With Christmas just a week away, it is easy to get swept up in the holiday rush and in buying gifts for all of your loved ones. Do you ever stop to think about how commercialized Christmas has become? There is nothing wrong in getting gifts for your friends and family, but I think it’s important to also remember why we give these gifts and remember to include acts of kindness as part of our holiday traditions and New Year resolutions.
The tradition of giving gifts stemmed from the three wise men first delivering gifts to Jesus Christ as a token to him of his role as a king. We now give gifts in remembrance of that occasion. Do our gifts reflect the same spirit of giving, kindness and love that the Wise Men had?
This post is sponsored by Dignity Health. All opinions are my own.
A tradition we have in our home is trying to make a difference – whether big or small – as a gift to the Savior. Sometimes that means helping out families from our local church by donating gifts, time, or money as may be needed. Other years it means doing a local act of service in our community. This time – it means taking the time to evaluate how we are giving and make sure we are doing the best we can to show kindness in our community.
Hello Humankindness is a project started by Dignity Health because they understand that having a human connection — physical, verbal or otherwise — makes a difference towards better health. They make it their mission to put that human connection into all they do and inspire that same desire in others, too.
The goal is to think beyond random acts of kindness that often have little impact on the beneficiary and instead think and plan ways we can share kindness in ways that will have a big impact on the recipient and hopefully lead to a kinder world as that kindness spreads.
25 Acts of Kindness
- Walk pets at the animal shelter, or offer for a neighbor that can’t get around well
- Shovel someone’s driveway or sidewalk
- Buy an admission ticket for a person behind you
- Say hello to people you pass in the hallway at work, whether you know them or not.
- Return the shopping cart to where it goes
- Offer to show your new coworker around and make them feel welcome
- Bring a box of snacks to share at work, and leave them in the break-room
- Coach a youth sports team
- Send someone a funny e-card for no reason!
- Leave $5 taped to the gas pump for the next person (or any amount you want to share)
- Find a library with a public wish list on Amazon and send them a book
- Bring some popsicles when you take your kids to park and give them out to the other children
- Have a sock or coat drive to donate to the homeless shelter (especially for winter)
- Get some umbrellas from the dollar store and leave at work or school for someone that forget theirs
- Leave a positive message on a sticky note and place on a grocery cart or on a shelf
- Send a care package to someone in the military
- Buy some toilet paper and leave in your local park’s restroom
- Include a compliment in the next email you write
- Donate your change or $1 at the register
- Treat someone that is alone to the movies
- Donate blood
- Leave a book on the train or bus
- Donate old textbooks to help a college student
- Help an elderly person with their garden
- Leave extra change at the self-service car wash
My cousin is a huge example to me with her always compassionate and thoughtful outlook towards others. This past year for her birthday, she started a fundraising campaign and asked friends and family that would like to give her a birthday gift to instead help donate to a wonderful cause she had selected. All funds through the donation page she set up would go towards buying toilets for families she grew to love while living abroad in India. She was able to raise funds to build 12 toilets in India — helping to provide a cleaner, disease free, environment that has helped a lot of people! The thing that is key to me is she doesn’t do it for her own sense of accomplishment or approval in the world – but out of a genuine compassion for others.
What are you going to do this year to give and help to others in need? Visit HelloHumanKindness.org for ideas to get started! For even more amazing ideas of how to give back to others, go check out this really cute random acts of kindness calendar printable my friend made! It’s a great way to get started implementing kindness acts as a family!