RACK-ing ‘em up for Christmas

Come December, we are all suddenly reminded of the spirit of giving.   It’s more than just buying presents for your family and friends, it seems that the whole giving thing has spread out and bubbled over onto every bit of life.  Teacher gifts, extra tipping, kettles of every color.  Every organization I know has some sort of charity for which they are raising money, and I admit at times I feel overly obligated to give away everything I have and then some to the point where, honestly, I get a little exhausted by it all.
But even with the barest of pockets, I still find myself wrapped up in the spirit of giving because it just feels so good.  As if you can actually feel your heart getting bigger every time you do it but you just can’t quite explain it.  There are plenty of places and programs that I feel I need to donate to, but it is the other small things that I don’t really have to do that get me giddier than a gingerbread girl.
That’s why I decided to RACK it up this year, an incredible idea that I admit I didn’t create, but wish I did.  RACK stands for “Random Acts of Christmas Kindness” and while the acronym is pretty catchy, the whole act of RACK-ing is starting to catch on, too.   You can do it however you like, but a lot of people like to count down the days to Christmas by doing one small act each day in December.
With dozens of ideas online, it’s hard to pick what random acts of kindness we’ll end up doing.  Hang a candy cane on a few parked cars?  Stash a dollar bill with a note in the toy section of a store?  Tape a quarter to a vending machine?  Surprise a favorite librarian/postman/etc. with a treat?  Perhaps just something as heartfelt as writing a note to a friend telling them how much they mean to you for no reason at all?
Being kind will never be more fun.  And with little clever notes attached, it’s sure to bring holiday cheer to others and snickers of delight to our family.
My son wasn’t quite as sold on the idea as I first was.  The thought of sneaking a gift to a stranger was appealing to me—kind of like the opposite of playing a practical joke on someone and still getting the benefit of hiding in the corner and watching the action.  His response was simply, “but why don’t you want them to know that you did it?  And how come you are giving gifts to strangers when you don’t have to?”
And then came a long and wonderful explanation about paying it forward, how one simple act of kindness might just change the mood of someone’s day, and maybe that person will be inspired to spread a bit of joy to someone else.   “It’s a lovely and vicious cycle,” I said, nearly choking up by the end of my long drawn out soliloquy.   “There’s so much bad in the world, that we have to remember to celebrate and share the good.”
And so that’s what we’ll do, as we celebrate the days leading up to Christmas, counting our blessings and sharing our joys with people we know and total strangers as we RACK it up all over town.  
And if even half of the RACK’ed people decide to spread their own random kindness, and just one half of those people decide that a-RACK-ing they will go, what a crazy happy mark we will make on this season of caring and sharing.  And sneaking and snickering.  And non-planned niceness.  And randomly RACKing and making the world a better place.

Print your own!  Spread some cheer!  Trust me, you'll love it.


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