“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
-Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
St. Nick came to our house last night, and filled the girls’ stockings with fuzzy Christmas socks, chocolate coins, three clementines, an apple, Silly Putty and The Polar Express to view for movie night tonight.
Stemming from our German roots, my husband and I both celebrated St. Nick growing up. We are passing the tradition onto our daughters.
My explanation about St. Nick is simple: He is the protector of children and people in need. I tell the girls that he comes to us to serve as a reminder to keep the poor and those in need in our hearts and deeds this holiday season.
This time of year can be overly commercial and stressful, so I try to reinforce the peace. I want my daughters to know this is a time of year for hope, renewal, and good will.
I believe little acts multiply and grow the chain of good deeds, so I compiled 10 ways to pay kindness forward this holiday season.
- Grab a pen: Write a note to a near stranger, like your mail carrier, in thanks.
- Spare some change: Pay the toll for the car behind you, drop a quarter in a meter that’s about to expire. Ask the person behind you at the coffee shop what they’re having and buy it for them.
- You’re not alone: Tell another mom (or dad) that she’s a good mom, and give a concrete noticing. A word kindly spoken can change someone’s whole day. This site is on a mission.
- Will work for food: Pack a meal and deliver it to a homeless person when you are idling at a stop light or carry around extra granola bars to hand out.
- Wrap it up: Offer to wrap gifts for a new parent or an elderly relative. Or even your mom and dad.
- After you: Let someone who looks frazzled or pressed for time cut in front of you at the grocery store.
- Teach a child: Share (or start) a holiday tradition with your child, your niece, your best friend’s son or your students.
- Family matters: Help a family in need by buying a Christmas gift for them. Many schools, churches, and businesses take part in this giving tradition.
- Snow be gone: Shovel your neighbor’s driveway, scrape off your co-worker’s car. Stop your car and take over the shoving for the elderly person, struggling to lift the dense snow.
- Smile: Smile at someone who looks sad or overwhelmed. Uncross your arms, take a deep breath, and just smile.
Pay it forward.
Ciao for now.
P.S. These images from Pinterest may offer inspiration. Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend. It’s going to be 20 degrees here in Chicago. Brrrrrrrrr.