The Gift of Kindness

“City sidewalks, BUSY sidewalks dressed in holiday style…” and then another line in the familiar song, Silver Bells, “…as the shoppers RUSH home with their treasures.”

Busy and rushed, yes, two words that often describe the Christmas season.

All of the things we usually do like work, homework with kids, school activities, church services, cooking and laundry are packed into our December days.

But then we also add in school Christmas programs at the kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school level, sometimes for both choir and band…all on different nights. Extra cookies and lovely desserts must be baked for fund raisers for the kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school band, and choir programs and of course the costumes have to be prepared for the kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school performances, sometimes for both the choir and band.

Church choir rehearsals, which usually fall on Thursday nights, now are also on Sunday afternoons so the choir sounds just right when performing The Messiah.

Presents have to be bought and wrapped and sometimes even assembled before they’re wrapped.

Decorations have to be put up, which usually requires trips to the store for more tinsel or lights even though there was plenty of each last year.

Busy and rushed, two words that often describe the Christmas season. But what if this year, we add in another word? That word is kindness.

It’s easy to get so stressed and overwhelmed by activities and stuff that we forget to be kind to those around us. We are s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d so thin that we might just snap if one more thing gets added in, even if it’s a little thing.

Kindness is a gift that opens the door to share with people. It’s a gift that costs nothing, but we can give to everyone around us. Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Kindness is quiet and reserved and yet it has a huge voice. It shouts in its quietness that we have our focus not on stuff or even our packed schedule, but on the One who offers the greatest kindness. Romans 2:4 tells us that it’s God’s kindness that is intended to lead us to repentance.

This Christmas season, let’s ask God to show us ways to be kind to those around us. An open door, letting someone in front of us in line, showing grace in the holiday traffic, taking cookies to the neighbors, sending a card to someone who needs it, sweeping someone’s snowy drive, and on and on and on.

As we rush from one activity to the next, let’s remember to thank God for His gift of kindness to us, and then pass it on.

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