizarrely, I felt myself speeding up as I walked away, as if I’d done something wrong. I know I’d be absolutely mortified if I was caught in the act, but why? Surely I should be proud to own up to my action? Then I started to panic. What if the recipient thought they were being considered a charity case and took offence? Or worse, what if they are a recovering gambling addict?!
I suppose that, even with the best will in the world, you can’t always please everyone… but it doesn’t hurt to try. At best, they could win a hefty Christmas bonus, but if nothing else, I hope it makes them smile.