“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
I’m grateful for heat.
Yes, I love the blazing sun of summer, but right now, I’m most thankful for central heat.
You see, our furnace bid us adieu on Sunday. After 15 years of pumping out heat in the Chicago winters, it had had enough. The pipes were corroded, leaking, and in the words of our heating and cooling guy, “if there’s not already carbon monoxide present, there will be soon.”
Talk about a one-way ticket to a Town Called Panic. The words silent killer floated on ticker tape through my brain as I asked him to pretty please test our carbon monoxide detectors before leaving for the night. I know, I played the damsel in distress card, but my husband was out of town and I didn’t want to freak out alone.
Without hesitation, he was up on a ladder to check our three devices. One needed a battery – a quick fix – but overall, we were in business and no carbon monoxide was detected.
I’m so grateful for his help and that we weren’t going to die in our sleep.
Now for the problem of no heat.
Fortunately, we’d had a mild November and the temps had yet to dip under 40 degrees.
And fortunately, the turn around was fast and he could order and install a new furnace by the end of the week. I’m grateful for that and for our home equity line of credit that could be tapped to the tune of, oh let’s not go there. Here comes Santa Claus. Here comes Santa Claus. Ho ho ho.
In the meantime, one friend lent me her space heater, another gave us a 9 V battery to replace the expired one, and several offered beds in their homes.
I’m so thankful for their kindness, their friendship.
Since my husband was gone this week, I had some space in my bed for a slumber party. Each night, the girls and I bundled together under several blankets and watched an episode (or two) of Once Upon a Time. The warmth of the space heater kept us toasty all night and even as Stella kneed me in the back throughout the night and Veronica took up half the bed, I was thankful. Sleepy, but grateful.
I had already created a December calendar of daily acts that are dedicated to spreading kindness and the heater experience sealed the deal.
We need to pay it forward.
Kindness is something I expect from my girls. I hope I’m modeling it – I think I’m decent at being kind – and yet, I know I could stand to be more intentional about demonstrating kindness in my daily life and showing them what that looks like and how to be kind.
I am ever inspired by the Dr. Seuss quote,
“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”
And for this particular activity, I was inspired by this Random Acts of Christmas Kindness calendar that the blogger at Coffee Cups and Crayon created and decided to add and edit a few of my own for our …
Kindness Calendar (if you click on the link, you can print it for your own use!)
I printed it three times – I put one our kitchen cork board and gave one to each girl. I put little __ in front of each activity and together we can check off our acts of kindness each day.
You could also cut 24 squares to create slips to put in your advent calendar box or simply in a jar to pull out at random each day.
I wanted to make this activity successful and realistic, so I set the more time consuming acts of kindness for the weekends and figure we can plan out the weekly kindness each weekend for the upcoming week. Weeks get hairy and zoom by – especially in December.
My aim is for this to be more than ’tis the season. I would love to carry on this wave of kindness in 2017. I need to do some brainstorming, but maybe create a stack of kindness cards and draw one or two cards for the week? Or maybe focus on one bigger act of random kindness for the week, perhaps? Any ideas?
In my search for ideas to add on our calendar I came across this anti-Grinchy site that celebrates family reading, the act of giving, and creating community spirit. Starting December 1, this site kicks off 25 Day of Grinch-mas with activities and ideas for good deeds that encourage readers to grow their hearts three sizes.
We know how it ended for the Grinch:
“Then the Grinch thought of something
he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought,
‘doesn’t come from a store.
means a little bit more!’ ”
It’s my hope that one act of kindness can inspire another and create a ripple effect.
P.S. One of our favorite traditions is to count down to Christmas with books. Check out how we do it here.