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1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Dec 14, 2013

JenniferFischerThis year, to count down to Christmas – and to seeing Grandma and other extended family members – I put together a Kindness Countdown to Christmas, making a simple “tree” from cupcake liners and a large produce bag I happened to have in the house.

Inside the bag are “cards” made from a paper bag, cut into strips. Inside each strip, I put a Post-It note with one simple act of kindness, then stapled the strips shut.

The boys look forward to pulling a numbered cupcake liner off of the tree and then hunting through the bag for the matching number on the card. Then, they tear open the card to find out what simple (and fun) act of kindness we will do that day.

The boys are 2 and 4 and have surprised me with how excited they are about the countdown and the activities, especially when they creatively expand the activities.

jfisch121313aSo far, as I write, we’ve done 12 days, so I thought I’d share a little about our first 12 Days of Christmas Kindness. Maybe you, too, will get inspired to do 12 (OK, 10 or 11) as you count down the final days to Christmas.

Many of these ideas were suggested to me by friends and other bloggers via Facebook, and I love the ideas and have tried to mention below who shared the idea with me. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

December 1 – Smile at everyone you meet.

December 2 – Give fruit to the homeless.

The idea to give fruit to the homeless was shared by ALLterNative living on The Good Long Road Facebook page when I asked for favorite simple acts of kindness. We bought an extra bag of apples and then mixed some oranges in, and also put together a bag of bagels to share. The boys were so proud of our goodies.

December 3 – Buy coffee for a stranger (lots of friends suggested this on Facebook).

December 4 – Help someone.  (We turned on our “magic eyes” that day to find people to help.)

December 5 – Give a candy bar to a construction worker.

jfisch121313bFor this we put together a special, two-turtle-dove Christmas goodie gift using two Dove chocolate bars with two turtle candies.

December 6 – Open doors.

This was another idea shared with me on Facebook by both Creative Family Fun and The Educators’ Spin On It.

December 7 – Help someone in a wheelchair.

December 8 – Make eye contact with others/acknowledge others.

December 9 – Leave water and a snack for the mail carrier.

All of the above were suggested by friends on Facebook, too, with Sow Sprout Play suggesting the treat and water for the mail carrier. The next two ideas came through suggestions from Sidewalk Blessings.

December 10 – Make and give out paint-chip message cards/happy notes.

December 11 – Wear silly masks or make funny faces while stuck in traffic.

We put our own spin on the last two. Sky, who is 4, got really excited about the paint sample notes and turned them into Christmas decorations for his teachers. I was so impressed. And since we weren’t stuck in traffic but did find ourselves in a crowded 99 cent/dollar store, we pretended that our shopping cart was a sleigh and had fun saying “Ho Ho Ho” and “Whee” as we went through the store while smiling and waving at other shoppers. We definitely brought a smile to many faces.

December 12 – Bake and mail cookies to the troops.

That’s what we’ve done so far – well, almost. Confession: Our cookies came out tasting good, but not looking as good as I’d like if we’re sharing with others, so we’ll have a “do over” on that one.

You can follow the rest of our countdown at The Good Long Road on Facebook and share your favorite acts of kindness with us, too. We’d love your suggestions as we’re quickly becoming addicted to spreading joy. Happy Holidays!

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

 

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