Spread the Cheer

December 1, 2017 | Patricia Wuest

Tis the season for being merry and bright — and counting your joys and blessings. Why not share those gifts with others less fortunate?

The holiday season — whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa — is for spending time with family and friends and sharing what is beautiful, meaningful, and joyful. This year, why not also make it a time for spreading some holiday cheer for others in need? 

Some will be celebrating the holidays for the first time without a loved one. For others, the gloom of winter triggers depression. And for most of us, the hustle and bustle of the season leads to stress. 

In other words, despite the festive lights, wonderful cookies and holiday music, this time of year can be difficult — and painful — for some. Reach out and touch someone’s heart with one or more of these simple and inexpensive ideas: 

1. Handwrite a letter. Take 30 minutes, and choose someone to write to — maybe your brother, an old friend, a former teacher, your minister. Write about why they matter to you or thank them for some kindness they extended to you. You’ll be glad you did.  

2. Fill a shoebox with small items. Choose a “theme” for the items you place in the box: soap, shampoo, and toiletries; nail care items; kitchen towels and gadgets; candies and cookies; stationary, stamps and cards; shaving items; candles, flashlights and batteries; lotions and body wash; decks of cards and puzzle books. Then choose a person, family or facility to deliver it to. 

3. Deliver a holiday meal or holiday treats like cookies. Prepare it for a homebound friend, and then spend some time with him or her. 

4. Invite someone over for movie night. Rent a favorite holiday movie, pop some popcorn and settle in for a cozy evening with someone who you know is spending the holidays alone. 

5. Take someone window-shopping. Choose a day and time when it’s not too crowded. Does your town have a shopping district? Or a local mall? Sometimes, especially for older adults, a simple excursion like this can lift their spirits. 

Remember, acts of kindness can go a long way in bringing a feeling of cheer and hope to someone’s life.

“With all the trees and the lake, it’s like living in the country.”

Lillie B

“I don’t have to cook, clean or wash my clothes. That’s the best!”

Margaret N

“The people are friendly; I love them all!”

Margaret B

“I’m just overjoyed to be here.”

Matt G

“You have to come and visit us, because it is beautiful.”

Lillie B