Saturday, December 22, 2012

26 Acts

With Christmas just around the corner, we've been rushing to finish our shopping and paying way too much for shipping to ensure everyone's presents arrive on time.  (Seriously, I just paid equal parts for presents and shipping...awesome.)  And to be honest, we are a very lucky family.  We aren't the kind of people who don't know what to do with all of their money, but we aren't struggling either.  We don't really NEED all that much.  And so aside from shopping for the kids (super fun!), buying stuff for each other isn't quite enough to get the Christmas spirit pumping through my veins. 

As you may have heard, Ann Curry started the newest fad of doing good with a simple tweet: "Imagine if we all committed 20 acts of kindness to honor the lost children of Newtown."  She wrote more about it here.  There are a number of variations on that theme (i.e. 26, 27, and 28 Acts) all making their way through social media and around the globe.  When I went to bed last night I thought "that's such a nice idea." But shortly after my morning coffee (sometimes a girl needs a little caffeine to get her going), I decided that I needed less thinking and more doing.  I was in.  I picked #26Acts simply because I had heard that number the most.  (I know...my complicated decision-making process is astounding!)   I try to do nice things for people on a regular basis: hold the door, smile and say hello, help carry things for people with strollers...once in a while I pay for the person behind me at Starbucks.  The thing I don't do very often is talk about it.  I like to be a quiet do-gooder.  (Those of you who know me in real life are laughing at the idea of me being quiet!  But you know what I mean!)  I'm not usually one for the spotlight when it comes to stuff like that.  But today I put on my big girl panties and documented my 26 Acts on Instagram and Facebook.  I was hoping that if I could get over the weird feeling that comes with bragging about kindness, I could maybe inspire a few of my friends and family to pay it forward for someone else.  So with that, my husband and I kicked off our mission....
Numbers 1-3: Christmas turkeys for the food bank
Numbers 4 and 5: munchkins and coffee for the fire and police departments

Number 6: bought a Christmas tree for a stranger (that's the firehouse...forgot to take a pic when I was getting the tree!)
Number 7: 125% tip for our server at lunch
Number 8: let people cut into traffic about 50 million times (too easy!)
Number 9: told someone I was thinking about them
Number 10: dropped a couple of bags off at Goodwill
Number 11-31: paid off 21 toys (3 layaway accounts) for families in our town
Number 32: donation to Salvation Army
So there you have it..our 26 Acts morphed into 32 Acts and it was amazing - Christmas is just oozing out of me now!!!  This was easily one of my favorite days ever!! When you start to do good things for others, even if you don't let them in on the secret, other people start doing good things for you.  Or maybe you're just in the right frame of mind and you start looking for the good instead of the bad.  People carried packages for me, they were patient and smiled, cars stopped to let us cross the street...it was a chain reaction! 

As a side note, we actually had some trouble finding stores that do layaway (some places only have Christmas programs that were already over and done with)...so in case you're interested, Sears and Kmart look like good places to start since they have year round programs!  AND as a reminder, since many people have made payments on their accounts, you don't have to sell an organ to pay one off...you know, just in case you're thinking about it!

Anyway, I hope my weird, selfish bragging makes you want to do something good in the world!!  Now I'm off to start working on number 33: do.Good Stitches blocks for December. (That one REALLY feels like cheating!)

Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas everyone!!! 

6 comments:

  1. That's amazing, Shannon! So glad there are generous, caring people like you in the world. Merry Christmas!

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  2. Good for you and your family. It's such a great lesson for your kids. My method is to always be kind, and it translates to doing good, all the time.

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  3. Shannon, you've made me weep tears of joy and hope. You've inspired me for sure. Merry, merry Christmas!

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  4. Love this! And sometimes we do have to brag on our kindnesses to encourage others, but I'm totally with you on being "quiet." haha

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  5. You make me proud to call you my friend. Seriously.

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