Introducing The Spreadable Joy Series
The Spreadable Joy Advent Calendar
Christmas. Warm coats, toasted chestnuts, fires, lights, baubles, cinnamon sticks, sugar cookies, mince pies, mulled cider, eggnog and presents. Lots and lots of presents.
Children these days can easily miss the true meaning of the festive season. Whether you do the nativity or not, the season can get overshadowed by spending and me, myself and I.
What Santa is bring me? What presents I will get? What presents do I want? Shall I buy myself a present? What Christmas treats do I want…just to name a few…
It’s true that commercialism and our culture is to blame and perhaps Christmas wouldn’t be the same without all of that, however it is important to take moment amongst the chaos and noise that goes on around us and pause. If we don’t lead by example, how will our children grow up to learn to think of others at this time too. Christmas can be a stressful time. In fact, it’s one of the most stressful times of the year. Everyone is rushing to parties, thinking about their own families and trying to fit everything in before the big day. Sometimes though, this time of year is extremely painful for some people. Some people dread this time of year. Some people need some kindness sprinkled over them at this time of year.
Where do we start?
Right here! Here at Super Simple we are starting the Spreadable Joy series. It is a monthly series that helps us (the big people) and our children (the little people), think about what kindness is and what acts of kindness we can do that month. Each post will be based around an example of what we will all try and take part in that month.
‘The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention’.
– Oscar Wilde
So how can we start this during the festive season this year?
Every child (and adult) loves an advent calendar, am I right? Whether they are, verse based, chocolate based or more extravagantly based we all look forward to 24 days of having something to open at some point in the day. So to kick off Spreadable Joy in style we are putting forward that you join with us to make a 24 days of Spreadable Joy Advent Calendar to go alongside your normal one. Whether you just do 1 week in December or all 24 days lets help make the world a better place by adding a little sprinkle of Christmas kindness wherever we can.
‘No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.’
To help you along, we have put together some ideas for you to use in yours. To make your lives that much easier, we have even made up a printable version for you to use in your advent calendar.
24 Spreadable Joy Advent Calendar ideas:
Invite a new friend round to play.
Talk to someone who looks lonely at school and include them in your play.
Walk a neighbour’s dog.
Take out your neighbour’s bins this week,
Pick up any bit of rubbish you see today.
Offer to rake the leaves in an elderly person’s garden.
Make Christmas cards and post them through everyone on your streets door.
Put an open birdhouse in your garden or balcony to give one somewhere to shelter.
Host a gingerbread man decorating party.
Buy a Christmas book, wrap it up and leave it somewhere with a note saying, Take Me, Read me, Pass me along.
Buy someone a hot drink.
Clear snow on someone else’s drive.
Give food to a food bank.
Make your teacher/person you admire a present to say thank you.
Give someone a compliment today.
Make someone laugh today.
Smile at, at least 5 people today.
Make a Christmas decoration and give it to a friend.
Make your parents or a sibling breakfast in bed.
Ring a relative you don’t speak to often.
Leave an anonymous present on someone’s doorstep.
Do a chore for Mummy or Daddy.
Give your postman a present to say thank you for working so hard.
Try really hard not to complain about anything today and think about all the things you are thankful for today.
Making a Spreadable Joy Advent Calendar.
We know as well as anyone that Christmas is a busy time of year, so we have tried to make this as easy as possible for you all to do. Today we are making an envelope bunting style advent calendar. You can make it as easy or crafty as you like or have time for. One the one hand you can simply purchase some envelopes and use whatever string and clothes pegs you have in the house or you can make your own Christmas themed envelopes with kraft paper and buy little craft pegs. You can even find fairy lights that have pegs on to light them up if you want to add some sparkle to them.
What you will need:
- Clothes pegs/little craft pegs
- String/ribbon/light clips
- Envelopes/decorated kraft paper to hand make envelopes
- Printables/pen and paper
- Glue (we used stick glue)
If you are using store-bought envelopes, then jump to Step 8.
Instructions for making a DIY heart-shaped envelope:
- Print out the envelope printable included on an A4 sheet of paper. Trace around it onto your paper of choice and cut out the heart.
- Copy on the lines on the printable.
- Placing your heart in front of you, fold the two vertical lines inward, folding on the line.
- Now turn your heart 180 degrees so it is upside down, point part at the top.
- Fold the now bottom of the envelope over on the lowest horizontal line. This closes the envelope. Using stick glue, stick the sides together.
- Fold the top, pointy part of the envelop down on the last horizontal line that you can see. This will close the envelope. Later you can tuck this part in.
- Repeat steps 1-6 until you have enough envelopes.
- Print out the Spreadable Joy kindness tasks and slot one into each of the envelopes.
- Once all tasks are in their envelopes you can start to string them up. Use a peg per envelope to string them up in a long line. Some ideas of where to hang them horizontally, over an arch, along a mantelpiece, on a wall, down the stairs. Hang them vertically down a door, or door frame.
We hope that you and your children enjoy taking part in our Spreadable Joy Advent Calendar. We would love you to document your progress and tag us on social media. We wonder how many readers across the world will be spreading some festive kindness to other fellow humans. We think there might be quite a few!
Have a wonderful festive season!
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Grace Selous Bull is an arts education author and freelance blogger. Her book, ‘Potty About Pots: arts and crafts for home and school’ is aimed at children from 5-12 years old and takes them through a journey of ceramics through time. Her blog, The Rainbow Tree, explores all aspects of arts and crafts, and is aimed at children of all ages. She is a full time Mummy of two girls, both of whom love being creative, and is married to her husband, Andrew, who does not. Follow her on twitter.
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