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Acts of kindness the focus of Toronto woman's Advent calendar

Last Updated Dec 5, 2017 at 6:09 pm EDT

The festive season can often pass by in a blur — with the hustle and bustle of shopping and the countless things to do before Christmas Day. But one Toronto woman is hoping to add more meaning to the season.

Maran Stern-Kubista, the founder of My Kindness Calendar, has created an Advent calendar with the aim of giving back in mind. The My Kindness Advent Calendar mirrors the 25 days of Advent, which started on Dec. 1.

In the Christian calendar, Advent is when Christians await and prepare for the birth of Jesus, which is celebrated on Dec. 25.

Similarly, the My Kindness Advent Calendar helps people countdown to Christmas through acts of kindness. People have 25 ways or opportunities to offer an act of kindness to others.

Stern-Kubista said that the idea of the calendar was inspired by her family.

“We had so much joy sharing teaching kindness in our family that I just wanted to empower as many families as possible to share kindness, empathy and gratitude in a fun and engaging,” she said on Tuesday.

The calendar comes with reusable stickers with daily suggestions such as “Give a Hug,” “Donate to a Food Bank,” “Learn About Another Culture,” and “Donate a Toy to a Child in Need,” to name a few. People can also create personalized acts of kindness with customizable stickers. You can then add the stickers to the calendar to track your progress.

The calendar has been selling across Canada, the United States, and across the pond in the United Kingdom. Out of the 250 calendars made, 200 have already been sold. It costs $75 and can be re-used year after year.

“I’m not surprised it’s taken off I think it’s exactly what the world needs right now and what families want,” Stern-Kubista said.

“I am amazed though at the power of social media and how this has spread so quickly right across the world, so next year I will definitely do it again.”

The company is also paying it forward by creating environmentally-friendly calendars and plans to donate five per cent of its net proceeds to charity.