12 [Creative] Days of Christmas – Challenge!

Christmas is right around the corner now with just two weeks to go, and I’m looking forward to having some vacation time and a chance to see some family members I don’t get to spend enough time with. And as  you may know from my recent posts, I’m continuing to work on keeping my heart and mind in a good place about the season: not too much hype, not too many unrealistic expectations. It can be difficult!

I recently opened up to a few people about how decorating for Christmas suddenly felt lonely this year. For some reason, decorating as a single person never really bothered me the way it did this time around. The experience reminded me of an article I read around this time last year . . .  so I thought I’d share that here now in case I’m not the only one who’s having some difficult moments:

If This Holiday is Hard, You’re Not Alone

Sidenote: I don’t 100% know if I agree with every single thing in this article, but I’m not trying to dissect it — If you’d like to, please feel free. I was just generally encouraged by the reminder that Jesus knows and can relate to difficult experiences.

And Now For Some Fun . . .

I’m throwing down a challenge! Write or draw something every day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas.

If you’d like, print out this grid and play along. My grid starts on the 14th and goes through Christmas day, but you can shift and do whatever days work best for you. Post your progress on social media with the hashtag #12creativedays . . . I’ll be doing the same.

If you have any problems with the file below, you can also try downloading it as a PDF from this Google Drive link.

Do you have kids or friends who like to get creative? Get them to do this with you!

If you miss a day, don’t stress — you have enough to worry about. Just skip it or make it up and move on! ChristmasChallenge.jpg


I’m looking forward to seeing if any of you will participate in this challenge. Either way, I think you’re amazing & I’ll be back with more next week.

❤ Nicole


Would you like to click “Follow” to be notified each time I post? I promise you’ll never be bombarded with spammy e-mails. My regular schedule is a weekly post [usually] every Monday & sometimes I add a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post about other creative topics.

Creative Kindness

There’s something wonderful about receiving a hand-written note, knowing that someone invested their time and creative energy to brighten my day. A single card or note might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes it can be the biggest deal.

News headlines continue to be filled with troubling stories that draw attention to deep and important topics, sparking a cascade of varying emotions. As I’ve been reflecting this week, I keep coming back to the importance of kindness, the importance of individuals acknowledging that we often fail to be kind and seeking the mercy that would transform our selfishness into love . . .

I’m curious — Can you think of a way that someone has been creative in extending care or support to you in exactly the right way at exactly the right time? On the other hand, can you think of a time when you felt isolated because it seemed like your closest friends and family were rarely taking the time to reach out? Most of us have been on both sides of this equation at one point or another & I think both extremes hold a valuable lesson.

It’s easy to become focused on our own issues. We all have parts of our lives that are easy and parts that are more difficult, but I’m sure we all know someone who could benefit from a supportive hand . . . That’s why I’m inviting you right now to consider how you can practice more creative kindness.

BeKind

Here are 4 things to consider as you think about creative kindness:

  1. Commit: It’s easy to say you want to encourage others but harder to actually do it, either because it feels awkward or because of busyness and distraction. Decide in advance. Write a brief list of specific people. Maybe you’ll choose some people you already enjoy caring for, but maybe you should also include a couple of people who are more challenging.
  2. Know: You will be most effective in your kindness if you get to know the recipient–their interests, needs, joys, and struggles. The more you know, the more targeted your kindness can be. The best ways to get to know someone are through simply spending time with them, asking good questions, and being willing to really listen.
  3. Plan: If you make a plan, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Block out times (even if it’s only 5-10 minutes in your day) when you’ll take specific action. Are there 2 people you’ll commit to calling this week? Are you going to write a thank-you note to a friend just for being awesome? Plan how and when you’ll do these things. Put them on the calendar if you’re a calendar person. Planning helps to make it really happen.
  4. Be Creative: There are literally endless ways that you can actively practice being kind to other people–ways that are as diverse and unique as every individual. Don’t limit yourself to only a few methods that come most easily to you. Open your heart to trying new methods. What’s the best fit? If you need some ideas to get you started, here you go:

PrintIf anything in this blog post encourages you, I’d love to hear about it. Would you leave a message in the comments?

Be creative. Be kind.
❤ Nicole

Click “Follow” if you’d like to be notified each time I post. My regular schedule is a weekly post every Monday & sometimes I do a mid-week “Collecting Creativity” post where I share other creative topics.