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Have you ever felt really grouchy and then had someone do something so kind for you that it turned your day around? Or, have you ever had a complete stranger do something for you randomly that both surprised and delighted you? I have and when it happens, it makes me so grateful and makes me wonder what I can do to return the favor. Today is Do a Grouch a Favor Day and tomorrow is Random Acts of Kindness Day. So, for today's Friday Faves we thought we would share our favorite ways to brighten people's days.
I love walking down the street or out of a grocery store and looking into people's faces and smiling right at them. Sometimes they seem down in the mouth and caught up in their cares and then when you give them a smile and they smile back, their whole countenance changes. It always makes me happy to get that return smile as well, so it is a win-win situation.
Give a Sincere Compliment!
Sometimes I am guilty of thinking something kind about someone or noticing something wonderful about them, but not telling them that I noticed. I have found that when someone compliments me about something, it makes me feel so good and even surprised! I realized that some people are especially good at remembering to give compliments freely and that I wanted to be better at it. So, I have made a conscious effort to notice good things about people and tell them what I see. Making this effort has helped me to be more loving and less judgmental and people have truly appreciated the compliments.
If you really want to make someone happy, compliment their children or grandchildren! That always makes the parents' day and when they pass it on to the child, it makes them happy as well.
Give Someone a Phone Call
Lindsey mentioned this me and it is a true thing. If you think about someone, give them a call and tell them that you were thinking of them and just wanted to tell them that you care. Ask them how they are doing. It feels so good to stay in touch with old friends.
Bring Them Dinner
Years ago when I was a young mother with 4 little kids, overwhelmed by laundry and house cleaning, I once vented a little to a group of women in church. The next day, an older woman from church stopped by my house with a delicious casserole and said she had made extra and more than she and her husband could eat and wouldn't I like to have it for my family that evening. She was so sweet and I appreciated her loving gesture so much. I felt a little bad that I had complained, so I resolved to be less of a complainer. But you know when you allow people to give service to you it helps you both and that casserole was so good and it saved me a night of meal prep, which was a very good break. And, I developed a closer relationship with that friend that truly blessed my life.
Since that day, I have tried to be alert as this good woman was, and notice when a little extra casserole might help someone out just when they need it.
Take Them Out to Lunch
This involves a little more expense, but sometimes it is so great to take someone out to eat and talk. If going to a restaurant is too much, just invite them over for lunch or their family for a simple dinner. This is great to do for new neighbors, church members, parents of your kids friends. The art of entertaining and conversing seems to be becoming a lost art that we need to get back to.
Bake Extra Bread or Cookies and Share!
During the holidays, we love taking our baked goods to friends and neighbors. When I make jams and jellies, I enjoy sharing them with others as well. Who doesn't love being on the receiving end of these goodies? When it isn't the holidays, but just because, it is almost better because it is such a surprise and it leaves behind the good feeling of having been thought of.
Share Flowers, Fruit and Veggies From Your Garden
This is self explanatory and I love when people do this for me!
Talk to Someone Who Seems New or Left Out
There is nothing worse than feeling like the odd man out or like you don't know anyone at a gathering. It can bring back memories of Junior High nightmares! What a feeling of relief it is to have someone acknowledge you and make you feel included and like you have value and something to offer. Just telling someone hello and that you are glad to see them takes so little effort and can really help someone feel better about themselves.
Use the Post Office!
I am not saying this because my husband is a Postal Worker! I just know that I love receiving letters and cards in the mail! I love seeing a person's handwriting and knowing that they thought of me as they personally wrote a card, Thank you note or letter! I know everyone is complaining about the cost of stamps going up to 50 cents. But, think about it, you can spend that 50 cents to send a message of love and kindness to anywhere in the country! From California to New York, it costs the same and makes people happy!
Small Gifts of Things They Love
If you know someone loves a certain food or scent or that they collect something and you find it at a good price, it is so much fun to just randomly give them some of that thing. My mother in law was very good about this. I remember her stopping by with a basket of strawberries for me just because she knew I loved them. My mom and sisters will share books and all kinds of things with me, just because. It shows a person that you notice them and that you think about them and care about their happiness.
Most of the things on this list are so simple, not very time consuming and inexpensive. But, the amount of joy that can be spread by doing them is immeasurable. That joy always returns to the giver 10 fold.
How do you like to brighten people's days? We would love to hear your ideas and start putting them into action.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!