Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 8, 2011

Little Bits of Christmas

The month of December is a good month in which to take inventory of how we have lived over the previous year and to consider course corrections before the new year. This is also a good time to reconnect with the meaning and message of Christmas and to consider ways that we can carry little bits of Christmas with us throughout the coming year. Christmas, at its core, is about a gift — in the words of the Apostle Paul, “God’s inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15). Words are, at best, inadequate to describe God’s gift to us in the person of His only beloved Son. This month, Americans will spend billions on gifts. Many will spend money they have not yet earned to purchase gifts they can’t afford. Some of these gifts will not last as long as the payments. There are however, gifts we can give at Christmas and throughout the year that will cost us very little yet yield deeper and more meaningful results in the hearts of the recipients. The following are but a few.

Express Appreciation | Look for opportunities to compliment others or to tell others how much you appreciate them. Take the time to express your appreciation in a hand-written note. Kind words that are spoken or written can have endless echoes.

Seize the Moment | Live each day like a bargain hunter who looks for and seizes the best deals. Look for the good in others. Take advantage of every opening to tell someone that you noticed some good thing that they did or that you care or that you love them.

Smile More | Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” Frowning is hard work. It actually takes more facial muscles to frown than to smile. So, give others the gift of a smile and give your facial muscles a break.

Listen Attentively | Try to listen with both ears — to truly listen without formulating your response while the other person is talking. While assisting at a medical clinic in Tanzania, I noticed that the doctors spent lots of time talking with patients before doing anything medical. One doctor told me that it is important to ask folks how they are doing and to ask about their family and their cattle, etc. This doctor used his ears before he used his hands.

Do Kind Things | Be on the alert for opportunities to do acts of kindness for others. That’s just one practical way by which we spread little bits of Christmas throughout the year. For example, when I see police officers or fire fighters at a restaurant, I like to pay for their meal. Don’t linger if you see an opportunity to lend a hand, to help carry a load, or to do some intentional act of kindness. And, don’t wait for someone else to do it. You are someone else!

These are just a few ways to carry little bits of Christmas with us throughout the year and to sprinkle them along the way. Doing so can help you to find purpose in all of the ordinary days that fill the calendar between now and next Christmas. And, never underestimate the impact of spreading little bits of Christmas throughout the year. Kindness has a way of inspiring others to do the same — essentially to pay that act of kindness forward. The math on paying an act of kindness forward is amazing. Consider this:

Level 1    3 people do 3 acts of kindness = 9 acts of kindness

Level 2    9 people do 3 acts of kindness = 27 acts of kindness

Level 3    27 people do 3 acts of kindness = 81 acts of kindness

Level 4    81 people do 3 acts of kindness = 243 acts of kindness

Level 5    243 people do 3 acts of kindness = 729 acts of kindness

Level 6    729 people do 3 acts of kindness = 2187 acts of kindness

Level 7    2187 people do 3 acts of kindness = 6561 acts of kindness

Level 8    6561 people do 3 acts of kindness = 19,683 acts of kindness

Level 9    19,683 people do 3 acts of kindness = 59,049 acts of kindness

Level 10    59,049 people do 3 acts of kindness = 177,147 acts of kindness

Level 11    177,147 people do 3 acts of kindness = 531,441 acts of kindness

Level 12    531,441 people do 3 acts of kindness = 1,594,323 acts of kindness

Level 13    1,594,323 people do 3 acts of kindness = 4,782,969 acts of kindness

Level 14    4,482,969 people do 3 acts of kindness = 14,348,907 acts of kindness

Level 15    14,348 907 people do 3 acts of kindness = 43,046,721 acts of kindness

You get the idea. Today is a good day to get started spreading little bits of Christmas by doing acts of kindness — the simple things that require little effort and little money but that yield huge results. And, remember that Christmas can still change the world.


Responses

  1. Pretty good accountable & good mathematics!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories