When December ends, I’m simultaneously thrilled for the opportunity to catch my breath, and disappointed that January and February loom ahead. They have a tendency to feel endless, what with the darker days and the limited mobility that winter weather imposes. This year I have a plan. I’m taking hold of January and February and making the most of them.
During the holiday season, there are endless opportunities to give to organizations, to people in need, and to friends, neighbors and family. And then what? Everything just falls away? Those people don’t need anything anymore? What better time to throw kindness around like confetti than the darkest months of the year? There is nothing I love more than surprising people with a little gift, and while I try to do that more in December, I’m stretching things out this year, and hoping the winter months will be a little more sunshine-y for it.
Here are some of my plans:
One of my very favorite families took a huge hit this year sending their oldest two off to college in one fell swoop. So I hope they’re happy to find an iTunes gift card, popcorn, and homemade cookies on their doorstep in early 2017 so they can have a family movie night while everyone is still home. (If I was crafty, I’d throw in one of those fleece blankets my Sigma Kappa sisters knotted all through our time living in the house.)
Pay it Forward at Starbucks
I know paying it forward at Starbucks is a big thing, and I think that’s a great way to show kindness. But when you visit as often as I do, you’d better be showing some love to the baristas, too. I like bringing them homemade versions of their pastries (cranberry bliss bars, anyone?), and sneakily slipping a larger bill in the tip jar when all my favorites are there to take care of me.
Once the New Year’s cards have stopped rolling in, our mailboxes go back to homes for bills, catalogs, and ads. Nothing puts a smile on my face like getting actual mail from a real, live person. I love sending cute cards from Etsy and Paper Source to people for their birthdays, and just because. Yes, they’re more expensive, but they are never a bad idea.
Have you seen these? They’re amazing. You can find them at Sugarfina, but I’ve seen them pop up in more and more stores. In December, I filled stockings with them, gave them as birthday gifts, thank you gifts, and more. Champagne bears (and really, anything from Sugarfina) are my go-to gift. There is little they can’t fix. Know someone studying abroad this semester? Someone sick with the flu? Someone hosting brunch? Bring them a gorgeously wrapped sweet, and they’ll light up.