Just a quick thought here- I was driving through my suburb and was entranced by the beautiful lights that warm up this frigid month. Night is so long that the Christmas decorations serve to keep spirits bright, as they say.
I am trying to retain the spirit of Christmas without the manic shopping overload, and so I keep trying to think of acts of kindnesses that cost little or nothing, and can make someone's day.
I decided to send a few anonymous postcards to people whose homes make me smile. It takes a lot of effort to crawl around bushes or hike upon a ladder to string lights. One family by me has a zoo's worth of inflatable characters that they launch every evening. It might not be my style, but it tickles me. I can send them a dash of encouragement.
Other things to share the season: drop off socks, hats and mittens at a local homeless shelter. Add hand warmers. Launder coats that no longer fit and donate them. Feed the birds who are brave enough to remain in our frozen tundra. Pull a wish list off your church's tree and fulfill a kid's dream. Drop some cereal and canned goods into food pantry bags at the grocery store. Stop and help someone carry a heavy object. Let the person with 5 items go in front of you in line. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks. Hand a Dunkin gift card to your local policeman without a smart ass remark. Give a thumbs up to the Mom with antlers and a red nose on her minivan. Donate diapers to a church in a poor neighborhood- they will know who needs them. Offer to babysit for the neighbor who cannot get out to shop. When you snow blow your walk, do the neighbor's too. Make sure the senior citizen next door doesn't need milk or bread: they do not like to navigate the ice and snow.
I know these are tiny gestures. They will not make anyone's Christmas, but the spirit will make yours better. Smiles will ensue, gratitude will occur. The little kindnesses will be pushed on to others.
It can be a dark season for those who are alone, poor, frightened, tired or overwhelmed. You can make it better.
Come on. Send me other little things we can do. Let's light this fuse.
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