When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace. - The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)It seems as though each year everyone has been getting caught up in “XMas” - Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Santa in the mall, the “stresses” of the season. What is this season really all about? Ultimately, it is a Christian holiday, based off of the birth of Jesus Christ and the celebration therein. When did we lose sight of what we should really be celebrating, Christmas - time with family, the celebration of faith, giving our gifts to others in need, and just kindness in general?
This year I wanted to feel that special holiday excitement that I used to get when my Mother would bring me to the nursing homes and shut-ins homes around this time, and how special it would feel to bring them a donated gift, and just sit and listen to their stories. I missed that.
Thanks to the many countdowns in the month of December, I thought of the 25 Days of Christmas. What 25 things could I do that would benefit someone other than myself? How could I help others who may be left out during this season? And selfishly, how can I find that special feeling again of my heart warming due to the smile on someone else’s face because they’d been remembered?
My list is as follows. There is no rhyme or reason to the list, really it’s just a collection of chairities I liked, or activities I have enjoyed contributing to in the past.
- Donate to FEED - provides 10 school meals to children through school feeding operations. @FEEDProjects
- Donate to the Pilgrim Congregational Church Hat & Mitten Tree
- Visit a church shut-in
- Write letters to deployed soldiers - A Million Thanks (@aMillionThanks), Operation Gratitude (@opgratitude), AnyMarine (@anysoldier)
- Become a penpal to soldiers - send to 3
- Adopt a Soldier (@anysoldier)
- Adopt a child tree
- Pay for someone’s coffee in line (@starbucks)
- Donate clothes to a shelter
- Donate stuffed animals/books to hospital
- Visit at nursing home
- Leave quarters at laundromat
- Write to someone who wouldn’t normally get letters
- Bake cookies for 2 people
- Donate food to local food bank
- Let 5 people pass in morning commute
- Bring breakfast into team for work
- Give Theo Chocolate - First organic & fair trade chocolate in the country (@theochocolate)
- Send a card to a church shut-in
- Give to Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign
- Donate stuffed animal & book to Project Smile - (@ProjectSmileCP) - donates stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and children's reading books to police and fire departments for police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children involved in traumatic situations.
- Help older woman in parking lot
- Donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank - You can donate any amount and chose for it to go to holiday turkeys, hurricane relief, childhood hunger, senior hunger, or women fighting hunger.
- Donate to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry efforts in Massachusetts
- Donate books to church or library
There is also a list www.randomactsofkindness.org I was recently sent, which is a great reference for small and big things you can do to affect someone anytime. Whether it be smiling at someone as they walk by, or donating mittens to someone in need, there is always an opportunity to show kindness to someone else.
Question of the Day: How will you be sharing kindness during this holiday season?