Happy Weekend! What are you up to? This weekend is all about half marathon training, doing some work, and going out and about to experience my city in its holiday festiveness.
Which brings me to today’s topic.
Are you in the holiday gift craze? I don’t know about you, but it seems like this time of year we are absolutely inundated with ads, blog posts, & news articles about holiday PRESENTS. In the past week or so, it’s been nothing but “Best Gifts for Runners!” “Best Gives for the Techie in Your Life!” “Best Gifts for Your Man!” Best Gifts for Your Foodie Friend!” “Best Gifts for Kids!” Best Gifts for Your Fitness Fan!” “Best Gifts for the Style Savvy!” “Best Gifts for a Hostess!” “Best Gifts for the Athlete!” “Best Gifts for the Dog Lover!” – and the list goes on.
Frankly, it sort of makes me want to puke.
I mean, COME ON! Last time I checked presents were not the be all and end all. Is it just me? What happened to honoring this time as the season to give back, to spread cheer, to think of how you can help others? I don’t think anything on a “best gift list” is going to be the answer to any of the above. I think the answer is giving kindness.
I’m not saying that presents aren’t worthwhile, but let’s scale it back and focus on other ways we can make people feel good and show we care.
So, with that, here is my anti-gift list – my rebuttal to all of the present frenzy in the universe!
Here’s my challenge to you: Let’s be giving kindness this holiday season! In the remainder of the month, do as many of the acts of kindness below as you can. Or, create your own. Then, share the love and spread the word by posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #givingkindness. Let’s balance out the present mania with our acts of kindness and good cheer!
The 30 Best Holiday “Not Gifts” List
- Donate healthy food items to a food pantry or shelter.
- Help shovel snow for an elderly neighbor (or if you’re in sunny temps, help with groceries!)
- Leave a great book on a bench, in a store, or at a restaurant for a stranger to pick up. Write a message for the next reader on the inside cover.
- Adopt a charitable organization and support them on social media.
- Create a care package for a member of our military or adopt a soldier.
- Volunteer at your local humane society.
- Make hot chocolate and bring it to a friend.
- Choose 5 of your facebook friends and write a post for each about how wonderful they are.
- Place cards with kind, positive, encouraging messages on people’s windshields.
- Leave homemade treats in your neighbors’ mailboxes.
- Buy the person behind you in line their coffee.
- Got kids? Do a babysitting swap with other couples – trade off so each couple gets a date night.
- Pick up trash in a local park or public area.
- Donate clothing you no longer need. Try Dress for Success , which provides unemployed women looking to get in the workforce with professional clothing and career services.
- Probably too cold for lemonade, but how about giving away cups of hot cider, eggnog, hot chocolate, or coffee outside of your house?
- Make a friend a personalized playlist.
- Deliver thank you notes to your local PD, Fire Dept, EMT’s, teachers. They are the ones who are out there taking care of our communities day in, day out.
- Offer to help a teacher in their classroom. (We appreciate it!)
- Keep some extra gloves, hats, and scarves in the car and give them to the homeless – or people who look really cold.
- Drop off good magazines at your gym and doctor’s office waiting room. Offer to recycle ones that are out of date.
- Hand out quarters at the laundromat or at busy parking areas.
- Start a walking club with friends to stay active and connected during the colder, darker months!
- Make a family album.
- Take a friend to the movies – in your PJ’s!
- Go watch a youth basketball game and cheer them on! Definitely a spirit-lifter!
- Sign up for a race with friends and family to benefit a cause you’re passionate about – and to have a healthy goal in place for 2014.
- Bring your pet to a nursing home or children’s hospital.
- Invite friends and family to join you on a health challenge, like the ones on ChallengeLoop. (Especially Drink H2O December! )
- Deliver a bouquet of flowers and a card to the hospital – tell the nurses to give it to someone who needs it most.
- Put sticky notes with positive messages on a restroom mirror. (“You look gorgeous!”, “Wow, you’re beautiful!” etc.)
Get your followers involved! Click to tweet and get started!
I hope you all are enjoying a happy and wicked healthy holiday season! I can’t wait to see what “not-gifts” you’re giving!
Wicked Healthy Wonderings:
Have you ever done a random act of kindness before? What did you do?
Have you been the recipient of a random act of kindness?
Do you have other giving kindness traditions or ideas?