What if, instead of the Twelve Days of Christmas, we had the Twelve Days of Kindness? What if this holiday season in particular, when people might be needing a little more love and tenderness than usual, we each decided to set an intention of performing a daily act of kindness for 12 consecutive days? It’s not hard to imagine the benefits of such an endeavor. We would be making life just a little easier for our fellow humans. And, if even for a moment, the world would be a little softer, a little nicer, a little more welcoming. But there would be another cool benefit: our own stress levels would go down and our mental health would improve. This is according to a study by Yale and UCLA researchers. And, let’s be honest, that’s not really a shocker. Giving feels good. Being kind feels good. And being kind and giving without any sense of obligation feels amazing. This is why I am proposing the 12 Days of Kindness 2016 Holiday Challenge.
The 12 Days of Kindness 2016 Holiday Challenge
I pledge to spend the next 12 days intentionally doing at least one act of kindness each day. Throughout this period, I will update this post with whatever act of kindness I did. If you email me, post on my FB page, or comment below with any act of kindness you have done, I will add it to this list so your act can inspire others to perform their own act of kindness. Same goes for if you want to challenge me to a specific act of kindness.
Here are a few kindnesses to get your creative juices flowing:
I did a search and found tons of lists with ideas for how to make my kindness mark on the world. Here is one from BuzzFeed to give you some more ideas, but I really would love to hear from you with your ideas! Bring them on!
Completed acts of kindness:
Dec. 6: On flight from NYC to LA swapped from an aisle seat to a window seat in order to let a couple sit together… in the process, another man got to move from a middle seat to a window seat. The couple was almost apologetically grateful, and I was so happy to have the opportunity to be helpful and told them so. (Note: Don’t get me started on the weird coincidence of being given the opportunity to swap seats on a plane the day this post was published. I swear I am not making this up.)
Dec. 7: Offered to help a friend who is battling a serious illness with some virtual personal assistance (filling out paperwork, researching, making appointments, etc.). Let a driver, who was exiting a parking lot during heavy traffic, go in front of me.
Dec. 8: started helping the friend I mentioned above in Dec. 6 entry. In other acts of kindness not performed by me, a friend who is a stylist gave someone a free haircut. If you are reading this please comment below with ideas and reports of your own kind acts! ?
Dec. 9: missed this day. Whoops!
Dec. 10: Kept walking by the same pile of crumpled newspapers in the alley by my building – it had been there for at least a week. Finally decided to clean it up myself. Same with recycling the junk mail that collects at my apartment building’s mailboxes. See photos ?
Dec. 11: Bought socks and hats to give to a friend who is collecting them to give to the homeless on Skid Row. Donated in honor of my friend, Amy.
Dec. 12: Noticed my neighbor had left a bag of trash out to be taken down to the dumpster, so I grabbed it when I was leaving and took it down for her.
Dec. 13: Let a car that was turning left onto a busy street go before me even though I had the right of way because it was going to be harder for that car to get out into traffic than for me to make my turn.
Dec. 14: Reached out to my contacts to help two friends with a special networking request.
Dec. 15: Left double tip for my massage. A friend gifted honey bees to a family in a developing nation on my behalf as a Christmas gift.
Annie Lennox and Al Green’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” One of my favorite holiday songs.
City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.
Wishing you a very happy new year!
anne (who loves coffee more…
The holidays… for me it brings up visions of glamorous parties, festive twinkly lights, tearful…