A Very Airmail Christmas 2015

In 2012, my friend Rebecca contacted me and one of our best blogging-turned-in-real-life-friends, Holly (also a Girlguiding leader!) to help her do something to fulfil one of her patient’s dying wishes.

We nicknamed this lady ‘Robin’. When it became clear that Robin wouldn’t make it to Christmas, Rebecca got into a conversation about Christmas and how people can lose the sense of its true meaning. It was then that Robin said if I had a Christmas wish now it would be really fun, Rebecca, if everyone in the world could just send anyone a Christmas card… it would be fun to send a Christmas card to someone you have never met. We all send our friends and family cards but not to anyone else. It would be fun to spread good will to other people as well too.”

And so with Robin’s family’s blessing we began Airmail Christmas that year, each of us (myself, Holly and Rebecca) wrote a post on our blogs explaining the idea and asking people to sign up by emailing us their postal addresses. Then I assigned each person a number and used a random number generator to match up participants to send a Christmas card to.

Rebecca has continued doing it ever since, each year we’ve picked someone we have connections with in our online community to honour. This year we are doing it in honour of a young girl who also loved Christmas. Her name is Kylie Myers, though she is best known as ‘Smiley Kylie‘. This will be the first Christmas her family has had without her present with them because she died from Ewing’s Sarcoma days before her 13th birthday, earlier this year. You can see what her father wrote on my personal blog here.

 

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As far as I know Kylie wasn’t a Girl Guide, but from what I do know of her from what she shared on social media through her battle with cancer and what her family have shared since – Kylie embodied all the qualities of a Girl Guide. She was kind, caring, courageous, compassionate, giving, a hard worker, a friend to all. She was determined to make a difference for other kids fighting cancer all through her own battle, and charged her family with the same task when she found out that her time on earth was coming to an end.

So I’m inviting my Girlguiding sisters around the world to join in with Airmail Christmas in honour of Kylie.

To participate you need to:

1) Send us your name & address (it can be your home, work or anywhere else address that you’d like a card posted to you at) to the designated email address: forrobin_christmas(at)hotmail (dot) com by Thursday 26th November.  Your addresses will be held confidentially and not shared with anyone else apart from the person who will be sending you the card.

**if you have a child that would like to join in, please let me know in your e-mail and I can try and match them up with other children participating. I have had a few participants whose kids want to participate in honour of Kylie too!**

2) On Friday 27th November, I will be randomly matching Airmail Christmas participants. We will then email you the address of someone else that you can send a card to this year.

3) Write and post your Christmas Card as soon as possible, especially if it needs to go abroad. If you like you can use the hashtags of #smileyforkylie and #airmailchristmas on the envelope.

4) Wait for your card to arrive. Feel free to send a picture of the card (please be careful not to share addresses from the envelopes!) to us to post in our Airmail Christmas gallery, or post a picture of the card on social media with the#airmailchristmas hashtag.

The only rule is that if you’re paired up with someone who lives abroad then you need to be willing to send the card to another country. We hope this will also be seen as a way of connecting with new people, continuing to fulfil Robin’s wish and to show solidarity with families who are missing loved ones this year. Hopefully in honour of Smiley Kylie, we will be giving some smiles to card receivers (and maybe a few postal workers too!)

 

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We’re going on a penny hike…

This term one of the Senior Section groups wanted to do a scavenger hunt/treasure hunt. The only problem was that the girls who suggested it weren’t at the following meetings. Add a whole pile of schoolwork, exhausted, tired Rangers came who weren’t sure what the other girls meant and ended up chatting about other things…and nothing got planned. The following meeting, not many girls showed up, but I figured if they weren’t going to do a scavenger hunt, we were going outside so I suggested a short penny hike. IMG_6009

The idea is that you go outside, take a penny, decide if heads means left or right, and flip the coin…and you follow that direction. We actually had a lot of fun doing it. Everyone took turns flipping the coin, and groaned when the coin suggested turning a direction that meant walking further up the hill (most of Edinburgh sits on it’s seven hills, if you’ve visited our fair Auld Reekie, you’ll know that you find yourself walking up and down hills a lot!). Most of the units I’ve seen do this seem to be in more rural areas, we are in an urban setting. However there was a scream when one Ranger almost stepped on this guy…

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He’s either a long way from the river or from someone’s garden pond!! We also spotted cats and a fox.

It was a good way to get the girls moving and us leaders too, and would love to do this in the summer months a bit further from our meeting place.