Christmas is coming. I am one of these annoying people that do the countdown in the middle of July. I’m also one of those annoying people who starts gift shopping for the next Christmas in January and is usually mostly done by the end of October. I love Christmas. I always have. I love the entire idea of it. I love the get togethers with friends and family, I love the food, the snow (when we have it) and I love finding and giving the perfect gift. Did I mention I LOVE Christmas?
I’m not new. I know that this Christmas will be extremely difficult now that mom’s gone. I have already experienced a bit of that just in putting up the decorations and buying gifts…it’s amazing how many things there are that jump out at me that mom would have loved. Dad has said he isn’t looking forward to Christmas either. I don’t blame him. It’s going to be hard.
I also know that the best way to preserve the Christmas Spirit is to do things for others and volunteering is known to improve mood and fight depression. In his book, “It’s Good to Be Good: Science Says It’s So,” Dr Stephen Post sites many studies which indicate that altruistic behaviour plays a large roll in overall happiness and health. Knowing that there are going to be days that I will be sad, I’ve decided to do something to combat it. Throughout the month of December, I’ve decided to complete various acts of kindness. I can’t say they’re random, they’re not, I’ve been planning this since the end of October! There are many people doing this now. I’ve seen the blog of a lady that completed 38 random acts of kindness on her 38th birthday (www.thebdayproject.com). Another man is just wrapping up 366 DAYS of random acts of kindness (www.366randomacts.org). This idea isn’t new and I’ve done random acts before. I’ve paid for the order of people behind me in the drive-through at Tim Horton’s. I always hold doors open for others (so to me, that one doesn’t really count!) I donate to local fundraising initiatives etc, etc. So I’ve experienced the feel good feeling that you get when you do something nice for someone else. I’ve also been the recipient of acts of kindness too! I’m hoping that this will help ward off at least a little of the sadness that is on it’s way this December while lifting the spirits of others as well. So this may be a little selfish on my part.
As I’ve said here before, it’s so easy to be caught up in day to day life and put things off until tomorrow. Now, the hustle and bustle of the season consumes our time as well. So, as I do my planned (and random) acts of kindness, I’ll post them for all to see. While the reasoning for my endeavour may be a little selfish, I also hope it will inspire others to take even a few minutes to be just a little more kind to each other and to our environment. As Robert Bateman, one of my favourite people, has said, “If we can’t take care of each other and nature, then what’s the point?” Indeed, what would the point be?