Nov 13 is World Kindness Day — Mom Starts Movement to “Swap Candy For Kindness” This Christmas
They’re a familiar site at stores across the country and around the world at Christmas time. Traditionally, they’re called Advent Calendars — You see them at the checkout counter, the kids clamour for them — and you probably buy them. After all, who could resist the active holiday countdown to Christmas? What could be better than the fun of ripping open the little paper window where each calendar day hides a treat?
Tess Bell, mother of two, had a much sweeter idea. Inspired to teach children — and their families — about kindness and connection, rather than chocolate and candy, she created The Sharing Kindness Advent Calendar. Sugary treats are traded in for meaningful moments and lasting lessons with life-long benefits. The innovative Calendar offers 25 days of ‘kind deeds,’ offering opportunities for families to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, together.
There are two calendars with fun reusable stickers in the groundbreaking collection. The original is the classic Christmas recognizable to most of us- Open fire, ice skating, snow…while the newest, a beach-themed calendar — is a fun, stark contrast to the original, inclusive of children around the world living in warmer climates. ‘Children will find a surf life saving tower among other iconic beach items and sea creatures that they can stick, colour-in and collect.
But it’s the ‘acts of kindness’ and opportunities for connection that make this calendar a must-do family tradition.
Tess has been on a mission to ‘share kindness’ with her children and friends in a bid to lift spirits, share stories and encourage people to be more thoughtful.
“I wanted to teach my children more about ‘being’ than ‘having’ so we came up with the concept of ‘Sharing Kindness’,” she said. “We’ve spent the last couple of years implementing it into our everyday lives by setting ourselves little challenges and tasks to brighten someone’s day. I’ve seen the way it’s transformed our family by creating more meaningful conversations and improved my children’s confidence. I wanted to share this with other families and thought Christmas was a good place to start.”
The Sharing Kindness advent calendar sold more than 10,000 copies across Australia in 2020. This year Tess hopes to reach a worldwide audience but, she adds, the project isn’t about sales figures.
“It’s about creating a movement that will have positive impacts long after December 25,” she said. “I want families to not only make sharing kindness and connection part of their Christmas tradition, but make it a ‘way of life’.”
She is passionate about what she does : “We want people to learn that the best gifts don’t come wrapped in paper. Gifts of time, a simple smile or an act of kindness are far more valuable with lasting positive effects,” she says.
“I want this calendar to inspire connection and reflection, while teaching people that our intentions, choices and words have the power to change the world for the better.”
More about Founder Tess Bell : Tess has has been on a mission to ‘share kindness’ with her children and community in a bid to lift spirits, share stories and encourage people to be more thoughtful and kind. Seeing how well self-affirmation, practicing gratitude and random acts of kindness have worked for her children (and herself), she set about to create a range of products specifically designed to help kids approach their problems and emotions with compassion. She is now empowering kids for a kinder tomorrow by providing tools for parents so they can create a positive mindset for children. At times she struggles with anxiety which nearly railroaded her project ; but she says, her beautiful daughters were her motivation to keep going. She wanted to show them what could be achieved when you are brave. Her most treasured moment on this journey was when the final proof sample arrived and her 6yo daughter Sienna said, “Oh wow mamma, it’s incredible! I think this is what it feels like being ‘proud’, is it?” The Sharing Kindness products have been lovingly created to help children treat themselves and others with kindness, feel a strong sense of self-worth, and become resilient in an ever-changing and often scary world. Our intentions, choices, and words live on in future generations. Thank you for making them kind.
Main website: http://www.sharingkindness.com
Landing page for advent calendar: https://sharingkindness.com/pages/advent-calendar
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