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.
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 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.
We are very corny. Silly even. It’s something both K and I share, a genuine dorkiness. It makes our lives fun, we laugh a lot. Because we love to laugh, we love to make other people laugh. Sharing laughter is a kindness. To yourself, and to the person you shared the laugh with. So today we recorded ourselves doing really corny knock knock jokes and sent them out to some people. We totally cracked ourselves up. I hope we made our people laugh as well.
K and I have been in a funk for a bit. A lot of people have, we aren’t alone in this. Mostly for us I think it’s because there’s so much anger and nastiness out there. But when we talk about it we, being us, inevitably end up talking about how we can’t do anything personally about the really big stuff, but we can do something right here where we live. We can volunteer, which we will do starting after the first of the year, but we can also, and I think more importantly, be kind. Be kind, joyful, genuine, and sincere. We can try to spread hope and love. We can look people in the eye, smile at them, and say hello.
This place of wanting to be kind is where this idea sprang from. Starting today, we are using as a blueprint (we aren’t going to do everything on it as written, and will probably change a few of the things to better suit our personalities and such) the Random Acts of Christmas Kindness 2016 calendar we found floating around on the internet. We printed it off, put it on the fridge, and are starting off our Kindness Advent (as we like to call it) with the first thing on the calendar, writing a letter to a soldier.
We liked this idea very much and wanted to send something to a soldier overseas who might not get a lot of mail. I did some research and found an organization called Any Soldier. They have soldiers in units/regiments who act as contacts for the organization. The organization sends you an address for one of these soldiers who then, when the get your letter, pass it on to another soldier in their unit who doesn’t get that much mail. Very cool. We used a card one of my friends made and gave to me a long time ago. She does water-color and this one in particular really spoke to me. It feels like winter and quiet and Christmas.
So here we go. Off on this adventure of kindness. I’m going to post every day about whatever random act of kindness, or not so random, we decide to do. It’s our people see this and decide they themselves could do something similar, or at least smile more, say hello more, be kinder in their every day lives. It’s our hope this helps to start an avalanche of kindness.
Honestly, we could use a bit more kindness in the world. A bit more love. A bit more joy. A bit more hope. A bit more…. so, pass it on.