By Angela Noel
November 30, 2017
The holidays approach. This also means my birthday is soon to arrive. In fact, it comes the same day as St. Nick. I’m one of those Christmas babies who get gifts but once a year. And though I lamented that fact as a child, now in my fourth decade of life, I realize this collision of Christmas and birthday can, maybe, help me get what I really want this year. Because, while “double” the presents for a Christmas Birthday wasn’t realistic, I did tend to get a more valuable “combo” gift on occasion. And that’s what I’m counting on now.
In the middle of the night recently, while I listened to the restless sounds of a sick child trying to sleep with a bellyache, I realized my wish list had nothing to do with things. What I actually want is to foster a world where generosity of spirit is evident in the actions we take to support each other.
So, that’s what I’m asking for this year. For anyone looking to show me love, for either Christmas, my birthday, or both, here’s what I want: Pick one (or more) ideas from the list below. Do the thing and tell me about it.Or just write “Done!” in the comments–it’ll feel good, I promise!
If you’re tempted to think this wish list is selfless or somehow noble, don’t. I get so much joy from knowing I might have motivated a small act of kindness, I’m definitely the biggest winner here. Of course, you’re probably already doing a lot of good things, and I’d love to hear those, too. This is just my personal wish list of actions I like to do and see. And please, if there’s something I can do for you that supports your spirit, let me know that, too.
I want what we all want, a little extra love. But I don’t want it for me, I want it for us.
Here’s My Wish List:
- Write two co-workers an email. Tell them why they’re awesome and why they matter to you.
- Call your mother (or a female mentor you love).
- Participate in Just Another Blog From a Woman’s Online Book Club.
- Subscribe to Erin Burton’s blog, Unbound Roots.
- Buy a book from one of these authors (or find an author you know in one way or the other and buy one of his or her books):
- Buy a photo, card or calendar from Traci York.
- Donate the equivalent of a couple of lattes to a local animal shelter.
- Find a social justice or other organization advancing community across cultures and donate time or money. I like Demos and Sweet Potato Comfort Pie.
- Text a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, tell him or her you’re thinking of them.
- Subscribe to Shaun Kellet’s blog, Clockwork Clouds.
- Make Amish Friendship bread. Share it.
- Introduce yourself to a neighbor you don’t know. Don’t just smile, reach out your hand and say hello and tell him or her your real name.
- Give an extra generous tip to someone who served you a meal or painted your toes.
- Tell your boss one good thing you’ve noticed he or she has been doing lately, and why you appreciate it.
- Support a woman-owned business. I like that Kelli wants to educate people about safe beauty products and did a ton of research before she launched her company. Jessica started her business to carve out something special for herself, and wants us all to make the most of our memories.
- Donate the equivalent of a lunch at a nice restaurant to a veteran’s organization.
- Subscribe to Dr. Allison Brown’s blog, Fulfill Your Life’s Purpose Through Love Not Fear
- Seek out an opposing viewpoint on a topic you feel strongly about. Consider the argument and find two good, thoughtful points the author or commentator made. You do not have to change your mind about the topic. You just have to listen.
- Donate an amount equivalent to a new pair of pants to an organization that encourages hard work, perseverance, and leadership skills. I like The Cookie Cart.
- Volunteer anywhere for any amount of time. Bring a friend.
- Go for a walk, leave your phone at home, pay attention to the air, the trees, the feel of the ground as you move along it. Say, “I’m so glad I’m here today.”
- Buy a toy for Toys For Tots.
- Donate a winter coat.
- Go into a local business owned by someone in your community and actually buy something.
- If you’re a blogger, tell someone in your “real” life about a blog post you just read and why you liked it.
- Smile at a (non-creepy) stranger and allow your eye contact to last a second longer than you’re used to.
- Ask someone how they’re doing. Not as a greeting, but because you sincerely want to know how they’re doing.
- Follow and engage with anyone in my Community (see sidebar).
- Ban cell phones from the dinner table. Forever.
- Make your own list of wishes. See what happens.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. I’m so glad you’re here.
Your turn: What can I do to support your wish list?