Former Kirk Moderator's 'reverse advent calendar' encourages acts of kindness

The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown

The former Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly has launched a 'reverse advent calendar' encouraging tiny acts of kindness in the run up to Christmas.

The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown said she hoped the online calendar running throughout December would help people to think about the ways they can make the "world a better place".

She said there were many simple things people could do that do not come at great personal cost. 

"We're spreading the message of what Christmas is really about," said Dr Brown, the minister of Dornoch Cathedral in the north of Scotland.

Suggestions include simple tasks like sending a thank-you card to someone, donating items to a charity shop, and going litter-picking in the community.

Baking enthusiasts could think about making a cake for a neighbour as a surprise, she suggests, while other ideas include leaving chocolates for children to find and buying ingredients from local producers.

Dr Brown said: "Advent is about waiting and preparing for Christmas but not in the sense of running about daft, getting presents and food bought.

"It's about pausing to look for where God already is and choosing to work with him to make the world a happier place."

She is also encouraging people to light a candle this Christmas and place it in a window as "a sign of the light the world much needs".

She said: "These tiny acts are things anyone can do without great cost.

"And if they bring a smile or a sense of mattering even to just one person, we're spreading good news.

"We're spreading the message of what Christmas is really about."