giving cards

The day after Thanksgiving means our giving cards are up.

I'm still not sure if they work.

But we keep trying.

The idea is that throughout the season you find one or two things a week that you can do to be a gift to others.  When you've done one, you drop the card into the box, and on Christmas Eve we open the box and remember those moments.

We've been doing this for four years - we've never completed them all, but we keep at it. Right now there is one in the box - it's Tiny's - she's good at kicking this off.

I also do some work for the Spread Sunshine Gang, and while doing so, found this list from Tiny Buddha.  I love this list too, and some of the things on it are already on our giving cards because they're everything everybody ever wishes for.

1. Try to accept people with an open mind and refrain from making judgments, which are often wrong anyway. 
2. Let them know how much you appreciate them. 
3. Any deed done for someone else is a kind one when you don’t expect something in return.
4. Do little things like hold doors open or let folk go in or out first. Little things can make a big difference for someone who’s not having a great day. 
5. Accept them for who they are and who they strive to be. 
6. Let them know they’ve made you smile. 
7. Be with them when they need you. For the rest of the time, let them be free. 
8. Tell them the truth. 
9. Tell them why they make a difference in your life that no one else could possibly make—why their particular brand of “special” makes the world a better place for everyone they meet in it. 
10. Help them help themselves and be independent. 
11. Believe in them and give them hope. 
12. Give a simple well meaning smile. 
13. The kindest thing you can do for someone else is to take good care of your own mind, body and soul. This enables kindness in all things. 
14. Spend time listening with the intent of learning. I joined an art guild that is mostly made up of elderly artists who have the most amazing life stories and the best tips and trick for creating artwork. I feel like I get so much more in return for doing nothing more than enjoying their company! (Suzi Ra)
15. The best thing my parents ever taught me—the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you! 
16. Be there for them when they fall and not say I told you so.
17. Give them the space to be. 
18. Lend your shoulder to cry on. 
19. Thank them for being themselves. 
20. Take a moment to send someone a note thanking them for something they have done for you in the past. For example, a good teacher or a good manager, or someone who was a mentor or role model. 
21. Treat each person with respect for his or her individuality. 
22. Offer encouragement after a failure. Acceptance of even the weirdest things they possess. A tap for a job well done. A “thank you” to every simple yet life-changing encounter. 
23. Forgive. 
24. Pay attention to them. From the clerk at the store to your kids at home, most people just want to be heard and acknowledged. Understanding comes later, but everyone can pay attention now. 
25. Listen to someone without trying to fix their problem. 

If any of you guys have ideas about how to make the season more merry, less lonely, more happy, more beautiful, I'd love to hear them.