Today is World Kindness Day. I thought I would celebrate by sharing something very personal with you all. My father passed away in January 2017 at the age of 66 after battling Lymphoma for a little over a year. My dad was an incredible man and it wasn’t just me that would say that about him. He was genuinely one of the kindest people you would ever meet. I am still a little in shock that I have to write about him in past tense.
There were many times in his life that I know he was taken advantage of because he was so kind, but that didn’t change him. Those times and those people didn’t change who he was down to the core. He cared about people, and he didn’t just pretend to care, he really cared. My dad was the most generous person I’ve ever come across. The saying “give you the shirt off of his back” describes him well.
I personally witnessed him doing generous things for people all of the time. I saw him buy a countless number of tanks of gas for people that needed it and I witnessed him going to help people at their homes when they needed assistance with yard work or things around the house. At Christmas he would take me along to deliver food and gifts to an adopted family that needed help during that season. He would do what he could to help jobless people connect with open positions and make phone calls to people he believed could help a person out without even being asked to.
His last Christmas, he asked his children and close friends to not get him a gift but to make an attempt to do something for other people. He asked us to not necessarily do something financially, but as an act of service to others. We were asked to write a letter about what we did and put it under the tree. Unfortunately, he never got to read those letters as he was in the hospital over Christmas and passed away not long after. Those letters were buried with him. I know it was his last ditch effort to teach us to be generous and kind.
My father was KIND. He was LOVING. He was GENEROUS. I had a wonderful role model and I just hope I can be a similar role model to my child.
My challenge to you this month is to evaluate your holiday celebrations and figure out how you can show kindness and generosity to someone in need. It doesn’t have to involve financial gifts. It could be something as simple as inviting someone you know who is celebrating alone this year to join you and your family in the celebration. For ideas on how to incorporate generosity and kindness into your Holiday routine with your children, check out Christmas Dove. Christmas Dove is a Gospel-centered alternative to the Elf-on-a-shelf that teaches your children about acts of kindness and generosity.
What ideas do you have for being kind and generous this holiday season? Please share them below.