Friends Friendship 101 Holidays

Showing Kindness to Others

Gift Giving That is Always the Perfect Fit

Welcome to December! It’s the tweltfh and final month of 2023, and brings with it the big holidays of Hannukah (Dec. 7-15), Christmas (Dec. 25) and Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan.1) and many chances to show kindness to others, friends and strangers alike.
As we head into the holiday season, there are challenges to staying merry and bright (just thinking of it can be exhausting!). There is a lot coming at us whenever we view the local or global news, and we each have our own share of challenges in various aspects of our lives. We set high expectations for ourselves and others, and we can lose ourselves in trying to keep too many balls in the air at once.
In the days ahead, we’ll all devote time, effort, and money in showing family and friends how much they mean to us. And no, we’re not advocating for canceling gift giving, but rather being aware of how the same amount of effort made towards being kinder to one another can have an uplifting effect both on you and those you showered with kindness. 

Where to start?

Tell service providers, the often nameless individuals you regularly see (like the folks maintaining the property where you live or work, or the checkout staff at your favorite store), that you appreciate what they do. Stop, look them in the eye, and say, “Thank you, and have a nice day”. You’re conveying to them the sentiment that “I may not know your name, but I do appreciate what you do.” It almost always results in a positive response, such as the mail carrier leaving a thank you note in the mailbox of the woman who thanked him for working in the sweltering summer heat to deliver the mail.

During peak travel seasons, there are bound to be cranky, tired, and irritated children – – and adults. Try to resist the temptation to fall in line with those who find problems with everybody and everything; we’re all doing our best. And when you smile or offer a kind word to someone, it can make the situation somewhat bearable and even relieve your stress and that of those around you.

Oh, and a word of caution. Kind words and gestures can be habit-forming. You’ll be so thrilled by the response your kind words or gestures received that you’ll be encouraged to do it again and again, and we hope you do.
Happy Holidays.
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