2013 Christmas Challenge: Day #29…Sharing Some Christmas Luck

It’s my first official day of Christmas vacation, and how am I spending it?  At the dentist office.

After 90 minutes of having my tooth poked and fixed, I was more than excited to get home.  Not only did I have my husband and kids waiting for me, but also some good friends from out of town. This is why I love this time of year–you work less, laugh more.  Faces you haven’t seen in over a year finally appear in your home.  Plus, my littles were going to be home with me all week–I couldn’t wait for the fun to begin.

Driving home, there was just one thought that kept repeating over and over in my mind: I’m. so. lucky.

I have a family who I love like crazy.  I have good friends who can make me laugh.  I have an exciting career, a house filled with priceless memories.  Most days I honestly feel like the luckiest woman on earth…even after spending the afternoon with my dentist.

I wanted to give others that same lucky feeling, so I pulled in the gas station and went inside.

“Do you have some lottery scratch off cards?”

The clerk gave me a serious look, “Nope–sorry, we just ran out.”

Bummer.  I started to turn away when I heard him laugh.

I may be lucky, but turns out I’m also very gullible.

I asked him to pick out five for me; he smiled and wished me good luck.

Then I explained that the cards weren’t for me–that I would be giving them away to strangers as an act of kindness.

IMG_6654“I love that!  But I think you should keep one…do something kind for yourself.”

I had a better idea.

I took one of the cards and handed it right back to him.  “Good luck to you…and Merry Christmas!”

Then I headed out to a shopping area and picked four random cars.  I slid the scratch off ticket under the windshield wiper and quickly left, hoping I not only gave five people a little bit of fun, but also some Christmas luck.

To share or not to share…this has been the question.

Over the course of my 30 day challenge there’s been a question that’s come up a few times: should you tell others when you complete an act of kindness or keep it to yourself?  It’s an interesting question…in fact, a friend has been urging me to write a blog post just on this topic.  And while I do have a lot of thoughts (and questions) on this, for now, let me quickly give the short answer to my feelings on this subject.

In the past, I thought the answer to this question was easy…no, of course you don’t talk about the kind things you do.  You should keep them secret, totally anonymous.  After all, you don’t want people to think you’re doing the acts of kindness for disingenuous reasons.

But over the course of the last year, I’ve realized that I was wrong.

There is power in sharing these moments–in letting others in.  It comes down to one simple word: inspiration.

By sharing acts of kindness, you’re able to inspire others to do the same.  Kindness is contagious.

Want proof?

This act of kindness wasn’t my idea.  Nope–I shamelessly stole it from a friend, who also completes acts of kindness on a regular basis.  (Read her original post with this idea here.)

When I started the kindness challenge this year, I wanted to find new acts to complete everyday.  But I’ll be honest, coming up with nearly 60 unique ideas on giving back and helping others does take a great deal of mental power and creativity.   There are days when I need a little inspiration–so I was thankful to have a friend who inspired me.

Today I was able to complete a new act of kindness because someone shared their idea.

Walking in my home that afternoon, I couldn’t help but smile.  We opened a bottle of wine, played with the kids, laughed about old times…it was Christmas.  And even though I didn’t hit the lottery, I felt like I already had.

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