Oh, my days, I am so excited! It’s begun! It started yesterday! Oh, I can’t tell you how excited I am! (I know that’s a lot of exclamation marks, but this is exciting!!!!!!!!!)
I look forward to this every year. Planning as the summer ends, by now I have reached a fever pitch of giddiness. If you see me gaily skipping along the street you will know why. Though if you see me gaily skipping anywhere you might want to call someone as the chances are I won’t be fit to make it home alone.
Yesterday marked the start of 30 days of giving. The idea is to give a gift to someone every day for 30 days. It started 15 years ago when, struggling with my mental health and the implications of a life-changing chronic illness, I found myself lost and could find no way out. Giving a gift to someone every day for 30 days gave me something to focus on. I love a project and you know I love a list so, 30 days of giving began.
The rules to this are simple – from the 21st of November to the 21st of December you give a gift every day for 30 days. (you can choose your own days, but I wanted to mark the Winter Solstice.)
It doesn’t have to be a big gift, though sometimes it is. Often it is something baked, or something handmade, it can be the gift of your time, phoning an old friend for a catch-up or giving a stranger a compliment. It could be picking up litter in your neighbourhood, or sweeping up the leaves on the path, this year it will definitely involve giving away apples. The gift is not the thing that is important it’s the giving that makes this task sing. (though as mentioned last week my singing is a gift to no one.)
I should add that this is an utterly selfish thing to do, this giving of a gift every day for a month. I am giddy just typing it. It is seriously addictive. Every year, planning it I start to feel my energy rising. I feel myself getting lighter, more alive, as I try to plan who will get what and when. It lifts me in a way I could never have imagined.
Yes, there are some days, especially if I am not well, where it might be more of a struggle to find someone to be kind to, but even posting good wishes on social media is enough to brighten someone’s day. And that’s the thing, focusing on bringing a smile to someone else’s day feels fab.
You get to tick a thing off a list, and you get to make someone else smile! Win-win!
Since lockdown I’ve sent a postcard every day for 30 days. In my neighbourhood I will do extra kindnesses – making fat balls for the birds is always on the list but sending a postcard each day means I am always covered.
I write a post a card each day, no doing it in batches. I like choosing a card I think that person might like, finding a quote that might mean something to them, and it gets me and the dog out for a walk to the post-box if nothing else.
The joy I feel, in these simple acts of giving, takes my breath away. The excitement, in the run-up to the winter festivities, lights up my life at a time when the darkness settles everything around us. And this year with all that is going on in the world, we need all the light we can get.
Try it. I promise you won’t regret it. Even if your gift is to say good morning to someone every day – it is not the gift that counts, the joy is always in the giving.
Whatever you are doing today, I hope it is a new knicker, clean sheets, opening a new jar of peanut butter, favourite song on your playlist, dancing in your kitchen, sun shining, warm scarf, hug of a day. Remember you are fabulous! Go out into your day knowing you are loved and valued. You are bloody brilliant, you are! Thank you for sharing a little of your day with me!
And if you are in need of a little cheer, drop me a reply here with your address and I will add you to my postcard list. No one else can see!
Bright Blessings xx