The Season of Doing!

From deep within and with all the HUGE amount of growth 2012 has brought my family and I, I have a deep desire to do things differently now – on all levels!  So armed with my new mission, we are doing Christmas differently this year!
Normally around this time of year, I kick my Advent Calendar hunt up to DEFCON 4!  Sadly, the local stores have horribly commercialized advent calendars, (which personally I feel is the wrong message for children around Advent), as now they are all loaded with your daily dose of hyperactivity (sugar) as your 3 year old desperately tries not to raid the chocolate infested calendar in a mid-night incursion that would make Rambo proud!  My wonderful friend in the US sent me the link to a company that makes Advent Calendars, but (sorry darling) they just weren’t speaking to me …
So I started thinking … different … different … doing things differently … different!  Over a couple of hours, a thought suggested - make your own!  Now, normally I would completely and with immediate haste discredit this concept out of hand – get over your darn self!  I’m one of those “terrible mothers” that outsources almost everything!  (Just ask my mother who bakes for Entrepreneur’s Day – thank you mum!)  But slowly the idea started to percolate … now quite possibly, I’m one of the least crafty people you will meet but I do give it a damn good try!  So why not?  We already have the empty daily framework, just waiting to be filled (more my sister but I am sure I can borrow it this year) … so here is my plan!  This year … instead of it being The Season of Getting, which we can get horribly tangled up in with small children … This year it will be Our Season of Doing!  Doing for each other, doing for strangers (closely scrutinized observed by both parents), doing for people in our daily community, doing for someone who really needs it, doing because we can and because we live in actual abundance!  It may not be financial abundance but really compared to so many, we have so much!    

In the big scheme of things, I had a great childhood!  We weren’t financially the riches people, but we were rich indeed and my family did their very best … my childhood is rich with wonderful memories!  But even if I think back to just my childhood (and it isn’t that far away), my children - by comparison - have too much, with every need and want filled before they even know they need or want it (yes, yes, my fault I know, I’m a pro-active problem solver).   

So what am I going to do about it?  Our girls are 12 & 7 and our oldest is quite thoughtful of her bounty and junior is very considerate but they don’t really understand the magnitude of all the people, children, elderly, lonely and sick out there, that just don’t have and so much closer than what we care to own to … so this is the year that we get their minds thinking about somebody other than themselves.              

Now I know that it is perfectly “normal” for children to be selfish, there is a theory that believes that it harks back to the cave men and survival of the fittest … but our cave has a remote garage door and satellite television, so I think it is time for us to evolve and become aware.
Back to the Advent Calendar … so this year’s Advent Calendar will have a daily suggestion and depending on how creative I can be 1 or 2 - age appropriate.  Something like … Today, give Grandad (who doesn’t live close to us) a phone call.  Today, while at GrandMa’s help her in the garden instead of TV.  Today, make dad a cup of tea … you get the idea … and spend the month of Advent (which by definition means a period of preparation and waiting on an important event or person) working on the riches of the soul, instead of the unending gorging at the fire-hose of me, myself and I.
So what am I learning … I’m not saying don’t do the fun stuff, the unashamed tinsel and trimmings, we will definitely be doing those too!  And although this year there might be a few less, we will still be doing the present thing (after all no-one loves the anticipation of an unwrapped present more than me) … but for us, there needs to be something more …   
I’m also not saying be reckless and indiscriminate, but sometimes (more than others) we are just led or prompted to give or do … those are the moments I am speaking about!    
What does good old Dr Phil say … “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you always got.”  I have to smile at the complex simplicity of that quote, but you get where I am going and it speaks to my pull to do things differently … and this is going to be it … to do something for those people close to us that are struggling with every day things …
And we have 36 days left to make a difference … who is with me?
Love you all madly …    
Warm regards …             
Collette in Cape Town
Song of the Post … These are the Special Times! by Celine Dion


Janine Huldie said...

Beautiful post and even more beautiful message to your kids. I love how instead of a traditional advent calendar you are doing something to give back each day. Truly inspiring and thanks for sharing!!

Sonjia said...

Excellent idea!!!!

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