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41 Random Acts of Kindness 

 If you’ve ever experienced a random act of kindness, you know what joy a simple act can produce. This month, encourage your family to spread kindness to people who cross your paths this holiday season and beyond.

Simple Enough for a Child

  • Collect stray carts outside the grocery store and put them back in the corrals.
  • Send a note of appreciation to a coach, teacher or neighbor.
  • Do a chore without being asked.
  • If you see something out of place at the store, put it back where it goes.
  • Start the day on the right foot: Smile and say good morning to everyone you see.
  • Bring in a neighbor’s garbage cans or newspaper.
  • When you get prize tickets at an arcade, give them to someone else so she can get a bigger prize.
  • Give the mail carrier a bottle of water.
  • Say “bless you” when someone sneezes.

Make Someone’s Day

  • Let someone go ahead of you in line at the store.
  • Compliment someone on her hair, clothes, nail polish or new car.
  • Ask a friend about her day and let her vent.
  • Give up a great parking spot to the person behind you.
  • Send a silly e-card to a friend to let her know you are thinking of her.
  • Give another parent a break. Offer to babysit while she catches up on sleep or shopping.
  • Take the time to write a handwritten letter to a family member.
  • Share words of encouragement with a parent who has her hands full.
  • When you run to the store, ask your neighbor if she needs something.
  • Include a shy partygoer into your conversation by asking her about herself.

Share the Wealth

  • Buy hot chocolate for a Salvation Army bell ringer.
  • Hand out $5 gift cards at a gas station, donut shop or fast food restaurant.
  • Tape coins to the machines at a laundromat or hand out boxes of detergent.
  • Place dollar bills on items at the 99-cent store.
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you at the drive-through.
  • Purchase a “BOGO” item and give the free one to a friend.
  • Leave a generous tip for a small bill.
  • Buy lunch for the service person working at your house. Pizza goes a long way if there is more than one.
  • If you have an extra ticket, give it to someone who is waiting in line.

Do Something as a Family

  • Order a gift card for Redbox, then hand out codes and bags of popcorn to kiosk visitors.
  • Tape coins to gumball machines.
  • Play board games with residents at a nursing home. Take a plate of cookies with you.
  • Collect old towels and blankets for an animal shelter.
  • Help someone load groceries into her car and take the cart back to the corral.
  • Make twice as much dinner as you need and give some to a neighbor.
  • Attach coupons to items in the grocery store.

Help Your Fellow Man

  • Leave a used book at the dentist office, coffee shop or auto repair waiting room.
  • Sign up to be an organ, bone marrow or blood donor.
  • Offer your seat on the bus or train to someone who needs it more.
  • If you find a stray dog with a collar help reunite him with his owner.
  • If a store or restaurant employee has been kind or helpful, be sure to tell her boss.
  • Leave a package of baby wipes in a public bathroom changing area.

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She is blessed to be on both the giving and receiving end of random acts of kindness.

Published December 2015