A big thanks to presenter to the lovely Mark Dennison – and the BBC Radio Nottingham team – for his brilliant and entertaining chat with the children, and a big round of applause for the amazing trio – Rileyann, Jessica and Louie – for sharing their kindness experiences.
Finally a huge thanks to Mr Seeley and the teachers for embracing my Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids so warmly, and, of course, most importantly an ginormous THANK YOU to all the kind-hearted children of Edgewood School for your wonderful acts of kindness so far.
You really are AMAZING ☆
If you’re feeling inspired to join in with the Kindness Advent Calendar or the Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, you can download them both here for free.
Over the last year, I’ve been hearing from big-hearted teachers who’ve been using my monthly Kindness Calendars in their classrooms and saying how much the children enjoy following them. So I thought that this year I’d create a special Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, as well as my usual one for grown ups.
A couple of weeks ago, I contacted the headteacher at my nephews’ school – Edgewood Primary and Nursery School – to see if they’d be interested in teaming up and using my calendar in the classrooms… and received a resounding YES!
Then he invited me into the school to help launch this kindness initiative at their School Assembly on 1st December.
I haven’t spoken about kindness in front of an audience before, not counting my radio/TV interviews, but this was to be standing in front of 300 children aged between 4 and 11 years.
And I was really hoping they wouldn’t be a tough crowd 🙂
Feeling more and more nervous as the big day approached, I can honestly say that it couldn’t have gone any better – it was absolutely brilliant and my heart is fit to burst.
Headteacher Mr Seeley’s passion and enthusiasm for the school, the children, and focusing on the gift of kindness for the month of December, shines through and the school is such a friendly and welcoming place to be.
Before Assembly began, I was treated to a tour of the school, including a walk through the classrooms with some children preparing for their Christmas Faye or writing a Christmas story, while others were rehearsing for their Christmas Performance.
And then all of a sudden, it was time: I was standing in front of 300 pairs of inquisitive eyes and it was my turn to talk.
After wondering if my talk would engage the children, I was deeply heartened to see that after every single question I invited them to answer (Who likes Christmas? Who has an Advent Calendar at home? What did you get for Day 1? What is kindness to you?) a sea of hands shot up in the air, everyone eager to share their answer.
After sharing my story and introducing the Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, the headteacher and I talked about Day 1’s Kindness Act to ‘Share this Calendar with friends to spread kindness’.
This weekend, every child will go home with a copy of the weekly newsletter which includes an explanation about my Kindness Advent Calendar and has the calendar printed on the back:
And again, when asked who they can share the calendar with, a sea of hands shot up to tell us they will share it with friends, cousins, parents, aunties and uncles…
We then practiced for Day 2’s Kindness Act to ‘Smile all day’, and it was such a pleasure to see 300 big beautiful smiles and hear the chorus of hellos and consequent giggles.
I honestly couldn’t have been any happier and am excited to see how they find, and hopefully have fun with, the rest of the kindness acts on the calendar.
Then it was time for the week’s Achievers to come up to the stage and receive their Achiever Certificates and a round of applause from their peers and teachers alike.
This week’s theme being kindness, the children read out why they’d been awarded this prestigious accolade, such as being kind and caring to other children, being helpful, and having a big smile for everyone.
My smile couldn’t have got any bigger, nor my clapping any louder 🙂
The children then filed out of the hall to the tune of Heather Small’s Proud with the apt lyrics “What have you done today to make me feel proud.”.
Later that day, headteacher Mr Seeley emailed to tell me there’s a buzz going around the school about the Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids, which is just brilliant. I’m really looking forward to popping back in a couple of weeks to see how it’s all going.
And in the meantime, kindness advocates Radio Nottingham are visiting the school next week to chat to the pupils about kindness. It will be played on Mark Dennison’s morning show one day soon – I hope to post the audio here once it goes out.
Unsurprisingly, I’m now back on bed-rest with a CFS symptom flare up and need to take a few quiet days to rest, restore and recuperate from all the excitement and exertion of launching my Kindness Advent Calendars – but of course, it’s all absolutely completely worth it.
If you’d like to share my Kindness Advent Calendar for Kids with your school, you can download it here for free – just scroll past the one for grown ups! And please do let me know how it goes in the comments below, I always love to hear from you…
I’m so excited to be launching this year’s Kindness Advent Calendar on World Kindness Day(Monday 13th November).
I have to be admit, I’m still amazed at the incredible response to last year’s Kindness Advent Calendar, which has been downloaded over 500,000 times.
Please forgive me for repeating, but that’s an astonishing HALF A MILLION TIMES!!
I’m hugely grateful and excited at the thought of all the extra kindness being spread all over the world.
And it’s all thanks to lovely you, the kind folk who shared the calendar with friends, family, colleagues, on social media, and who joined in all the kindness act advent fun.
This is absolutely proof of the ripple effect of kindness and it really couldn’t have happened without you so THANK YOU.
☆ You really are amazing ☆
I know your acts of kindness make a huge difference and help to brighten others’ day. I also think that particularly during these times of trouble and turmoil, it’s a beautiful way to show there is still good in the world.
So I’d like to invite lovely you and yours to join me spreading a little kindness again this year.
For anyone new to my Kindness Advent Calendars, they work just like a normal advent calendar but instead of the usual chocolate countdown, we are embracing the true spirit of Christmas by doing 24 random acts of festive kindness.
(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click here to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)
NEW Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS
This year, I wanted to add something a little extra, and after receiving lots of requests from parents and teachers alike, and seeing how much my young nephews enjoy helping me with my kindness acts, I’ve created a special Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS to follow.
It’s such a fun and easy way for teachers and parents to get children involved in spreading a little kindness in the lead up to Christmas, and a lovely way of showing children what a positive impact they can have on the world.
I ran my calendar past a brilliantly talented teacher (thank you lovely Michelle) who gave me some helpful feedback. And I’m very excited to be teaming up with my nephews’ primary school, which should be oodles of fun.
Here’s my Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS for 2017:
If you work with children and need a non-Christmas themed Kindness Calendar, I’ve created a generic Kindness Advent Calendar for KIDS. Please click here to download.
(Please note if you subscribe to my blog and are receiving this post by email, please click here to come through to the main site and you can download it easily from there.)
I know December is an extra busy month for most of us, and we can find ourselves rushing around trying to get everything ready in time for the Christmas holiday, so I’ve made the acts on my Kindness Calendars quick, easy and cheap (well, mostly free actually). So anyone and everyone can join in.
You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, adapt the acts to suit you, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome flare ups.
But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day this month – imagine how amazing that would be!
Again, it would be really brilliant and deeply appreciated if you could share this with family, friends, work colleagues, classmates… and share all over social media. 🙂
Every single extra act of kindness counts, together we are making the world a kinder place. So let’s get as many people as we can involved.
And don’t forget to join me on my kindness community page ‘Spreading A Little Kindness’ on Facebook, and if you post about your kindness act, please use the hashtag #KindnessCalendar so we can all keep track of all the wonderful kindness we are sharing.
Wishing you a dazzling December and a fun festive season, and let’s remember to be kinder to ourselves as well, we are definitely worth it!
Thank you so much for spreading a little more kindness.
p.s. I’d love to hear about your kindness experiences in the comments below…
Media Support for my Kindness Advent Calendars:
☆ My local newspaper featured a teaser for my Kindness Advent Calendars. You can read about it here.
☆ On World Kindness Day, I spoke to the very lovely Mark Dennison live on BBC Radio Nottingham about kindness. I was a little nervous and rambled a little bit, but you can listen to it here:
☆ Fellow acts of kindness enthusiast, Travis Mayfield featured my Kindness Advent Calendar on his Seattle’s Morning TV Show Q13 Fox. You can watch the brilliant clip by clicking here.
IF YOU’D PREFER A NON-CHRISTMAS VERSION, I’VE ADAPTED MY KINDNESS CALENDAR AND YOU CAN DOWNLOAD IT HERE:
Kindness Calendar December 2017 – non-Christmas version
Day 23 of my Kindness Advent Calendar is to “buy a lottery ticket and give it to a friend, loved one or stranger”.
So this morning I bought a few lottery scratch cards and popped them in a bag along with a little chocolate bar and one of my Kindness Cards with the message: “I hope this brings you a little lottery luck! Merry Christmas.”
I then randomly placed them on windscreens of cars parked in my local town.
I really hope they bring someone a little lottery luck this Christmas.
Being grateful for receiving kindness from big-hearted folk:
Oh boy, what a month it has been in the life of my Kindness Advent Calendar; it honestly feels like a huge ripple effect of kindness is spreading out all over the world. I’ll write more about this once I’ve got over the shock!
I also would like to acknowledge all the lovely folk who’ve recently signed up to receive my blog posts directly into your inboxes – a huge twinkly, jingle bells of a HELLO to you and I wish I could give you all a great big THANK YOU hug.
But for now, it’s back to today’s post…
All this excitement and activity has unfortunately – well, rather predictably – brought on my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms 🙁
I’ve been feeling utterly wiped out and unable to get out of bed for a few days, and last week I had to switch off from social media for a little while. This frustratingly meant I couldn’t respond to all the amazing blog messages and posts and tweets coming in, of which I’m seriously loving reading each and every one.
But I realised that I needed to be kinder to myself and take the time to rest, recover and recharge – my 3Rs.
And on one day last week, when I was feeling particularly rough and low and sorry for myself, I received a wonderful act of kindness. My folks weren’t home and my mum told that she was expecting a package (cough cough = a little white lie!!) and would I answer the door – which I normally wouldn’t do.
And I’m so glad I did.
Standing at the front door were two lovely staff members from my local Co-op delivering a bag of sweet festive treats.
You can see from the photo just how rough I was feeling that day, but it was such a magical surprise and I’m deeply grateful for their kindness.
My sleep has also taken a kicking and is being really rubbish, leaving me feeling more fatigued on top of my existing chronic fatigue.
A lovely friend suggested a massage might help, and although it’s way out of my budget, I realised that it was worth a try.
As I was trying to find an affordable practitioner through an online search (a wood-through-the-trees scenario!), I saw that I had a new message on my Facebook community page: spreading a little kindness.
It was from the big-hearted Sue Fisher, a mobile reflexologist who is doing the Kindness Advent Calendar. She saw that I lived in the same neck of the woods, and generously offered me a free session.
Seeing it as a sign, I gratefully accepted and Sue came by the following day.
She explained how she specialises in lymphatic drainage reflexology which has been shown to help people with auto-immune conditions, including CFS.
[image: In The Zone Reflexology]
It was pure heaven and I’m deeply grateful to Sue for her kindness. I’ve since invested in a further two sessions, and am feeling the benefits as well as it all being rather blissful.
I am so thankful for the kindness I’ve received, although I have to confess I find it so much easier to give kindness than it is to receive. Hmmmm.. a poignant lesson for me to be learning right now.
I received one of my own a few years ago when I was really struggling financially, whilst living in Germany. My kind and thoughtful sister filled a box full of my favourite food and gave it to me on one of my visits home. I’ll never forget how touched I was and can honestly say it remains one of the most memorable gifts I’ve ever received.
And so, I’m really excited to be ‘paying it forward’ by preparing a box of my own for a family in need over the festive season.
I wanted to give a family supplies for each meal of the day and snacks in between. Of course they need to be non-perishable items, which I thought would be a little challenging for me as I’m a big fresh food lover, but I think I did ok… here’s what’s in my box:
Kicking off the day with cereal and a cuppa tea; lunch could be a flavourful tin of soup; for an afternoon snack I’ve put in a packet of tasty biscuits; for dinner there’s a choice of rice or pasta with tinned veggies, tinned tomatoes or baked beans, and tuna; for pudding there’s a tin of fresh fruit which can be served with a tin of custard; and finally, for an evening treat there’s some yummy chocolates to be washed down with another cuppa!
I’m going to pop by box down to my local food bank today. I really hope it helps brighten a family’s Christmas.
ps I’ve made a little video of what’s in my box, if you’d like to take a peek, please click here 🙂
Being grateful to local media for helping me spread a little more kindness:
I am absolutely astounded by how many people my Kindness Advent Calendar is reaching. In just 11 days, over 220,000 people from 172 countries have visited my blog post… and an incredible 68,000 have already downloaded the calendar.
That’s 68,000 downloads!!!
I’m absolutely blown away, over-the-moon, stunned, overwhelmed, excited, thankful… you name it, I feel it.
But mostly I am deeply heartened at the thought of this huge ripple effect of kindness reaching out all over the world, from Namibia to Nicaragua, Azerbaijan to Antigua, Mauritius to Malaysia, China to Cambodia, Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh to Bermuda, and so many more wonderful countries full of kind-hearted folk.
I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who’s downloaded the calendar and are joining me spreading a little festive kindness. It’s going to be so much fun.
I know from my own personal experience how just one small act of kindness can really brighten someone’s day, and also help remind our loved ones, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours, our children, and people we haven’t yet met, that there is still good in the world.
And there really is LOTS of good in the world.
I’m really grateful to everyone who’s helping me spread the kindness message by sharing my Kindness Advent Calendar. You really are amazing ☆
A big thank to you the Nottingham Post for publishing this article about my kindness mission. A few days after it appeared on the website, the reporter told me that they usually get between 1-2,000 views per article, but the one featuring my Kindness Advent Calendar had received over 10,000 views.
And another big thank you to BBC Radio Nottingham who invited me to have a live chat with the lovely Mark Dennison on their morning show.
Did you hear me say ‘LIVE’ – gulp!
Despite talking ten to the dozen (well, I had a LOT to say!) and dwelling on what I did or didn’t say, I enjoyed our chat and was delighted when Mark said he would join in (and I think it is legally binding Mark 😊). I especially love that after we’d finished, Mark commented how: “…it’s given [him] that warm glow.”
This is what it’s all about.
I’m really excited about starting spreading a little Christmas cheer with you all and would like to invite you to join my Facebook community, Spreading a little kindness, to share our ideas and experiences throughout December.
And if you do post about your kindness acts on Facebook or Twitter (come and say hello: @HelenCGreenUK), please use the hashtag #KindnessAdventCalendar so we can all enjoy this wonderful kindness ripple we are creating.
I’d like to sign off with this rather apt Howard Zinn quote: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
ps If you’d like to read the Nottingham Post article, please click here.
or if you fancy a listen to my chat with Radio Nottingham’s Mark Dennison:
It’s almost that time of year again… time to spread a little festive kindness.
My Kindness Advent Calendar works just like a normal advent calendar but instead of the usual chocolate countdown, we are embracing the true spirit of Christmas by doing 25 random acts of Christmas kindness.
How cool is that 🙂
I was wonderfully surprised and deeply thrilled that last year’s Kindness Advent Calendar (2015) was so well received.With just over 200 downloads, I’d like to give a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part.
I guarantee that your acts of kindness made a difference and brightened someone else’s day.
☆ You are AMAZING ☆
So again, I’d like to invite lovely you and yours to join me spreading a little kindness by doing small acts kindness leading up to Christmas Day.
Now, I know December is an extra busy month for most of us, and we can find ourselves rushing around trying to get everything ready in time for the Christmas holidays.
So with that in mind, I’ve made each kindness act:
3. Cheap (or mostly free!)
This way, anyone and everyone can take part.
You may want to mix it up and swap the acts around, or even create your own kindness acts. And don’t worry if you can’t do an act of kindness every single day, sometimes it’s just not possible as I know too well with the nature of my CFS flare ups.
But even if every one of us manages to do just one kindness act on one day – imagine how amazing that would be!
It’s such a wonderful way to spread some festive cheer and boost our own spirits at the same time.
But I really need your help.
Please help me spread the word by encouraging family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to take part in this kindness extravaganza as we countdown to Christmas.
I’d be ever so grateful if you could share this blog post with others – simply click on one of the ‘share’ buttons below, or share it however works best for you – and let’s get the kindness ripple effect reaching out far and wide over the festive season.
JUST ADDED: A few clever folk have suggested I get onto Twitter to help keep the kindness ripple effect spreading further and further. I’m a complete novice, but have set up the hashtags #KindnessAdventCalendar and #ChristmasKindness so we can share our festive kindness fun. You can find me on Twitter here.
But most of all, remember to HAVE FUN and enjoy creating a kindness ripple effect in your community.