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Give the Gift of Kindness This Holiday Season

Mississippi is known as The Hospitality State, so as a whole, we genuinely excel in being kind and generous.

Kindness should be given every day, not just during the holiday season. However, there are many opportunities during the holidays to reach out to those in need and, if nothing else, give our time.

Time is the gift that keeps on giving. It costs nothing but is significant to everyone, especially those experiencing the holiday blues.

The holidays are hard for many people for a wide variety of reasons. Many mourn the loss of loved ones or years gone by, while others may struggle with health or financial concerns. We never honestly know what someone else is going through, but extending a greeting and a helping hand costs nothing.

As a little girl, I remember my grandfather solemnly sitting in his brown leather chair every Christmas Eve. As a child, I couldn’t fathom why he would be so sad — it was Christmas, after all!

Their home was decorated beautifully, we had a lovely meal, and the family was all together. Yet, I could tell something was wrong with my “Papa.” It took me a few years to get up the nerve to ask him what was wrong, but eventually, I did.

I learned that on Christmas Eve in 1952, my grandfather’s platoon was attacked in Korea and that he was the only Marine left alive after the attack. Christmas Eve brought back those difficult memories for him every year. I believe that’s when I learned that the holidays are not always so merry for everyone.

My family and I recently visited my parents, and I watched my son sit in that same brown leather chair. Now, on Christmas Eve, I think of my grandfather.

There are opportunities all around our different communities to serve others and give our time. Here are a few cost-free ideas to help spread joy and kindness in your community:

  • Go Christmas caroling at a nursing home, or ask children to draw pictures and cards to hang around their facility.
  • Visit the elderly, sit down with them, and let them share their stories.
  • Going through your children’s old clothes? Before you drop them off at Goodwill, check with your local schools and ask if they need any jeans, joggers, jackets, or shirts. Many children do not have appropriate seasonal clothing at school, and many schools keep a “clothes closet” in their buildings.
  • Offer to help someone with their yard or a particular house chore that might be challenging for them to do.
  • Give compliments! They’re free and much appreciated!
  • Send a thoughtful text message or email to someone you haven’t spoken with in quite some time.
  • There are ample opportunities to volunteer, check local listings within your community and see where they need some help. Grab a few friends or family members and serve with a smile.

Presents are nice but often fade, break, or wear out over time. Time creates memories, and memories are priceless. This holiday season, look for opportunities to brighten someone’s day, even if it’s just for a few moments. After all, kindness is something anyone and everyone can give.



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