Are You Being TOO Kind this Holiday Season?
Kindness is kinda my jam. I wholeheartedly believe that the world would be a much better place if everyone treated each other a little more gently. And Random Acts of Kindness….well, those are REALLY exciting! There are SO many fun ways to put a little smile into a strangers’ day. If you haven’t ever tried it you should go put it on your list of New Year’s Resolutions right now.
No really. I’ll wait.
And THEN, if all that wasn’t exciting enough, there are CHRISTMAS Acts of Kindness…well, that seems like the summit of all Kind Acts, right? Especially for all of us Christmas Queens.
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? I mean, December is already designed to be a month full of goodwill and cheer! And if you needed some inspiration, just ask Pinterest to show you some Christmas Acts of Kindness and be prepared to spend the entire weekend reading about them all. Doing for others feels like such a fun and right thing to do during the holidays.
How often do you struggle to maintain your holiday goodwill under a heavy list of To-Dos?
How often do you struggle to maintain your holiday goodwill under a heavy list of To-Dos? And then you feel guilty even considering removing anything because the neighborhood firehouse and postal carriers deserve homemade cookies! And all your neighbors would just love to be ‘Elfed’!
And I would never suggest that our firepeople, postal carriers or neighbors should get fewer cookies. Evah.
But let’s consider…
In December, you take your normal To-Do List, which might include things like:
Normalish To-Do List
- Children (which is a whole other list, but you get the idea)
- Etc, etc, etc
So we have a Normal List, which takes up most of our time already. To that normal list we then add about 385 AH-mazing Holiday tasks (some more ah-mazing than others). Such as…
Christmas To-Do List
- Tree Decorating
- Outside Decorating
- Inside Decorating
- Gift Buying
- Gift Wrapping & Mailing
- Holiday Baking
- Holiday Meal Prep
- Holiday Cards
- Holiday Gatherings & Parties (not so many of those this year, but stay with me another minute)
- Any other traditions you implement at your house, Elf on the Shelf, Advent, etc.
[The number of holiday tasks alone that we add into our schedules and then expect to accomplish is an entirely different conversation.]
So where, in the name of all that is holy, do you find the ADDITIONAL time to squeeze in all these extra Christmas Acts of Kindness?
Now there are a few special souls out there that are incredibly organized (and don’t actually require sleep in the month of December) and they manage to prioritize and do all the things. And more power to them. Seriously.
However, I am not they. Not yet, anyway. And quite possibly, neither are you. And do we feel guilty about that? Yes, yes we do.
Let’s consider a PIVOT in the way we view kindness in the month of goodwill & cheer.
I would ask you to consider two things before you call me Scrooge and move on. A Pivot, if you will, in the way we view kindness in the month of goodwill and cheer.
First, have you ever considered that perhaps, just perhaps, the best sort of kindness that we could give during the holidays -that would have the greatest impact- might be of the REGULAR sort, and not the special, twinkly Christmas sort?
Regular ole kindness that looks like saying Please & Thank you. Letting someone merge on the highway. Not losing our temper with our family when we are exhausted from putting up the 79th Christmas decoration. Holding the door for the person behind us. Calling a family member for a long chat. Maybe buying a coffee for the next person in line.
The REGULAR sort of kindnesses that so often get lost in the hustle to show all our goodwill. Because we are too damn tired and busy to slow down enough for the regular sort of kindness.
Ironic, isn’t it?
We blow right past regular kindness in our herculean efforts to be seasonally kind.
What if we just focused on remaining Regularly kind this holiday? If we waited in the post office line and reflected on all we had to be grateful for instead of fuming? If we made eye contact and genuinely thanked a store employee for their help? If we left a really great tip for our server? If we let that person with three items go in front of us in the grocery store line?
Regular kindness would certainly have a positive impact on the world around us. But wouldn’t it elevate our own holiday spirit as well? I think so.
Secondly, I wanted to tell you a secret: the firehouse and the postal workers like cookies in January, too.
There is no doubt that a lot of good is done in the month of December. But why do all the kindness have to be relegated to the busiest month of the year? Why does December get all the sparkly kindness??
Why can’t we deliver cookies in January and donate to our favorite causes in July? It may FEEL like we are being more generous to include these things in the month of December (see: month of goodwill referenced above) but the REALITY is that most of the places we try to show extra love at the holidays would really appreciate the extra love during the rest of the year. I mean, how many cookies can people eat in 30 days? (That is a rhetorical question, btw. Maybe a better one would be how many SHOULD they eat. LOL)
Regardless of the cookie count, perhaps there is an alternative way of showing the sparkly sort of kindness.
One that doesn’t run us ragged and still shows all our appreciation for our neighbors.
A way of showing kindness that spreads the light throughout the whole year.
Here is a list of some simple ways you can show some regular kindness this holiday season. And remember that Regular kindness IS Christmas kindness when performed in December.