As you are filling in your fresh, new 2014 calendar with everyone’s special days and dental appointments, why don’t you add a few random notes of kind things to do for someone else here and there throughout the year? For example, choose three days in January and pencil in three wonderful kindnesses to perform on those days. Maybe you want to surprise your neighbor with freshly-baked banana muffins one Sunday morning, or perhaps you could call that old friend of yours that you think of so often and share a few memories some Tuesday afternoon, and I just bet your sister or brother, or spouse would love to find that you have filled up their car with gas some cold Thursday morning! This is a wonderful idea to do with kids too, if you happen to have any lying about. I bought each of my kiddos a small calendar all their own just for this very purpose. And let me tell you, we are having as much fun brainstorming all of our generous ideas as I am sure we will have carrying them out. So sprinkle in a little kindness here and there each month this year, and witness the joy you will bring to others . . . and give to yourself!
Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:
- Donate new or gently-used books to your local library.
- Write a thank you note to a person who has positively influenced your life.
- Drop off some much needed supplies to your local animal shelter (call ahead to see what they need most.)
- Write an encouraging note to a young person in your family.
- Make your family their favorite dinner.
- Give your kids five or ten dollars each, with the stipulation that they have to use it to do something kind for someone else.
- Take a walk through your neighborhood and pick up any tidbits of trash along the way.
- Put together a photobook that highlights “a day in your life” for a relative who lives far away, so that you can share where, how, and with whom you spend your days. Ask them to do the same for you.
- Tuck some one-dollar bills around town for people to find. Write “This one is for you!” on a post-it note and attach it to the buck!
- Devote an entire day to spending time with your kids – no distractions, no errands or chores, just do the things that you most love to do together.
- Buy a bouquet of flowers; place one flower through the door handle of every house on your side of the street.
- Write your sweetheart a love letter.
- Ask someone what their dreams are for their life.
- The next time you are baking, double the recipe so that you have plenty to share with your friends and/or neighbors.
- Leave May Baskets on your neighbors’ doorstep (Example of Contents: flowers from your yard, popcorn mixed with M&Ms, and an inspiring quote).