My daughter bought small Christmas stockings for the employees on her team. She also bought “puffer” paints so they could write their names on the stockings. She plans to put a small treat into each one every day. I was so proud of her efforts to make her people feel special and celebrate the holidays at the same time. It was a very creative and thoughtful thing to do — a small thing that brought fun and good feelings to her team. It has made her happy too!
So I got thinking of small things we can do (especially during this Season) to put a smile on someone’s face. These few ideas cost nothing at all, just our time:
1. Give a compliment each day. Make it sincere and specific. There are countless opportunities to notice something about another person you can compliment them on — their hard work, leadership, a new haircut, something they cooked or baked, the way they treated someone else, their new shoes, their great smile, the way they handled an emergency, etc. And if the opportunity presents itself, don’t limit yourself to one a day!
2. Secretly stick an “I’m thinking of you” note in a loved one’s book, pocket, wallet, purse or on the bathroom mirror. (Skip the mirror if you’re at work.) There’s nothing better than an unexpected sentiment that shows how much you care. You may think it’s not necessary because people already know how you feel, but do they? Don’t let the well run dry.
3. Give an overly generous tip to someone who’s really earned it. It’s astounding how many times good service goes unrewarded; many don’t leave any tip at all. It’s especially nice to do when you have a large group. If you do this, make sure to hand the tip directly to the server and tell them, “This is just for you.” (Advice from a former server.) To learn more about what servers REALLY think, check out The Bitc*y Waiter website.
4. Let someone else go in front of you when standing in line at the store or the post office. It’s especially appreciated during this busy season when people are stressed. Moms with children, elderly folks and those in an obvious hurry will thank you. While you’re at it, give one of those compliments to the cashier. They have it rough this time of year.
It rarely fails, when we do something nice for someone, that simple action can make us just as happy! And goodness knows we can use a lot more happy people throughout this season and in the year to come.
“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” —Mark Twain
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” —Leo F. Buscaglia
“Doing nothing is very hard to do. You ever know when you’re finished.” —Leslie Nielsen
“If you can’t be kind, at least be vague.” —Judith Martin
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The Map of Tiny Perfect Things: Two teens are stuck in a time loop together. This is a light-hearted, but fascinating movie of how they know everything that will happen before it actually happens and the map of “tiny perfect things” they create to break the loop. Family friendly with a surprise ending.
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