I mean, technically, you should strive to be kind everyday. But it’s like, even if we’re grownups, we feel the need to be a little nicer around the holidays, as if Santa is still watching us and we may end up with coal in our stockings instead of a shiny new toy (or iPad or pair of socks or whatever you’re desiring this year).
I believe in random acts of kindness. And this month, I’m challenging myself to go over the top with it.
Let’s be good to one another.
Here are some of my ideas, that I’ll be attempting to try as my countdown to Xmas, to make the holiday season a little more jolly. There’s one for each day of December, sort of my own advent calendar. I’ll be sure to update you all on how it all goes.
1. Give a homeless person a Dunkin Donuts gift card or a package of necessities (toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, mittens, etc)
2. Fill up some parking meters (Note: I think this is technically illegal, but I think so was half the stuff Jesus did at the time and no one ever bothers him about it)
3. Volunteer! Animal shelters, senior housing, soup kitchens. You can make a difference.
4. Operation Christmas – buy a present for a kid who might not otherwise get one (Churches are great with this)
5. Pay for the person behind you at a drive-thru or on line (side note, Westchester needs more drive-thru cafes)
6. Write a letter or send a care package to our troops
7. Call up someone who misses you (You know there’s someone out there you’re neglecting)
8. Give someone a random, genuine compliment
9. Give a big tip at a restaurant or to your taxi driver
10. Forgive. Someone cut you off? Forgive them. Barista gave you vanilla instead of pumpkin spice? Forgive. Let it all wash off you
11. Clean out your closet and give your hardly-ever-worn clothes to charity
12. Likewise, donate some of your old books to the library
13. Leave notes of kindness in places that people will find them (in books, on tables, on car windshields – except they’ll be panicking it’s a ticket first)
14. Smile at someone who looks like they need it
15. Bring a random treat/gift to someone (coworkers, classmates, parents)
16. Listen to someone who needs a kind ear and don’t offer advice (unless asked) or judgment; just listen. Seven Cups of Tea is a great place to volunteer a tiny bit of your time to this!
17. Donate to your favorite charity or nonprofit organization you believe in (and check this website to make sure they’re a reputable charity)
18. Make a conscious choice to recycle and/or pick up litter. Be kind to the earth too!
19. Write/reach out to someone who made a difference in your life and thank them
20. Put in a good word for someone. We all need help sometimes
21. Give someone your undivided attention (put down the phone!)
22. Say thank you to someone who probably doesn’t hear it enough but deserves to (a janitor, a mail person, etc)
23. Say sorry to that person you’ve been avoiding apologizing to
24. Collect the spare change in your couch cushions and donate it (even if just to your local coffee tip jar)
25. Bring back the shopping cart to where it’s supposed to go. You know what sucks? Collecting shopping carts from a parking lot that are scattered in fifty billion places. You know what sucks more? Doing that in December. Don’t be that person.
26. Leave a nice review for a product or service that you have benefitted from
27. Do a chore that you know someone else hates having to do
28. Buy locally or from a small, independent business
29. Shut down gossip. Let’s all avoid that irresistible poison for a month. Try playing devil’s advocate for a month and show sympathy. After all, Plato said, ‘be kind, everyone’s fighting a hard battle’.
30. Drop quarters on the ground for people to find. (Kids especially! Don’t you remember feeling rich when you found change as a child?)
31. Be a friend to someone who seems lonely. Because, you know, we all get by with a little help from our friends
What do you think? Do you have any ideas for more random acts of kindness?