“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”
- Dale Evans
Ok, yes – I know – it’s not Christmas yet. Usually I am the first one complaining about “Christmas Overload” where the decorations start filling store shelves and holiday music is playing in October. But this year I feel different. I feel excited about Christmas. I’m ready. So so ready.
I think it’s because of my Kind Year commitment. I really do. Instead of seeing Christmas as a hassle (too many gifts, too much money, too little time) I’m beginning to see it as a magical moment where my efforts can truly make a mark.
Inspired by my kiddos – who seem to be picking up this Kind Year vibe and running with it. Case in point – my oldest – decided to start a little snow shoveling/yard raking business this year. He’s 10 going on 11 and ready to help out, make some money and do his part. He created some flyers and we built an ad for him on our neighborhood FB page.
He got his first call last week - a lady in our neighborhood needs his help with shoveling. He couldn’t wait to get home from school that afternoon and head over. Unfortunately, the woman outreached to me that same morning and said she was at the hospital. Her Mom had a stroke and was being moved to hospice. I wished her best and said I would let Hayden know that his services weren’t needed.
When he got home that afternoon he was so excited to head over and shovel. I quickly explained that the lady had to cancel because her Mom got sick and was in the hospital. She wouldn’t be home to pay because she was staying there until her Mom got better. Hayden seemed to understand. He looked at me and said, “Well, maybe I could do it anyhow. You know, as a good deed. I feel really bad about her Mom – that’s sad, right? Do you think it would be ok?”
Oh my – my heart was so full I was sure it would pop. My dear sweet boy. We packed up the car and headed to her house so Hayden could do his good deed. Mind you, it was all of 10 degrees out and FREEZING – but he still wanted to go. He shoveled, froze his little fingers off (note, we need better gloves) and was so full of joy at helping our neighbor.
The best part? When our neighbor came home and saw the shoveled driveway? SHE was full of joy! She couldn’t stop thanking us (specifically Hayden) and was so very appreciative. She even made a special trip to our house to pay him AND said he is now her default “snow guy.”
All this kindness and caring also inspired me to step outside my comfort zone. I LOVE to give and we always participate in the Giving Tree at school and an “Adopt a Family” program through a local business. This year – I decided to adopt a family through the FB group I admin and manage. My group is a resale site and while it’s small (about 600 people) it’s my hobby and I love it. So – I put out a request to see if anyone on the group had a family they would recommend. I was looking for a family that wouldn’t necessarily qualify for programs in town but might still need some help this season.
And I found one!
This family is hard working with the Dad holding a full time job and the Mom very active in her kiddos school. They have two little ones that are in Pre-k and Kindergarten and had mentioned to one of the teachers that Christmas might be hard on them this year.
So – I set up a fund and posted in my group. My goal is to raise $200 to buy items for the kids – who love Frozen, Hello Kitty, Spiderman and Cars – and also give Mom and Dad a little something. In addition, all the food I’ve been gathering for the “10 Cans of Conscious Kindness” challenge will go to the family as well.
I’m excited and terrified! Now I have a REAL LIVE GOAL to work towards for my Kind Year – and a family that is depending on me. It’s scary, cool, amazing and overwhelming all at once. I was worried no one would participate. That I wouldn’t be able to meet my commitment. That I would fail this family despite my best efforts.
People donated! At first, it was $10. Then $20. We are now at $75 after less then a week of donations. And the very best part? It’s a nationwide effort! I have donations coming from NY and items being shipped from Illinois. All to help this small family in Colorado Springs.
I continue to be amazed by the people around me. Everyday.
And my littlest? The 5 year old? Guess what she said when I told her about adopting the family?
“Mom – I have lots of stuff that I can give! Can we go through my room and see if there are any toys I can give? I bet they love stuffies! I have a lot of stuffies to share.”
Love! My cup runneth over.
If you would like to participate in our little Adopt a Family effort this year, please visit the page below. If you would prefer to donate an item please send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I’d be happy to let you know what we still need.