Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Meaning of Christmas – Deed Twelve

And so we come to the final blog on my 12 Good Deeds…. I hope some of these are helpful to you, and that you enjoy reading them. Here is the final good deed for you all.

Deed Twelve – Give money to a good cause

Yeah, you heard me. Give some money to people who are able to do more with it than you can; This place would be an excellent place to start, for example, but that is just one suggestion. Try to pick some charity that would mean a lot to you, if you can, so that you know you are doing the best you can with your money.  A fiver, a cent, something that will further a cause you believe in.

And that’s it. My deeds are spoken, my hands are empty of anything further to gift to you. All I say, is to give my incantation that your heart be at peace this Christmas, your loved ones joyous, and that you know contentment.

Lots of love.


This is, of course, exactly what I look like.

Edit; and to recap, here are the 12 Deeds in total;

Deed One – Write A Thank You Note

Deed Two – Buy a Book in a Bookshop

Deed Three – Take a Walk

Deed Four – Give up your Seat

Deed Five – Pick up Litter

Deed Six – Give blood

Deed Seven – Email a TD

Deed Eight – Attend a live event

Deed Nine – Give someone food.

Deed Ten – Give a Tip

Deed Eleven – Play a classical piece. 

Deed Twelve – Give money to a good cause

The Meaning of Christmas – Deed Eleven

There is so little time, don’t you find? So little time to pause, reflect, be thankful. Or even just to take stock, to note the change of the seasons and the movement of the planet through the dark space of winter. So this next one is aimed to give you that five minutes or more to give you that space:

Deed Eleven – Play a piece of classical music or put up a picture that has cultural value.

Note, you decide what has cultural value here. But give yourself that empty space to think. What was the best time of the year? What was the worst? What can you learn from that, about yourself and other people?

Oh so THAT’S why….

Grant yourself the gift of time, if you can.

The Meaning Of Christmas – Deed Ten

I have worked both as a waitress and in retail. There are managers out there throwing their eyes up to Heaven in thanks that I am no longer in those roles, but I think that I learnt a lot while there. I learnt that those jobs are not pleasant; you are on your feet all day, you are dealing with people who don’t care that you are tired, and that you can never be fast enough or remember enough. That’s why this next deed is so personal.

Deed Ten – Give a big tip.

Just something. Anything. A great deal of shops are open very long hours these days, staff there are worked very hard with not a huge amount of money to show for it. Sometimes, the person who works the hardest should get a thank you. So leave a thank you in a way that helps the most. Leave a tip as big as you can afford, or even a tip when you wouldn’t normally.

Every bit helps, folks.

Deed Eleven coming up, get ready!


The Meaning of Christmas – Deed Nine

Hi all,

The point of Christmas is that it has to have a point; A strange fruit to enjoy, certainly, but a rest without work is a waste, pure and simple. If you are giving to yourself, you should rightly give a little to others, too.

Deed Nine – Give someone food. 

Just something, anything. You can buy a coffee for a person at work. You can give a sandwich to a homeless person. Buy an apple for a teacher. Anything. But if you sit and think about how to help someone else in this way, you’re already doing more that you were five minutes before then.

So extend yourself for others in this way, and lets see what we can achieve.

And what do you know, here comes Deed Ten….

The Meaning of Christmas – Deed Eight

Howdy? How are you all doing, got everything in? All set? Got the box of Taytos and the selection boxes and all of it? Nah, me neither, not even close.

So, Deed Eight is rushing towards us. You all set for that, too? Here it is

Deed Eight; Attend a live event

Now, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to do this at this stage. So, to make sure you get the full experience, I want you take twenty euro out of your wallet and rip it up, go stand in a dark and cramped space (hopefully with the smell of sweat somewhere about you) and listen to this. (I very much wanted to get to see him last year, was very disappointed that we couldn’t).

All set? Right. Onwards, to Deed Nine!

The Meaning Of Christmas – Deed Seven

Those of you who follow my Facebook page know that I wasn’t sick yesterday. No, I wasn’t, and I’m not sick today. I just have a snuffle brought about from the swimming. That’s all.

(Turns away to cough discretely.)

Ok. Where were we? Ah yes, Deed Seven. Now this one takes just a moment as well, and it costs no money or blood. But it does cost you some time and thought. So lets see what it is behind door number Seven, shall we?

Deed Seven; Email a TD about a cause you believe in.

Just not this one.

There are tonnes of issues out there that deserve to be raised with a member of your Dail. And you can find out who your local TD is by clicking here. Once you get your details you get the full contact details of your councillors, TDs and MEPs, so there is no excuse to raise any issue that is bothering you. Puppies? Hungry folk going homeless? The sheer lack of concern about imported gnats? The gnats, lads, what about the gnats, huh?

Or libraries. What about the libraries?

Once you’ve sent off your email or emails, you can rest assured as you listen to your relatives drone on and on over the trifle that you’ve done something concrete to help out the world.

Onwards, to Deed Eight!

The Meaning Of Christmas – Deed Six

Morning all.  Time and tide wait for no one, and so I have to increase the postings on this blog a little. I want to make sure, for those of you who are following, that you get the full list of possible deeds sooner rather than later.

Firstly, to recap, here are the deeds listed so far.

Deed One: A thank-you note.

Deed Two: Go to a book shop and buy a book.

Deed Three: Take a walk.

Deed Four: Give up your seat.

Deed Five: Pick up a piece of Litter.

All good? So far, what we have here are a list of kindnesses based on observing the environment around you. You are being asked to interact with the world in a positive way, even if it is very small.

Deed Six takes all that and throws it out the window. The demands of Deed Six are not like the others, and frankly this one takes courage and effort. Some of you would do it without thinking, others will never do this. So here is Deed Six.

Deed Six; Go and give blood.

Noowwwww, now you just stay right there, and don’t move. Even if you don’t go and give blood, you can grant the idea to the end of this blog before dismissing it, okay? Giving blood takes firstly about half an hour, is a hugely helpful thing to do for someone you don’t even know, and they even give you chocolate afterwards. Yes, they did at one stage give you Guinness but they don’t any longer. Now you get tea, coffee, juice or water.

Not everyone can give blood. In Ireland the restrictions are based on where you are from or have visited, what illnesses you have had and even your orientation. Here is a quiz to see if you are eligible, and that site has further pdfs that can let you know more info.

Now, here is a list of places where you can give blood; And just to put my money where my mouth is, I’m planning to do this myself this week, at the Stillorgan branch. If you want, and if you can, drop me a line and we can go together.

As I said, some of you would never do this. But give it some thought, it really does make a difference.  And you get cake. So give it some thought.

The Meaning of Christmas; Deed Five

Here is deed five, people. These, like the best computer games, are about to get harder as we go towards boss level. So from now on, remember that this is about earning Christmas. Because a rest without work is wasted.

Okay, here is the fifth deed for you; Pick up one single piece of litter. 

That’s it, just one. Of course, ideally you’d do more than one, but I am not blind as to what I can ask of you. Things out there are not just dirty, but dangerously dirty, and the idea of folks happily rummaging around in god knows what isn’t really what this is about.

So if you can, if it is safe, then go and pick up that piece of litter and put it in the bin. You’re going to see a clean space afterwards, made and created by you in your efforts to make Christmas special.

You know you want to…

Five down, seven to go! Stay tuned shoppers!

The Meaning of Christmas – Deed Four.

Here is Deed Four in my own list of Christmas Deeds. Remember, the rule is you can tell no one you have a concerted programme of good deeds to get through, but instead just do as much good as you can without fanfare. Like Batman. But without the dodgy ‘standing on the roof’ personality that isn’t really born out of wisdom.

So let’s not mention last year’s list, shall we?

So are you ready? Here is Deed Four.

Deed Four; Let someone ahead of you in traffic or give up your seat on public transport.

Ah, traffic. I’ve never seen anything that can drive sane people so crazy so quickly. And at this time of year, everyone seems to be up earlier to beat traffic and get a head start on the day, and so it means we’re all driving against the clock and each other. The result is insanely pressurised driving that makes everyone more tense, irritable and snappish.

So what you do is, you let the other guy win.

Sure, you could make him or her wait if you wanted to. But instead, your good deed is to drive with politeness, calmness and to let the other guy ahead of you. In this way, you’re making a decision to be positive and to make someone else’s day as pleasant as possible, rather than fighting Fate to do the same to you. Acting in such a positive way means that you’re telling that irritable, snappish mood to take a hike, and usually end up feeling better no matter what.

Same goes for public transport. As much as you can, stand, and let someone else sit. Most of us would give up our seat to the elderly or to a pregnant passenger. Now, decide to give up your seat the moment you can, so that you can help take care of someone else. In this way you can be kind, caring, and smug  thinking of others even when they are strangers, a very good way to improve your own self opinion.

Imagine; lanes and lanes of people trying to do good…

So there is Deed Four. Tomorrow, Deed Five; these are about to get harder….

The Meaning of Christmas – Deed Three

Here is the third good deed for this coming Christmas. Remember, the rule is that you cannot tell anyone your good deeds. Feel free to send on the idea of the Twelve Good Deeds to someone else, but your own good actions have to be kept a secret from them, if you follow.

This third deed is one that is really only for your own benefit, but it is still a good thing to do. It’s free, takes about half an hour, and won’t cost anything. You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to.

Remember, you can’t tell anyone you’re doing this. Ready?

Deed Three; Take a walk. 

That’s right. Stand up from the computer or the phone, put on the coat, and go take a walk. Don’t worry about where you’re going, just head off in any direction for twenty minutes. Then you turn around and come back home if you so desire. As simple as this is, it is pretty rare for me to do just this; go out there and take a walk. I’m either heading somewhere and rushing, or stuck at my desk. I think we can all change that.

While you’re out on your walk, that is a walk for the sake of a walk, take a look around. If you’re like me you don’t get to just stroll about for the sake of it. Check out the nuanced colour of the sky, the leaves, the world around you. Look at the faces of the people you pass as you walk. What do you see, are they happy? Sad? Preoccupied or at ease? What does your world look like on your walk?

So that is Deed Three; Take a walk.