Monday, November 28, 2016

A Kindness Challenge

As we turn the corner after Thanksgiving and head into December to continue our preparations for the holidays, things will be looking a little different here on the blog. Thursday marks the start of the 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas series, and I’m excited to have friends and family from all over the world joining me to count down the days until Christmas by sharing Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian recipes, crafts and memories. From the holiday markets taking place in Latvia and the US, to traditions of Kūčios and winter solstice, I hope you’ll join us for the familiar smells and sights of Christmas in the Baltics and beyond!

In the meantime a few Femme au Foyer holiday-themed posts are running on the local family site, Kidding Around Greenville. It was exciting to share our ride to the North Pole aboard the Polar Express last December, as well as our trip to the Grove Park Inn to see the annual gingerbread house competition. And while Kidding Around Greenville is certainly the best local resource for family-oriented holiday fun here in the Upstate, I’m excited to announce that they are also hosting a countdown to Christmas – only it’s a kindness campaign.

The goal is to perform one act of kindness each week. The Kindness Challenges are simple, but allow for families to apply their own take on the suggestion to create a unique experience. The hope is that the deliberate participation in these acts of kindness will bring our family closer together, as well as send ripples of kindness out into the community. Because of the Baltic Christmas series here on the blog our participation won’t be quite so public, but I hope that you’ll join us in spreading some Kindness Around Greenville all the same!

Week 1| Kindness Challenge | THANK
November 27-December 3, 2016.
The first challenge is to thank. Let someone who has had an impact on you and your family this year know how thankful you are with something as simple as a card, homemade cookies or a cup of coffee. Spend 30 minutes with your children making and writing cards, and take them with a chocolate bar to brighten the day of a teacher, librarian or even the postman.

Week 2 | Kindness Challenge | GIVE
December 4-10, 2016
As I think of organizations that could use our help this holiday season, multiple local charities come to mind, as do some other opportunities. One idea could be to thank the firefighters working on the Pinnacle Mountain Fire with a small donation; the SC Forestry Commission facebook page posts daily updates on progress, as well as information on donating water and other welcome supplies.

Week 3 | Kindness Challenge | COMMUNITY
December 11-17, 2016
The third week’s challenge could be easy to incorporate into your daily errands as the holidays draw near, by buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you or buying extra groceries on your next shopping trip to drop off at a local food pantry. We often take a day off to go on a hike before it gets too busy, and I plan on involving the kids by bringing along plastic bags to pick up trash along our route. And finally…

Week 4 | Kindness Challenge | FAMILY
December 18-24, 2016
Look for a way to show a special act of kindness towards a family member this week. I am going to challenge the boys to think of ways to show kindness to their brothers, and we will hopefully be completing this challenge multiple times over until Christmas arrives.

Remember to use hashtag #BeKindGVL when sharing ideas and inspiration on your journey to spread kindness throughout our community this holiday season. I wish all of my readers a peaceful and merry holiday season, and hope you’ll enjoy the 24 Days of a Baltic Christmas – it’ll be back to normal programming in 2017!

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