Merry & Bright

Meredith Biesinger

December is here, and we are days away from Winter Break! It’s safe to say that students and teachers are excited about this much-needed time off. 

I love this time of year, the extra kindness in the air, and all of the merriment and festivities. However, I also recognize that the holidays are hard for many people for various reasons. Many mourn the loss of loved ones or years gone by, while others may struggle with health or financial concerns. We never honestly know what someone else is going through, but extending a greeting and a helping hand costs nothing. 

Kindness should be given every day, not just during the holiday season. However, there are many opportunities during the holidays to reach out to those in need and, if nothing else, give our time. 

Time is the gift that keeps on giving. It costs nothing but is significant to everyone, especially those experiencing the holiday blues. 

There are opportunities around our communities to serve others and give of our time. Here are a few cost-free ideas to help spread joy and kindness in your community:

Go Christmas Caroling at a nursing home, or ask children to draw pictures and cards to hang around their facility. 

Visit the elderly, sit down with them, and let them share their stories. 

Going through your children’s old clothes? Before you drop them off at Goodwill, check with your school or other local schools and ask if they need any jeans, joggers, jackets, or shirts. Many children do not have appropriate seasonal clothing at school, and many schools keep a “clothes closet” in their buildings. 

Offer to help someone with their yard or a particular house chore that might be challenging for them to do. 

Give compliments! They’re free and much appreciated!

Send a thoughtful text message or email to someone you haven’t spoken with in quite some time. 

There are ample opportunities to volunteer, check local listings within your community and see where they need some help. Grab a few friends or family members and serve with a smile.  Presents are nice but often fade, break, or wear out over time. Time creates memories, and memories are priceless. This holiday season, look for opportunities to brighten someone’s day, even if it’s just for a few moments. After all, kindness is something anyone and everyone can give.