MAKE YOUR HOLIDAYS SPECIAL!
By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Holiday Season for many may be most stressful. Poverty within the city does exist, unemployment is climbing, and the novel coronavirus has been going in the wrong direction, topping over 100,000 new infections daily across the country.
Now with the Holiday Season coming, what can we do to make this season still special? The good news is that it is wonderful to see so many organizations in Worcester still stepping up to provide toys, food and clothing to those in need. Labor groups, school districts such as the Worcester Public Schools and social agencies have come through with clothing drives, distribution of food and toys for those in need.
This holiday year let us make “Kindness within the Community” our major focus. Let us start with a challenge to our readers of CECELIA and incitytimesworcester.org … wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could begin on December 15th with “10 days of good deeds”? Or for that matter, any time before the 25th? How about everyone coming up with a list of good deeds that members of the family or friends at work can do?
🌲First, gather the group via Zoom, if you must, and discuss your plans for “paying it forward.” Every day from now until Christmas have each member of the group pick a good deed or even two from the list and also add additional suggestions. Then on December 25th for family members, or later for other individuals, have a discussion on what was accomplished with the project and how each member felt while doing a good deed. Please emphasize in your discussion the Hallmark quote, “If you care enough to lead by example, you can change the world!
Here is a list of possible good deeds to consider …
· Say something nice to another member of your family
· If you have a brother or sister make their bed in the morning
· Wash the dishes for the family and clean the table after eating
· Select something to help Mom out for the day like vacuuming
· Select something to help Dad out for the day
· Call up your grandparents and other relatives to tell them that you love them
· Call up a friend and thank them for being your friend
· Pick up the trash
· Bake cookies for a neighbor and bring them over to their house
· Hold a door open for someone
· Give a hug to a family member within your house
· Write a greeting card to someone
· Help with the cooking
· If you have a younger sibling, read to them at night
· Leave a special note at the dinner table for mom, dad or both
· Teens wash the family car and volunteer to shovel when snow arrives
· If it snows, get up early and shovel
· Say please and thank you when appropriate
· Drop off some home- made holiday cards to a nursing home
· Donate one of your used books to a younger person
· Reach out to a person WHO has made a difference in your life and wish her a “Happy Holiday”
· Have an outside family outing for a relative or a friend at a nursing home to sing “Holiday Songs.”
· Volunteer to help your teacher with a project via Zoom
· Put on a smile throughout the day
· Compliment a classmate
· Ask your teacher if the class could have a clothing drive or a penny drive for those in need
· Avoid gossip and be positive to everyone
· Instead of texting a friend with good news, call them on the phone
· Share kindness on social media
· Make a home-made Holiday Card for the bus driver and secretary
🌲Within the Community and those at work:
· Collect perishable food and donate to an organization
· Volunteer to help an elderly person with a task
· Cook a holiday dinner during the week for a neighbor who is unable to get out of the house
· Make telephone calls to friends who are lonely or alone or someone you have not spoken to for awhile
· Donate a gift to an organization such as the Salvation Army
· Leave cookies for the mail person and the newspaper carrier
· Donate clothes that you have outgrown to a charity
· Send a care package to a soldier
· Run errands for those who have been forced to self-isolate
· Send an inspirational quote or an interesting article to a friend
· Make a cup of coffee or tea for someone at your workplace, or have one virtually with a friend!
🌲When we give of ourselves, we are helping someone else, and it is a nice feeling to know that we have impacted another person’s life.
🌲This reminds me of the quote by Booker T. Washington: “Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Research shows that individuals who carry out kind, good deeds experience less anger and stress and feel more positive and self-confident. The findings suggest that there is scientific truth in the old adage that when we help others, we also help ourselves. Let’s end by saying, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” It’s that simple!