For some people, the holidays are an incredible time to reconnect with family and enjoy the warmth of their relationships with others. For many of us, however, the holidays are nothing like this. Each year, while Christmas carols tell tales of joy and lightheartedness, thousands of people sink into crippling depression, desperate anxiety, bitter resentment, or helpless isolation.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Each year, around the holiday season, we become unusually more attuned to our connections to others, remembering fallen friendships, family traumas, broken relationships, regrets, and words unspoken. Thus, each year, around the holiday season, we have an opportunity to use this awareness in a way that serves us, serves others, and serves the world.
We cannot ignore holiday suffering, nor can we fight it. What we can do is rekindle the hope that lies in all our hearts by doing simple acts of love and kindness that make the holidays a happier time for all of us. This is what the 12 Days of ReKINDling challenge is all about: lighting the spark of compassion between all human beings, regardless of religion, belief, or social status.
HOW IT WORKS
You are invited to do one task daily for 12 days. Each task focuses on rekindling a connection between you and someone else – each task explores a different level of connection.
1. Tell someone close to you what you appreciate about them
2. Reach out to a family member whom you rarely contact
3. Send an apology letter to someone you’ve wronged
4. Reconnect with an old friend who’s fallen out of touch
5. Give a genuine compliment to a co-worker or acquaintance
6. Send a letter of forgiveness to someone who has hurt you
7. Do something kind for a complete stranger
8. Leave 10 positive, loving comments on the internet
9. Write a loving, supportive letter to your younger self
10. Anonymously send a gift or card to someone who needs it
11. Allow yourself to ask help/support and to receive it
12. Leave something valuable for a stranger to find
WHEN WE DO IT
The holidays are a busy time for us all and we all have different traditions that happen on different days. Thus, instead of making you commit to one specific time period, you are free to choose to start your 12 day challenge anytime between December 1st and January 15th. You can also do the challenge multiple times, if you like. It’s up to you!
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The whole purpose of this challenge is to bring people together, and we can’t do it alone. You’re invited to not only participate in this challenge, but to help spread word. Here’s a (by no means exclusive) list of ideas on how you can do that:
- Share one of the quote posters below on your social networks – make sure to include the hashtag #12daysofreKINDling in the text of your post (and, optionally, include this webpage: www.vironika.org/rekindle)
- Join our Facebook event and invite everyone that you know to it
- For Twitter, feel free to use these pre-scripted messages:
- Join us for the #12daysofrekindling holiday challenge to spark #kindness and ignite #compassion! More at vironika.org/rekindle
- I’m choosing love this holiday season, how about you? #12daysofrekindling
- So excited to start the #12daysofrekindling holiday challenge!
- Get in touch with the people who are celebrating with you this season and ask them if they want to do the challenge together
- Print out some tear-off flyers and post them in your local community center, coffee shop, grocery store, or other public bulletin
- Print out some regular flyers and hand them out at local schools, churches, retirement homes, hospitals, and shelters
- If you have a blog, website, or inspirational page, share this challenge with your audience, ask them to participate, suggest participation prizes
- Make your own quote posters, flyers, brochures, etc. – make sure you share them on the Facebook event timeline and/or with me so that others may use them as well!
- If you own a business, online or in person, note yourself as a supporter of the challenge on your social networks and in your business office
- Bring up the challenge to your workplace and see if anyone is interested in doing it as a team
- Start a Meetup group, Facebook group, or pot a Kijiji/Craigslist event posting in your area
- Join your local Love Tribe, where people will be undertaking the challenge as a group
- If you have any other ideas or materials you’ve created, please don’t hesitate to share!