Random Acts ofHoliday Kindness Have you heard of performing random acts of kindness during the holidays?  This idea has really caught on over the last few years- especially during the holidays. In 2010, TSJPhotography shared their family’s Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (RACK for short). By the next Christmas, in 2011, it seemed like tons of other families were jumping on the bandwagon and joining in on the fun. So much so, that Tracie from TSJ Photography even created a printable for others to use when performing these acts of kindness. A search on Pinterest will reveal hundreds of ideas, calendars, and printables for random acts of kindness during the holidays.

Random acts of holiday kindness are a creative and fun way to reinforce the giving principles we parents try to teach all year long, right?  How many times have I asked my children to consider others before themselves? This year I personally want to step up this a focus and reinforce the idea that giving is better than receiving.  The holidays are a perfect time to offer an extra act of kindness to others and seems to create contagious joy.  When you can create delight in another person’s life by giving away a little holiday spirit,  it becomes easier to continue your kindness all year long.

One of the ideas I try to reinforce in our family is the idea of giving away the “biggest piece of cake”.  You remember being a kid and wanting to be the first to pick your piece of cake so that you could get the biggest one, or the one with the most frosting.  My family challenged each other to look for an opportunity to give the” biggest piece of cake” away.

Stress seems to be a common complaint in the holiday season and kindness seems to be more appreciated.  My mood can be positively impacted when I think of others over myself.  Studies show that being generous may lengthen your life.  Which only proves the old adage that it is better to give than receive.

For myself, I realized that the most coveted parking space or the primo line at the grocery store is where I could practice my random acts of kindness.  It’s not as easy as you think.  It takes a whole new mindset.  Just image not thinking ahead three moves but looking for an opportunity to give someone a hand up.

The holiday shopping season is the perfect time for me to show what I am made of.  Our family had a brainstorm session and these were our top five ways to make the season more jolly for others.

- Buy a coffee or meal for the person behind you at the drive-thru or walk up counter.

- Write a heartfelt appreciation note to 5 people who serve you every day, such as the mailman, school bus driver, cafeteria lady, grocery store clerk.

- Bring your entire jar of extra coins to the Salvation Army Santa ringing the bell and make his or her week!

- Give a generous tip to a waitperson.

- Rake someone’s leaves or bring them their newspaper.

A generous spirit doesn’t have to involve your wallet.  Other ways you can give away this season without your wallet…

- Serve at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

- Write notes to those stuck in the hospital over the holidays.  Kids love to do this!

- Clean out your coat closet and give away gently used coats and blankets.

- Visit a home-bound neighbor and bring them some cookies.

Random Acts of Kindness is a way to keep your eye open for opportunities to encourage people you interact with daily.  Small gestures can give someone a smile and we all really need more of that.

What is your family going to do to create opportunities for random acts of kindness during this holiday season, to be more outwardly focused?

 

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