(Ok the picture isn’t an act of kindness- I love the angel wings and I’m wearing my Chickens Christmas sweater so I thought I’d share lol) Nicole Philips has a book called, Kindness is Contagious. She’s a fellow cancer survivor, mom and just all around neat person. Her book about kindness, my recent birthday & the goal to get me out of my “humbug” led me to my 46 acts of kindness. I set out with the idea to do at least 46 things between my birthday (on Black Friday) & Christmas Eve. It took a little bit of planning. I also had to remember to write them down. I’m not doing this to brag or for an attagirl– I wanted to spark some ideas for others. Some of the things on my list were things I’ve done before but some were new. Some were free and some cost a quarter or two. Others were a little more expensive, but nothing crazy.
I learned a few things: 1) people are often shocked when you give them something 2) not everyone pays it forward & that’s ok 3) it’s ok to step out of your comfort zone to make someone’s day brighter 4) I found myself judging my acts- were they big enough, good enough etc. – don’t do that 5) kindness really can be contagious & it doesn’t have to just be for birthdays or Christmas- we can do this anytime!
So, here are my 46 things. Some I did more than once.
1. Brought coffee and donuts to church staff.
2. Went back home to get Cam’s medicine so he wasn’t late for work
3. Tipping the gymnastics team at the grocery store
4. $10 gift card to Caribou to a random person in the drive through. (walking up to their car freaked them out a little)
5. Bag of toys for holiday toy drive at work
6. Reindeer chow for coworkers (this is a Chex cereal/nuts/almond bark/candy treat)
7. Platters of treats for neighbors & friends.
8. Donated to 2 charities (Robbie’s Hope and Healing Odyssey) on Giving Tuesday Dec 3, so the funds were matched
9. Gift bag of office supplies for church office
10. Donated toiletries, blankets & gloves to homeless (Kare Packs)
11. Put a $5 bill in a box of generic diapers at Target – maybe next time I will add a note
12. Donated food to the food pantry
13. Sent a bunch of pjs for kids who have been abused or neglected (Project Ignite Light)
14. Paid for my coffee in the drive through + person behind me and gave the lady at the window a $7 tip. Her smile made my day even more than the $7 made hers.
15. Shared Christmas chickens pictures with co workers to brighten their day.
16. Praying intentionally for a friend who was experiencing lots of struggles.
17. Smiling and saying “hi” (more than I normally do)
18. Brought a poinsettia plant for our front desk lady & thanked her for all she does.
19. Mailed Christmas cookies to a niece right before college finals
20. Put a bunch of quarters in the carts at Aldi (x2)
21. Fed the birds
22. Put quarters in the candy vending machines at Wal-Mart (found a dime when I was doing this, thanks Grandma!)
23. Got a wind up Christmas chicken for a co-worker who also loves chickens
24. Save pop tabs for Ronald McDonald house
25. Handed out free ice cream coupons to 3 men walking over to Culver’s.
26. Set out waters & treats for UPS, Fed Ex & USPS workers (modify this if you’re in MN, the water will freeze LOL)
27. Gave change to Ronald McDonald house in the drive through
28. Put candy canes on car door handles in Albertville parking lot (this was lots of fun)! Also did this in Target
29. Put quarters in the candy/toy area in Albertville outlets
30. Son wore a Christmas suit to spread cheer – made people smile
31. Donated to the FFA at Culver’s
32. Put coffee creamer in the lunchroom by the coffee pot for coworkers
33. Bought toys & books for a little boy from the giving tree at church
34. Held the door for construction worker at church
35. Brought donuts for coworkers on a stormy Monday
36. Picked up an extra gift card for the giving tree because there were some that weren’t claimed yet
37. Gave a coworker a ride to her car at the repair shop
38. 7 Bags of treats for middle school teachers
39. Make tie blankets for Pink it Forward (sends to cancer patients)
40. Leave pennies for someone to find
41. Put quarters in the feminine products machine and left 2 extra quarters
42. Tipped cleaning people at the motel
43. Sent a bunch of personalized packages to ladies from a retreat I went to last year. Each thing reminded me of them specifically. I think the postage might have gotten mixed up though – Oops!
44. Mailed out a bunch of Christmas cards & put an extra sheet of stamps in the self service kiosk at the post office
45. Donated food to the middle school food shelf (sends food home with kids in need)
46. Paid for the person behind me in the Culver’s drive through. The cashier said, “Why would you do that? Just kindness?” Yep, just kindness. Merry Christmas.
My most fun: (by far) was the candy canes on the car doors. I did this 3 times because it was so much fun! There were people waiting in cars who saw me – I gave them candy canes too!
The most sneaky: $5 in the diaper box with no note
Most unlike Pinterest: the treats for the delivery drivers… the water froze & I had to bring them in at night so critters didn’t try to eat the snacks, then sometimes forgot to put them back out even when we did have a delivery.
Which one will you try? I’d love to hear your ideas! Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Merry Christmas if you celebrate or Happy Holidays if you don’t. Either way, I encourage you to spread some kindness- maybe it will be contagious!