- Holidays and Celebrations
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness
Christmas Inspires Feelings of Good Will Towards Others - Let's Act on That
Often the papers are filled with heart-warming stories at Christmas. It isn't just because readers want to hear those, but because more acts of kindness happen at this time of year.
I'd like to hear about acts of Christmas kindness that you've received or kindnesses that you've instigated. There are several comment sections below for this. Share with us your stories.
I hope you'll be inspired by these accounts of Christmas kindness and will spread feelings of goodwill throughout the holiday season.
Are People Kinder at Christmas Time?
Give your opinion on Kindness at Christmas
A Secret Gift by Ted Gup - Christmas kindness revealed 80 years later
Ted Gup found that his grandfather had secretly helped many needy people back in the desperate times of the 1930s. He anonymously gave ten dollars to people in the Canton, Ohio area. Gup wanted to find out more about these acts of generosity by his grandfather.
The Great Depression was a time when banks failed, businesses closed down, and jobs disappeared overnight. Just think how desperate you would feel if your life savings evaporated, you lost your job and there was no where to turn.
At that time there was no unemployment insurance provided by the government, no food stamps, no social security. People lost their homes and went hungry. It was a desperate time in our nation's history.
Ted Gup wanted to see how his grandfather's anonymous donations had affected people. He tracked down descendants of the people and even found one who was still living.
It's an amazing book about one man's random acts of kindness.
Links to More on the Topic of Christmas Kindness
- The Secret Gift
Ancestry.com shares a glimpse into Gup's book, The Secret Gift. Click here to read their article about the way he tracked down the recipients of his grandfather's secret gifts. It intrigues me and I want to read the whole book now.
KINDNESS is like snow, it beautifies everything that it touches...
When I Asked Friends to Tell about an Act of Christmas Kindness They Received or Saw, Here Are Their Responses
cjbmeb14 lm - My wife is one of the kindest persons I know. She is registered as disabled but will still go out of her way to help others. Her hobby is crocheting and she enjoys making blankets. When the blankets are finished they are sent with other items to third world countries.
- Kathryn Grace - Growing up in small towns, I saw many such compassionate gifts, and our family was sometimes on the receiving end as well. May generous hearts prevail!
Ann Hinds - Sometimes the acts by a stranger are really angels in disguise. Last year when we had very little money for food, we received an unexpected blessing. My husband was working at what he thought was a very demeaning job. An older lady walked down a hill waving her arms to get his attention. He went to meet her hoping she wouldn't fall. When he reached her, she handed him some money. He tried to ask why but she just waved him away and headed back up the hill. He shoved the money in his pocket and continued working. It was until the end of the day that he discovered that she had given him $80. He stopped at the store on the way home and brought home goodies that we hadn't had in a while. We were blessed and we thank the kind lady every day.
- gottaloveit2 - I've been in the rehab hospital with Mom for a month now. The nicest Christmas present I can remember are the smiles I get back from the elders here when I help them with daily life. Too sweet. I get back much more than I give.
- kerryhrabstock - I've heard several stories of big tippers at the Waffle House and other always-open restaurants at Xmas. That makes me tip very well, especially around the holiday.
gottaloveit2 - I seem to get a lot more doors opened for me and mom during the holiday season.
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin - People are prone to show more kindness at Christmastime...why can't they be this way all year? When I was little, we were very poor one Christmas...the Salvation Army gave us a turkey, trimmings and even a small gift for me. I've never forgotten that kindness, and donate to the Salvation Army several times a year.
- Delia - Hi Virginia, because of my faith, for me kindness should be a daily thing, not just for the holidays...even if it is just a smile to a stranger..it's a habit people can get into, just like the habit of not being kind...it's a choice.
Mona - Too many to mention. I'm not sure if it's so common because both growing up and for the past 15 years I've lived in small towns where everyone knows everyone and there's always someone to help out when needed.
Virginia Allain - My family received a random act of kindness when I was in 5th grade. My father was hospitalized for 6 months and it looked like a bleak Christmas for the five children. Then someone left a box on our porch with a turkey and other Christmas foods for us so we had a good holiday meal. My teacher brought the classroom Christmas tree to our house after school closed for the holiday break. Thanks to these acts of kindness, we had some Christmas cheer in our home.
Gold "PASS IT ON" Coins
These can be fun for a group project of random acts of Christmas kindness (or other times of year too).
Do you belong to a service group like scouts, 4-H, Elks, Rotary, etc.? Give everyone in your group 3 coins. They must come up with their own random act and include the coin.
Think how the acts of kindness might ripple through the community. If each recipient passes it along, the impact doubles, then triples. What a marvelous project.
I Asked My Friends for an Act of Christmas Kindness That They'd Done - "Don't be modest. Give us ideas that inspire us to help others."
- marsha32 - This year, thanks to finding great deals with sales and coupons, I was able to build a good stockpile on several food items and several health and beauty items. I was able to help out one family who's dad had triple bypass surgery and unable to work.....and another family where the father was laid off and no agencies were wanting to help them. And, I was able to also donate quite a bit to the domestic violence center as well. This is the first year I've been able to help out this much and it is such a wonderful feeling!
- Candy47 - This year at Christmas I slipped a note into Christmas cards to friends and family that I would not be giving them gifts. But instead, I bought gifts for all the residents of a nearby nursing home (the home where my Mother had been). I wrapped and labeled each gift as to what was inside and delivered them on Christmas day. Many residents of nursing homes never get a visitor any time of year, so these gifts were a real treat.
Kathryn Grace - She was an acquaintance, someone I hardly knew. We were talking at the annual Christmas party, catching up a bit, and I discovered that she had lost her job and had very little food in the house. I was making very little money myself and had big plans for the $50 my dad had given me--a rare gift--but my children were neither hungry nor in danger of having a tiny Christmas. Their dad and grandparents always gave them loads of presents, and I already had a couple of things for them. I left the party early, went to the supermarket, bought a few comfort foods like hot chocolate, crackers, fruit and cheese. I put those goodies in one of my pretty baskets with an envelope containing the 50 dollar bill and left it on her back porch.
Months later, I received a call from her. She told me the story of finding the anonymous gift on her porch after the party and how it had come at just the right time. She'd been trying to figure out who had gifted her and asked if I knew anything about it. I'm not prone to lying, but I didn't want to fess up, so I fudged and marveled at the wonder of the gift and changed the subject.
- ChrissLJ - Last weekend, I witnessed a restaurant manager verbally and mentally harass one of his employees. It was so bad that customers waiting for their food said they would never be back and at least one person left before ordering. That night, I went back to the restaurant and spoke to the night shift manager about the situation. (Apparently, the harassment was a fairly common occurrence.) Then, I got the contact information for the local big wigs. It took a few hours of my time, but I made sure the store manager and regional manager knew 1) how inappropriate it is for a manager to treat employees that way and 2) how wonderful the (harassed) employee is every time I'm there. The night manager thanked me because he said so many people come in there and yell or are rude and forget the people behind the counter are people, too. He's never had a customer come back and stick up for the employees.
- Kerryhrabstock - I've helped the person in front of me in the checkout line. If they're paying cash, I'll tell them to put it away and take out my cash. This is hard to do if someone is in the middle of a credit card purchase. Gotta be quick then.
- gottaloveit2 - I like to pay the toll for the person behind me at a toll booth but, I have seen the toll booth operator still charge them!
A Christmas Kindness Calendar to Help You Spread Kindness Throughout the Season
Need some ideas of kindness to provide inspiration? Here you go.
This advent calendar helps count down the days to Christmas. Make the most of your holiday season with this.
Remembering Happy and Sad Christmases from My Childhood
How Kind People Made Our Christmas Happy
The year that my father was hospitalized for six months from a dreadful car accident, various angels (friends, church, school) gave us a happy holiday.
My fifth grade teacher gave us the classroom Christmas tree when school closed for the holidays. Without it, we would have had no glittery tree for the five children in our home.
A few days before Christmas, a food basket with all the fixings for a festive meal appeared mysteriously on our front porch. That was very welcome. We never knew who the kind person or group was that provided that ham, potatoes and cranberry sauce.
The church gathered used clothing and toys for a local disaster relief. Although we had not been affected by the tornado, the church invited us to come select what we needed. I remember choosing some clothes to supplement my meager wardrobe.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of those who helped make our Christmas a bright spot in that otherwise dismal year.
A Cup of Christmas Tea
I heard this story used as a dramatic reading at the Rotary Club for Christmas. What a delight it was. The brief story tells of someone grudgingly visiting an elderly relative at Christmas. It makes you think of all the opportunities for kindness that you have missed acting on.
Chicken Soup for Christmas - Heart warming stories of Christmas kindness
If you'd like to read more about wonderful acts of generosity and helpfulness dip into some of these books. They make wonderful gifts to inspire your friends too.
The Chicken Soup for the Soul series are filled with the most touching stories. Everyone loves them. They are great to read aloud to a group or read one story each day to your family.
These books will fill your heart with the spirit of giving.
My Friends Share Their Experiences with Acts of Christmas Kindness
- aesta1 from Ontario, Canada - Once, a student of mine brought her privileged family to celebrate Christmas with a poor family she met during her school immersion. It was very touching. Both families enjoyed the encounter.
- marsha32 from Kansas - I found a Christmas card in my mailbox at church. Inside was a sweet note thanking me for the hard work I do each week cleaning the church (which I do get paid $10 a week for) Merry Christmas and enclosed was a $100 bill! I don't know who the anonymous giver is....but it came at a good time. We had just spent almost $200 to get my van running again on Christmas Eve, and the money helped us to put gas in and to buy groceries for the rest of the week---plus I was able to pick up quilting book I had on hold at the quilt shop too.
- ecogranny from San Francisco - My sister works with people with developmental disabilities. Many are not invited home to their relative's holiday celebrations. Every year, she and her significant other invite as many as they can fit around their family table to spend the holiday with them. Some of their guests are noisy. Sometimes they slobber into their food. They need a lot of help. And everyone has a wonderful time.
- ChrissLJ - When I was in the 7th grade, my best friend's father had a massive stroke while 2,000 miles away from home. He was not expected to live long enough for my friend's mother to fly out to be with him... let alone become well enough to make it home. They didn't have health insurance or extra money in the bank. A friend of the family lived near where my friend's father was hospitalized. Not only did she give the mother a free place to sleep and eat, but she also loaned her the car for a month so she could be with her husband in ICU. Meanwhile back home, the mother's work was unable to do anything for her. BUT all her coworkers got together and had a community fundraiser that raised several hundred dollars and enough groceries to feed the children during the time they were without their mom. My friend's father ended up living about 15 more years.
The Christmas Jar - Book available from Amazon
This book has sparked a movement. People gradually fill a jar with their loose change throughout the year, then give it to someone in need at Christmas time.
My sister did this last year. She said she didn't even miss the change since it was gathered so gradually. The jar filled with money can be so meaningful to the recipient though.
The Kindness of Neighbors at Christmas
One of my neighbors in our active retirement community in Florida told me this story,
"What a wonderful community we live in. A few days ago I asked in our online community group if anyone knew where I could buy Struffoli (honey balls). Today, while my husband was outside putting the Christmas lights on - a car pulls up and someone puts a dish of struffoli on the bench outside my house. There was a note which included their names, but since I'm not sure they would want their names mentioned - I just want to say a very big THANK YOU to these amazing, wonderful, generous people - and Joe and I wish you a very Merry Christmas. Barbara"
© 2014 Virginia Allain