Kindness. Hope. Love. Joy.
Photo by TJ Parker
We were out and about again today, running more errands, getting ready for some upcoming Christmas festivities. Since we were going out we thought today would be a good day for the candy cane caper. Sounds more adventurous or slightly naughty than it was, but it ended up being pretty nice. We’d purchased a box of big sized candy canes a while back in preparation and today we took them around and passed them out to people, saying Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, giving people a smile as we did. Librarians, people sitting at a cafe, the ladies who work at the coffee roasters we go to, a couple of policemen, and a girl sitting outside waiting for a ride were all recipients. My honey is really good at this. Her smile can light up a room. Every single person who got a candy cane smiled back at us. We gave a few of the people two candy canes telling them one was for them and one was for them to hand out to someone else. A sweet bit of shared kindness.
Today might have been the most simple act of kindness we’ve done to date. We were kind to each other. We slept in, laughed, talked, shopped, did laundry, cooked, did dishes, drank our nightly decaf, held hands, showed each other cool photos online, took the pups for a nice walk, problem solved a couple of things, said I love you and thanks honey a few times, and had a pretty quiet day together. It’s important to be aware of your spouse, to be kind to them. We do a pretty good job of that most of the time, but it’s good to talk about it, good to be present with it. It’s a form of kindness that’s not talked about enough. It’s great and important to be kind to others, but it’s equally important, if not more so, to be kind to the people you are closest to, people who you share your life with.
Today K and I made our yearly Christmas trip into Chicago. We usually go to several places on our Christmas trip day, but this time we ended up just staying at the Lincoln Park Zoo all day. We looked at the animals, had several different talks with zoo staff about various animals, ate some lunch, then strolled around the place a couple more times after the zoo lights came on. We had meant to park at the zoo, take a bus downtown and check out the Bean, the Macy’s windows, some other sites we usually see at Christmas time, then get back to the zoo in the evening to see the zoo lights, but it didn’t happen that way. At one point we just looked at each other and both kind of said we were having a great time, a very relaxing time, just wandering around, no rush, nice and mellow. It was awesome. While we were there we also decided to put our money where our mouths are and donate a bit to the conservation and research programs the zoo participates in. Kindness through conservation.
Everyone loves cookies and it just so happens my honey makes great M&M cookies. Today’s kindness was a simple one. She made cookies and we delivered them to three of our neighbors. Needless to say they were surprised and very happy to get them. Nothing like seeing people with big smiles on their faces. Kindness through sugar overload. That’s what we’re talking about.
We decided to go with a fun act of kindness today. We taped a couple of packages of microwave popcorn to a Redbox outside a local Walgreens. The signs said, “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie”. We hope someone does!
We found a big package of handwarmers at the bottom of our hat/scarf bin in our closet. At some point we bought them in bulk. Each little package is a pack of two handwarmers. It’s very cold out today so our act of kindness was to drive around our towns, both Champaign and Urbana, for a couple of hours handing out packs of handwarmers to people at bus stops and other people just walking around who looked really cold. We would pull up and K would roll down her window or jump out and offer up a package of handwarmers to the person. Some took them, others didn’t. One guy said he didn’t need them because he had socks on his hands. K tried to convince him socks weren’t warm enough. He smiled, laughed a little, and still refused. We gave that pack to the next cold looking person we saw. Even the people who refused them smiled at us. The people that took them were very grateful. Small kindnesses mean something.