Families across America at this time of year, often struggle to find meaning in Christmas. It's so very easy to get caught up in the swirl of consumerism. Sales here, there and everywhere. Bargain pricing, holiday specials, credit, layaway, spend spend spend... buy buy buy... For many families this causes heartache. Children want toys they have seen advertised on TV, or worse, smart phones. Dolls that talk and can go for a walk have long been replaced by electronic this, that and the other. iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Wii U.... all putting the sparkle in your child's eyes. Quite simply children have forgotten, or, let's face it, never learned, how to live quite simply.
There is a movement afoot however, to encourage families to think of others first. To consider what can be done for someone else rather than what could be done for you. Google Random Acts of Kindness Ideas and 922,000 results will pop up. Take some of these ideas and give them a try. Many acts of kindness don't have to cost a thing... this blog has some tongue in cheek fun ideas to try and here our family are attempting to do 25 nice things from December 1st to the 25th.
Doing nice things for others is an amazing way to become aware of all that you have as a family or as an individual. It will also make you feel good about yourself. Performing acts of kindness causes your body to release Oxytocin, the feel good hormone, which has been found to lower your heart rate and blood pressure whilst also improving your overall health and well being! The biggest benefit though is on the children. They get to see their parents thinking of others and making a difference, albeit a small one. Our children love to take part in our efforts. They help think up ideas each day and they get to be the deliverer of the cookies, or the flowers, the gift cards or even just the genuine compliment. Focusing on someone else's needs really does make children reconsider their Christmas list.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and do something lovely for someone. Hold open a door, smile with your eyes, compliment someone on their hair, shoes, outfit. Put away the shopping carts in the parking lot, pay for someone's coffee. Stuff a parking meter, buy someone flowers, let someone go first... and feel good about yourself while you are at it.