On the darkest nights, the stars seem to glow the brightest.
Yesterday, even though December is not yet here, we decided 2020 needed a little cheer and began putting up our festive decorations. On went the music and out came the comical singing. Up went the baubles, tinsel and sentimental trinkets. In went the mince pies, hot chocolate and cream.
As the lights twinkled on the tree, we all smiled.
Everyone is in need of moments of joy right now, however big, however small, so here are some ideas for using your pen to spread a little cheer:
- Send a card to someone special. Take time to share a few words about how much they mean to you. You could even write to someone you don’t know. A care home near me has set up a pen pal scheme. Maybe there’s something like this near you or you could volunteer to set it up.
- Pack a surprise note or sketch in with your spouse/partner/kids’ lunch to bring a smile to their day.
- Write some uplifting words. Maybe you’ll come up with a beautiful poem, lyrics or a few inspiring paragraphs. Share them online. You could also send your words on postcards to people you care about.
- Do something creative to raise money for a cause that is important to you. For example, my neighbour’s daughter recently made beautiful bookmarks for a local hospice.
- Buy a book from an independent bookshop (many are now online and you can also find some at Bookshop.org). You could treat yourself or someone you love. Don’t forget to post a nice review for the author.
- Write a letter of thanks to someone. Maybe it’s a person who gave you wonderful service recently or who helped you out in a time of need.
It’s important to be kind to yourself too.
Try this: Cut up a sheet of paper into small pieces. Write on each piece things for which you are thankful, experiences you’ve enjoyed, activities you love doing and things other people have done that made you smile, past and present.
Fold them up, put them in a jar and top it up often.
When the world feels gloomy, open the lid, swizzle your hand in the jar and pull out one of the pieces of paper at random. Remember that dark clouds always pass and light will shine again. Savour your words, feel their glow inside. Let it expand inside your heart.
Kindness brightens our world. How will you spread cheer today?