CHRISTMAS: 25 Acts of Kindness
I was just inspired by reading http://ticklestogiggles.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-birthday-was-awesome.html and her 35 random acts of kindness she and her children performed for others in celebration of her birthday. Well, why not extend that idea to Christmas? Why not 25 acts of a kindness, one each day, beginning with the first day of December? You don't have to spend a lot, to give a lot. If you had fun doing it, why not extend these kind acts every day?
Some ideas - Include your entire family or your church groups or coworkers, you get the idea.
1. Adopt a family or individual from the Sub for Santa or Angel Tree. And shop for them as a family. http://www.unitedwayuc.org/subforsanta (look for a chapter in your area) My own family was a recipient of someone's generosity one Christmas (newly divorced mother of four with a minimum wage fast food job)...even though we were not on the Sub for Santa list...my kids still remember that year of so many gifts there was no room to walk in the living room Christmas morning. (Bishop and his company provided for that year). My kids started adopting Angels from the Angel tree when they were in High School...even though I couldn't afford it and they didn't have jobs...we ended up using our own Christmas budget for this and my kids went without some of the items on their wish lists.
2. Drop off a plate of cookies to an unknown neighbor. http://beenjingled.com/ or http://www.squidoo.com/youve-been-jingled (I live in a large condo complex and there is an apartment complex next door, so this would be a lot of fun).
3. Hand out $5 gift cards to strangers for fast food restaurants. A great idea for the homeless when you may be afraid of handing them cash. Or leave one in a card on someone's windshield in the parking lot at work or at the local grocery store.
4. Give heat or electricity to a family. Contact your local Utility company and ask to help out a specific family in need who may be behind in their payments.
5. Allow the person behind you in check out line to move ahead of you. A simple gesture, but it goes a long way.
6. Offer to babysit your friends/neighbor's children at no cost to them, so they can go shopping without their kids.While they are away, treat their kids to some holiday cookie decorating or Christmas ornament craft and a Christmas movie.
7. Donate food to your local Food Bank; they are grateful for any canned food donations, large or small.
8. Pay for the other guys gasoline at the pump.
9. I loved the idea of visiting the elderly in a retirement center...offer flowers, cards, etc...some may have diabetes...so be careful on what type of treats you offer. Or sing them some Christmas Carols...we did that as a young men/young women activity...it was fun to visit them afterwards.
10. Take your local public servants (Firemen/Police department) a tray of brownies or muffins...and a thank you card.
11. Be Grateful: Thank a different someone every day for what they do...even though they may get paid for it, knowing they are appreciated goes a long way.
12. If its snowed, shovel the walkway or driveway for your neighbor or single parent/elderly person. The young men in one of my old wards were "on call" for this act of service one winter. One winter, church services were cancelled because we were snowed in and the young men and Elder's quorum were out shoveling.
13. I also liked http://ticklestogiggles.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-birthday-was-awesome.html idea of leaving random dollar bills hidden in the store's shelves...how fun would it be to be a fly on the wall to see the finder's face?
14. Tie quilts as a family, as a church group, or even company, for your local NICU or Pediatric Care unit.
15. https://www.thechristmasboxhouse.org/wp/contact-us/utah-valley-christmas-box-club; they are always in need of something, year round.
16. When you arrive at work, smile and say a cheerful "good morning" and serve donuts, bagels or breakfast cake to your coworkers. Nothing like starting out your work day on a positive note.
17. Hold the door open for someone, anyone, whether they are capable or not.
18. Say "You're welcome" with a smile, to those who thank you for your kindness
19. Volunteer at the local Humane Society; its fun, to take the dogs out for a walk or a run, and the dogs and cats return the favor in their own ways...some will even give you a smile and a kiss. They need love too! Did this one year as an act of service with my former company.
20. Leave a large bill on the seat of someone's unlocked car...had that happen to me almost every year. It was much appreciated.
21. Leave Christmas breakfast on your neighbor's doorstep...pancake mix, syrup, fry pan and spatula.
22. Return your shopping cart to the store instead of leaving it out in the cold. Return several!
23. Pick up trash in your neighborhood. A good thing to do on a daily basis.
24. Do someone else's household chores without them knowing.
25. Donate books to your local library or schools.
Try to do these random acts of kindness without wanting recognition for it...having been on both the giving and receiving ends of acts of kindness...they are both rewarding and humbling in their own ways. Have any ideas of your own? Please share, we would love to hear them all!