Advent calendars for grown ups
A short time before December last year, I was buying advent calendars for my children. I started thinking about why advent calendars are so great.
Every morning my children come downstairs. In almost an instant, a wave of excitement grips them. What was once an unavailable "locked door" is now ready to find, open and discover what treasures it has to offer.
When I see that excitement in their eyes I long to feel like that about such a little thing.
From an adult's perspective, the reward for this ritual pales in comparison, to that of our younger counterparts. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't offer anything to grown-ups.
And that got me thinking. What does this tiny act offer us?
It offers us a little treat. And I think that's really important.
More and more people are talking about mental health issues. Whether because it's more prevalent today or, more optimistically, that we are becoming better equipped to talk about it. Either way, it's becoming more common among my colleagues, friends, and family.
Someone I know was having a tough time. I wanted to buy them an advent calendar as a little gift. This gift reminds us that everyone, no matter how big you are, can have something childish and fun. It connects us with our past and nostalgically reminds us of a simpler maybe happier time.
The power of this gift goes beyond as it also keeps giving. At a time where someone may be thinking that every day is bleak and miserable, this offers a little treat. Yes, it's small. Yes, it won't solve or deal with the larger issue, but it may be one little bit of light on a dark day.
The more I'm aware of people feeling isolated and alone. The more important it is that we support those in our network. It's not always that easy to help someone directly. We may not have time to devote or the skill or even vocabulary to deal with certain issues. But what we can give we must.
Which is why it is important not to devalue the "little" things.
If I offer something small and all others in a network do the same, then collectively we can make a big difference to someone's life.