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Today's Family Magazine

Mommy Chronicles: Instead of being #blessed... be kind!

By Stacy Turner

Brace yourselves, folks.  We've just begun the season of the year that seems to defy the laws of time and physics––when Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all seem to squish together, happening in what feels like about three days.  It’s kind of like the CliffsNotes version of a dog year, on a slightly smaller scale.  And here I am without a flux capacitor.

But before your holiday season goes completely off the rails, why not take a deep breath and reflect on the year you’ve had, what you’ve accomplished, and all the ways you and your family have grown?

Instead of hopping on social media to share your good fortune (#blessed) or show your appreciation (#gratitude), why not take some time to actually be a blessing to someone in real life?  I’m not suggesting you need to give buckets of cash to a charity–– but if you have buckets of cash, by all means, go for it!

For the rest of us, why not simply give kindness a try? It’s free.  You can do it anywhere.  It can start a positive chain reaction.  It makes people happy just like glitter, but without the annoying mess to sweep up.  And better yet, there’s no age limit, so everyone can join the fun.
In case you need suggestions, maybe start by holding the door for the person behind you at the post office. Have an actual conversation with the cashier as she rings up your groceries instead of checking messages on your phone.  Thank the UPS driver or the postal worker who drops off your packages if you’re home when they stop by.  Or better yet, give him or her a bottle of water and a granola bar––this is their busiest season, and they can use the extra energy for all those online orders.

Why not reach out to friends or family members you haven’t seen in a while?  That phone call, text message or child's drawing you send via snail mail may be a wonderful surprise that makes their day.  Let someone ahead of you in line at the coffee shop; that tired mom or dad may have been up most of the night with a sick kid.  Make a point to smile while you’re running your errands.  It just may catch on to the people you encounter.  At any rate, people may wonder what you’re up to.  And who knows, you just might end up fooling yourself into having fun.

Look people in the eye, wish them a nice day, and really mean it. It won’t cost you a thing, but that simple action may be priceless to someone having a tough day.  Put down your phone and give your spouse or kids your undivided attention as they tell you about their day.  Not everyone can give away cars like Oprah or croon holiday tunes like Michael Buble, but everyone can spread kindness.

After all, everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  So this season, instead of being #blessed, #grateful, or #thankful, just be kind.