Give the Gift of Kindness This Holiday Season
Posted: November 26, 2012
According to Kathleen Riggs, Utah State University Extension family and consumer sciences professor, kindness is associated with acts of charity; it is the quality of being warm-hearted, considerate, humane and sympathetic.
Kindness can become second nature to those who strive to become more aware of those around them. So what if you’re in a hurry at the store checkout? Much good can be done if you pause to inquire how the person on the other side of the counter is doing during this busy season and wish them well before you leave.
Consider the following ideas from Dr. Riggs for ways to show kindness this holiday season or any time of year.
* Visit a nursing home and bring cupcakes. Stay and visit with the residents.
* Donate books to the local library or a local charity that collects books for needy children.
* Leave an extra large tip for your food server.
* Hold the door open for someone coming behind you, even if they are several steps away.
* Bake goodies and take them to the police station, fire station or hospital.
* Pay $5 to $10 of the person’s bill in line behind you at the fast food drive-through.
* Buy a balloon bouquet and ask the nurses at the hospital to deliver it to a child or elderly person who needs to be cheered.
* If waiting in a crowded lobby of a restaurant, give up your seat to someone else especially an older adult.
* Instead of leaving your shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot, make someone's job easier by returning it to where it belongs. And while you’re at it, take along stray carts in your path.
* Bake cookies for a neighbor or teacher, just because.
* Offer to babysit for young parents you know so they can run errands or have a night out.
* Help out an elderly neighbor or relative by shoveling their walk, taking out their trash, or offering to pick up a few groceries for them.
* Write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life. It may be a former teacher, a grandparent, co-worker or friend. Tell them how they helped you and that you are grateful for their support.
There is tremendous power and positive energy in showing kindness to others. It doesn’t need to cost anything; it just requires a little time and unselfishness. This holiday season let’s all make a difference, one act of kindness at a time.
Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Extension of Lackawanna County.