Monday, December 16, 2013

The Giving Keys

After recently finding an antique skeleton key amongst my parent's knick-knacks, I have become slightly obsessed with the intricately made keys from the good old days (this also around the time I saw Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for the first time - a story of a boy whose discovery of a key in his deceased father’s belongings sets him off on an urgent search across NYC for the lock it will open).
I've started collecting them, for no known purpose yet, other then to marvel at what may have been their history. I like to believe these are keys with a story. Keys that have been carried by one or many that have unlocked places we call home or trunks filled with keepsakes or forgotten doors. I like to think by holding on to these keys, I hold on to their memories...and maybe even keep the memories a live.
Then I found The Giving Keys. A pay it forward type of company. Love those. The Giving Keys exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness to make jewelry out of repurposed keys that get sold and shared around the world. They are hand stamped with a one word message of hope. I've been wearing the key of "health" for my remember just how delicate our health is, just how quickly disease can take over the body, and maybe in hopes that he holds on to what good health is left in him.
If you're on my Christmas list this year, you might just be getting a Giving Key. Create a little history of your own. Wear the key for as long as you need. When you encounter someone that needs the message on the key more then you do, give it away and keep it going. Share the love.
"Like old keys, we might feel used and discarded, but we all have the ability to unlock potential. Potential to transform our pain into stories of redemption."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Elf on the Shelf

It's that time of the year where the Elf on the Shelf comes out to watch our kids (not creepy at all!!)! I've seen numerous Facebook posts of all the trouble those elves are getting into these days...making snow angels in the sugar bowl, having snowball fights with marshmallows, building igloos in the ice cube tray...these elves are out of control! ;-)
I recently came across a positive spin on the Elf on the Shelf that teaches kindness, gratitude and love...and well, I'm all about teachable moments in our every day lives when it comes to our kids!
Check out the Kindness Elves at The Imagination Tree:
Start sometime new this year!!!
  • They will arrive in our home and have been sent to share some love and magic at Christmas time.
  • They will only be sharing kind ideas and noticing things that are lovely. There will be no focus on negativity, but they will still be lots of fun and silliness too!
  • They will be moved somewhere different each morning, sometimes in funny situations and positions, often next to an item that we need for that day’s kindness activity e.g. inside a mixing bowl ready to bake some cookies as a gift.
  • They will be holding little suggestions for acts of kindness, love or helpfulness that we can do together that day for e.g. “Let’s collect some of your toys and give them away to the children’s hospital”, “let’s make some cookies for the neighbors”, “shall we visit an elderly friend/ relative?” etc.
  • When they see the children doing kind and lovely things, they will leave a little note for them to find in the morning e.g. “Oh I loved it when I saw you sharing your new book with your little sister” or “you were very kind to help your Mommy load the dishwasher!” etc.
  • Some mornings they may wake up to find the elves have lined up their shoes, tidied their coats, got the breakfast things ready or fixed a broken toy etc. Modelling direct ways to be kind and helpful as a prompt for the children in the day.    
Read the whole article here: Kindness Elves