12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS.

12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS.
*Changing the world--One small random act of kindness at a time*

Remember when Christmas was really about bringing family together, the birth of Christ, and encompassing the spirit of giving?

I do... But just barely.

These days, the Christmas season seems to be all about Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday Madness, and making sure we have more Christmas presents under the tree than last year.

Society makes it way too easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. We so easily become consumed with pop culture telling us that if we don't camp out in front of Best Buy and get that flat screen TV, well then, we might as well sleep through December 25th.

But my question is this:  Since when did we need to 'buy' love from the very people that already love us unconditionally? And why can't showing someone how much they mean to us consist of quality conversation and random acts of kindness...rather than topping last years Christmas gift with an even more extravagant one this year?

I am disappointed in myself for getting caught up in this materialistic version of Christmas, when I know deep down it should be about spending time with those I love most and giving to others less fortunate than me.  I don't want to get swept up in the shallow shopping frenzy anymore. That is why I came up with a project designed to shift our focus from what society tells us Christmas should be all about....to what the true meaning of Christmas really is about....

and that is the spirit of giving.

 

**THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS**

Disclaimer:  The 12 Gifts of Christmas was designed to help us focus on what truly matters and get in the spirit of giving that Christmas was meant to inspire. Each day, for the twelve days leading up to Christmas (*December 13-24*), I ask that each of us do one random act of kindness. Simple as that. I will post the ideas I have for each day, but feel free to be creative as well.

I only have one request:

*Document your experience. This can include keeping a journal, or even taking pictures of your personal experiences. That way, each of you can submit to me your finished product anytime during the week of Dec. 26-Dec. 31.*

On January 1, I plan on creating a separate web page explaining what The 12 Gifts of Christmas Project is all about. I will post each of your projects to the website in hopes that we will inspire people all over the world to join in the same experience next year.

I am hoping this encourages everyone to live out the true meaning of Christmas. I believe with all my heart that it will transform countless lives for the better. In fact, I'm even going to go as far as to say that it will most likely be those of us that are participating that end up being impacted more than the individuals we are actually doing the favors for. It's amazing how giving to others changes our focus from "me" to the overwhelming needs of our world.

Anyway, thank you in advance for participating!!! Merry Christmas to each of you! I hope you have as much fun with this as I have had creating it. =)

So here it is..... Enjoy!

 

THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS:

DAY 12: (DECEMBER 13)-- Buy food for a homeless person (or someone in need).  This does not have to be expensive. $5 should cover lunch.

DAY 11: (DECEMBER 14)-- Write a kind, hand-written letter to someone that changed your life for the better. And no, I'm not talking about an email or a text...I'm talking about snail mail people. ;) (This can be to a childhood friend, a teacher from the past, or even an old baby-sitter that impacted your life for the better.)

DAY 10: (DECEMBER 15)-- Pay for the person's order in line behind you in either the coffee drive-thru, fast food, a tollbooth, train ticket, etc. (There are a LOT of options here...)

DAY 9: (DECEMBER 16)-- Put grocery carts away in a random parking lot for other shoppers or find carts that others have left behind. It will help the employees out by bringing them indoors where they belong.

DAY 8: (DECEMBER 17)-- Write a letter of thanks to the armed forces. (Yes, even if you don't support the war. Remember that these people are risking their lives daily in order to ensure our safety and Freedom).

 Here is the address:

A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861

DAY 7: (DECEMBER 18)-- Buy or bake something for a neighbor. You may know them well, you may have never even introduced yourself. So here's your chance;)

DAY 6: (DECEMBER 19)-- Buy a $5 or $10 gift card for a grocery store, gas station, coffee place, etc. Leave the gift card on a random park bench or windshield of someone's car.

DAY 5: (DECEMBER 20)-- Do something kind for the elderly. This can be anything from helping them to their car with heavy groceries, holding the door open for them, volunteering at a retirement home, or even raking their leaves.

DAY 4: (DECEMBER 21)-- Tape quarters to a vending machine. So simple, yet so convenient! I honestly cannot count how many times I have wanted a snack or a soda, but could not dig up that last quarter to satisfy my craving.

DAY 3: (DECEMBER 22)-- Leave a generous tip for a server, barista, or bartender--along with a nice note. This will most likely make their night. Having been in all three of these positions, I know how easy it is to get discouraged when guests are difficult and do not tip. This could turn their entire day around!

DAY 2: (DECEMBER 23)-- Purchase a gift card at a local grocery store (of any amount). Turn around in line, and hand it to the first person you see. Then walk away. No explanation is needed. I'm sure their expression will say it all.

Day 1: (DECEMBER 24)-- YOUR turn to choose a random act of kindness. I thought it would be fun to see the different ideas everybody comes up with for this last day before Christmas. Be creative. The sky is the limit. =)

*So that's it. I hope these ideas will inspire you to get out there and participate. Think of how many lives we have the potential to change by doing one random act of kindness a day for 12 days straight. I can't even imagine how many people will be impacted by our selfless actions.

I'm excited to start receiving your journals detailing your experience with THE 12 GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS. =)

*IF YOU WISH TO JOIN US IN THIS PAY-IT-FORWARD JOURNEY, PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO JOIN THE OPEN FACEBOOK EVENT:

https://www.facebook.com/events/315454065150001/  

*FINALLY, TO SUBMIT YOUR BLOG ONCE IT IS COMPLETED-- EMAIL IT TO ME AT:  CHAINLINKS08@GMAIL.COM 

Thank you!

                                                            

 

 

 

Comments

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  • How about doing one random act of kindness a day for 365 days straight?

  • Well that would definitely be ideal, wouldn't it? =) I think a lot of people just get distracted in their every day life (including me)-- and don't always think about it. This project is designed to shift our focus back onto the TRUE meaning of Christmas. And who knows, maybe it will inspire others to go ahead and Pay It Forward each and every day. How amazing would that be?! Hope you'll be participating! Thanks for checking out my blog. =)

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    Please, don't forget the giving trees, where you pick a card off of a tree in a retailer, with the info about an anonymous child, age, sex, etc., and buy a gift for that child. P lease, also, don't forget the food banks...our local grocery store has bags of groceries all packed and ready to go, all you gotta do is grab a sack, pay fifteen bucks for it, and put it in the cart to go to the food bank! How easy can it be?

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    Oh, and as an easy way to give food to the hungry, take your leftovers from your own restaurant meal in a to go box, always, hand it to a street person, or so meone else who is obviously hard up...or leave it on a park bench...don't forget to get plastic forks, etc. from your server, and include them in the box. Even cold, leftover restaurant food is tasty when you are hungry,,,,,(ask any server who has to eat on the run on a busy day! :) )

  • In reply to Megan Musial:

    Megan-- ALL excellent ideas!! Thank you!! Numerous flyers have already been printed and distributed with the specific "12 Gifts" on them, but obviously people do not have to stick directly to the list. Those are all great ideas for people to do on the 12th day as well! Thanks for sharing. Hope you'll be participating! =)

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    Beautiful ideas from all of you. I will definitely be participating!

  • In reply to Belinda Nadeau:

    Belinda- So glad you'll be joining in this Pay it forward Christmas project! Can't wait to see your finished blog about your experience! =)

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    What a wonderful idea .. can't wait to start .. I'll probably start before Dec. 13th .. brings a tear to my eyes thinking how giving this all is .. thanks you so much!

  • In reply to Sue Troiano:

    Feel free to start whenever you'd like! I think it's simply a great reminder to look around us on a daily basis. It's so easy to become consumed with our own lives, and our own problems...that we fail to see the overwhelming needs of others around us. So excited you'll be participating! Feel free to spread the word to your own friends and family. The more, the merrier! =)

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    What a great idea! I will definitely be participating. I just randomly found your blog. Thanks for taking the time to put this out there.

  • In reply to Brian Gordon:

    Brian-- That's fantastic! So glad you literally stumbled upon it. =) Thanks for participating-- I'll keep my eyes out for your journal/blog once it's all over! Can you do me one favor and click this link? https://www.facebook.com/events/315454065150001/. It is a facebook event where people can "rsvp" that they're participating. So far, over 9,000 people have been invited! Pretty awesome. Ok Im rambling now....LOL

  • Wonderful idea(s). Just let's not forget that the original 12 Days of Christmas refers to Christmas Day through Epiphany, when the Magi (Three Wisemen) visited the baby.

  • In reply to ccboy:

    Thank you for checking out my blog! I'm glad you like the concept behind it. I completely agree with you--- I know what the 12 Days of Christmas is really about --no disputes there. =) This is just supposed to be a creative spin on it to inspire people to get back into the true spirit of Christmas. Hope you'll be participating!
    ~Trista

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