Too much candy and wine. Days 2 to 5.

Five days into Advent and I’m pleased to say that the kids are still enthusiastic to do something kind to help others each day. (This does under no circumstances include being nice to each other and they don’t seem to care that our newly named Elf on the Shelf is watching, if anything I think that Mini Claus may be goading them into scrapping with each other even more than usual)

Day Two was easy-ish. The girls and I had prepared some candy jars full of tasty treats to sell at their school Christmas Fayre. They handed them in, proud of their handy work and happy to be raising money for the school PTA and the new playground equipment. I am indeed one of those ( ever so slightly scary ) PTA mothers who volunteer for too many things and try to press gang others too. Candy jars, no problem, my own body weight in candy whilst helping to fill the jars, not so great. The kids may need to include helping Mam to lose her big bum in their good deeds!

Tavis too at the last minute told me that his school was collecting for a local food bank and as today was the last day for donations he raided the store cupboard for a bag full of useful items. He is quite used to this drill, we do it fairly often and hold collections in the pub once in a while too. I have no idea which food bank this lot went to as I get about 30% of the information I need from Tavis on any subject since he started at high school. However, we often donate to the Trussel Trust in our area and I’d encourage those who can, to please donate a little extra at your supermarket or directly with your local food bank.

Day Three saw me be just a little selfish. Starting the day screaming like a banshee as I tried to navigate through the excess of toys and general carnage that 5 people a cat, dog and pig can create I went into full meltdown. Declaring war on all abandoned toys I demanded that items no longer played with or worn in the last 6 months be donated to Charity. Job done and 2 large sacks of toys and clothes donated to ‘Mind’. Plus whenever we donate there I find some fantastic bargains and I never really left my student love of rummaging in charity shops for clothing to make ‘new’ clothing from.

Day Four and not very well prepared after perhaps one too many wines with friends the day before ( you ladies know who you are!) we elected to sign up for blood donation. Well just me as I was on the register for years but have not been for around 6 years now and also you do of course need to be over 18 to donate. Time to start again and in part because I want the kids to come with me, the way I did with my big Sister, so that they learn that it’s nothing to be scared of and that those of us who can donate blood should do it. I learned a little about platelet donation too, which I understand is a more frequent donation but is not possible for everyone. Also if you don’t give blood for 3 years, you have to register again. I wonder how the kids will react when they come along with me?

Day Five and the kids had a great time visiting ‘Shirley Winter Wonderland’ a small street brimming with Christmas lights, waving Santa’s, musical carousels, penguins, reindeer and more! The best part is that these kind and hard working residents do it all to raise money for Great Ormond Street & the Starlight Children’s Charity. We donated a little cash to the cause and we’d encourage any of you that are close enough to go visit.





Advent Candy!

This morning my three kids bounced out of bed (there was bouncing because there was the promise of Advent candy), they were pleased to meet our Scout Elf ‘Mini Claus’ and I could see the excitement in them now that we are really counting down to Christmas. Mini Claus arrived with instructions from Father Christmas that the kids should be kind to each other ( please give your Mother a break! ) and that on each day of Advent they should do something charitable or something selfless to help others.
So, each day, they will choose what to do and I’ll keep a track of it for them on here, they have lots of ideas and I am keen to see how long the enthusiasm lasts! I hope they make it way beyond Advent and prove that it’s not that difficult to find ways to help other people, every day.
Good Morning Britain are running an amazing campaign called 1 million minutes. Taking the lead from Ruby today, she has decided that we should pledge 60 minutes of our time and find out how we can help. So, we’ve pledged some minutes and sent off some enquiries as to how we can become involved. I’m hoping we can help at an Age Concern lunch, year’s running pubs tells me that the ‘Oldies’ often have the best stories to tell.
Take a look at the weblink, it’s frightening to think that so many people are so lonely and isolated.