Every year I have such mixed emotions about the holidays. Of course I want to enjoy the time with my kids, family, and friends, but sometimes there’s a sticky gap between expectation and experience. For women (and moms especially), the busyness and exhaustion of the holiday season and all that it entails can feel like a part-time job. Between Santa sightings at the mall, family photos, addressing Christmas cards, and last-minute gift shopping, the whole season can feel less like The Polar Express and more like The Hot Mess Express.
I sometimes wish we could skip right to January, and I regret these feelings as soon as I feel them creeping in. I hate them, actually – because in the deepest parts of my heart and soul, Christmas is about so much more than all of the crazy activities and to-do lists, trying to make everything beautiful and special and Pinterest-perfect.
Regardless of your faith practice, the holidays are meant to feel precious. Sacred. Magical. And I wanted a way back to those feelings…
So a few years ago, I stumbled upon a simple, fun, and creative way to help nurture more happiness during the month of December through 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness.
The charge is to perform a random act of kindness accompanied by a card that says, “You’ve been RACK’ed” with instructions for the recipient to pay it forward. The sentiments are small: candy, fun trinkets (think Target dollar spot) or $5 Tim Horton’s gift cards, paying for the car behind us in a drive-thru, doing little favors and chores for neighbors, etc… but the return, for us at least, has been priceless.
In a season when children (and adults) spend a lot of time thinking about their own wish lists, intentionally planning a daily way to think of others is now a precious pause we take each day in December. I know there will be times when we accidentally forget, but that just means we get to do it twice the next day.
In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, may our exhaustion come from cultivating kindness. I will gladly work full-time to keep the true spirit of Christmas alive in my heart and in my family. Kindness. Just. Feels. Good.
Right from the start of this, my kids caught the concept: Kindness matters. Even teeny tiny acts of kindness. And what if we do it every day, instead of just at Christmas time? Then what? Could we change our little part of the world with our own little random acts of kindness? Well actually, I think we can.
If you feel so inclined to participate in spreading Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, save the image above, print it out, and pass it along! It feels good to give, but it feels even better to see how happy it makes others.
WRITTEN BY JULIE
Julie Baun is a Buffalo native, extroverted introvert, and self-proclaimed top-knot abuser. She’s the Marketing Director for a local restaurant and meal prep company and also a single mother to 3 really funny kids and one punk of a dog. She blogs about life and relationships over at www.reallifetruthfully.com.