Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 2 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness

Day 2 RACK'ed

First things first...  I found this little devotional and feel that it fits perfectly with what I am trying to accomplish!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion,

kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossian 3:12

I once read a story about an elderly gentleman who carried a can of oil everywhere he went. If he passed through a squeaking door, he poured his oil on the hinges. If a gate’s latch was difficult to open, he oiled it. People called him weird and eccentric, but he pressed on. He refilled his can when it became empty and oiled the rusty and creaky places he found.

Many people around us creak and groan harshly as they face difficulties. Nothing goes right for them. They desperately need healing oil applied to their hurts and troubles.

On the road called life people constantly come and go; some we only encounter once. God help us to be as diligent as the eccentric old man. When we see rough or rusty spots, let’s apply the oil of thoughtfulness. And when our oil runs out, may time spent in prayer refill us to do it again.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Fill us with your lubricating oil. Open our eyes to the hard places in the lives of those around us so we can apply some kindness, gentleness, and compassion. Use your oil to diminish the jagged edges of many a sin-hardened life, leaving them soft, pliable, and ready to receive your redeeming grace. Amen.

Going deeper: Pray for those who have rusty, hard to open hearts and choose a random act of kindness to perform today.

So today my husband is taking the afternoon off and we are going to "finish" our Christmas shopping! We do this every year and I truly love this time with him.  He is usually right in the spirit with me and I love the sparkle he gets in his eyes! He loves to spoil our children...but since I made this a "handmade Christmas" for the kids exchange...we ourselves are NOT going overboard as we have so many times over the years!~  I will stay strong and keep him in check.

That said... I placed one dollar bills in 6 separate baggies with a little note in them that says "Santa wanted to give you this dollar to help you remember to stay on his nice list! Love, Santa's Helpers" 

My goal is to go into the Dollar Store and place these bags randomly in the toy section.  My hope is that an adult doesn't come and scoop them up... I want to surprise a child...but that's the beauty of this... if an adult does come by and take them.. so be it. Perhaps they are in need of the money!  This is in God's hands.

The second thing I did this morning although this isn't terribly "random" however, I brought a Christmas card over to my neighbor.  She is a very active mom who works a full time job, has 4 kids...and a husband who also works practically more than full time!  Anyways, in the card, I told her that this Saturday. I would like to pick up the 3 kids... take them to lunch and then take them to a movie.  I am also going to bring them to my home and make a couple gifts for their mom and dad... but I didn't tell her that! :-)  She was delighted!  So this will hopefully give the parents some time to finish shopping or just to sit in the silence and enjoy some time to themselves! I remember being a busy mother when my children were small, and believe the gift of time may just be the best gift of all during this season.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RACK'ed Day One

Okay, well I started my Random Acts of Christmas Kindness today!!  I figured then I can get the full 12 days in and enjoy Christmas Day with my family!

First thing I did was print off some cute little sheets decribing to recipients what I am doing and why! Here is what I came up with...

I think it aptly describes my mission!!

1.  My first stop was our local medical center.  I filled a basket with 55 silky, pretty scarves with one of my notes folded with a "To the Jill
Chatterson Chemotherapy Unit"  Which is just what it says - established upon this very brave and beautiful woman's end to a gallant fight against cancer!  She was a friend and mother and wife.  And, she is still missed! 

I hope that these bring comfort and maybe a little joy to someone's day... during a very difficult time!

2. Next.. I stopped at the Save A Lot grocery Store to buy some candy canes to include with my little "gifts".  (I wasn't able to get a picture because there were some people that were checking out at the register, so I needed to be speedy!)  So I took some little snack size bags and placed my notes, a candy cane and a few quarters in each.  Then I taped them to those cute little "toy dispensers" that little kids love to stop at ...but sometimes mom is just too busy too wiped out or without quarters.  Hopefully some little one gets to have a little fun and a little prize.

3.  My next stop was at the local photo shop at Walgreens!  I needed to pick up my Christmas cards, and after the clerk got mine I asked her to do me a favor.  I asked her to choose one of the boxes of cards and that I would like to pay for the Christmas Cards.  She was speechless.. and I got a little nervous because this is not my purpose...I don't want recognition.... just to make someone's day and hope that they decide to do something for someone else in return.  Anyway she found one for a woman who just had heart surgery, and she knew she would be thrilled not to mention pay it forward.  Goal accomplished there!  (Ps. Again, no photo... no time and too many nerves!)

4.  Next I purchased several $10 gift cards to the local grocery store, and then went into a stall in the ladies room.  I then taped one of my notes with the gift card taped to it on the back of the door.  I hope someone buys a little something special for their family with it... or that it just helps out a little bit.  I know it isn't much... but hey every little bit helps!
I still have a few of the gift cards left, so I will use those in the future.

5.  Next stop the gas station.  I stopped first at the vacuum cleaner and taped a baggy with a note and 75 cents in quarters for someone to find.

6. Then I stopped at one of the pumps and taped a baggy with a note and $5 in it.

7.  Next I ran to the laundromat/cleaners to pick up my coat.  As I was leaving, I taped another baggy, note and $2 in quarters to two machines to cover a couple of loads of laundry for someone. (no picture, because there were people around... but they didn't see me!)

8.  Then, as I was leaving, I noticed the clerk's car parked outside.  This woman is amazing...and she gives and gives!  So I popped a note and a scratch off lottery ticket to the windshield wiper!

So maybe that wasn't as random as having a stranger find it, but she is so deserving!

9.  Then as I was driving home, I saw a car parked outside on the street of our local factory.  So, I decided to put another lottery ticket on their windshield.  Maybe after a hard day's work this will make their day.

10.  Last but not least... I decided to give our mail carrier a little surprise.  The weather today is good...but we got snow the other day and he delivered in it!  I wrapped a Dove bar in one of the notes and then attached a candy cane and put it on our mail box! I hope he enjoyed his treat and knows how thankful we are for his dedicated hard work!

Okay so today...I feel blessed.  I feel like I accomplished alot, and realize that the next coming days are not going to be about money...I figure at least everyother day - or maybe encorporate a little everyday - I will do alot RACKs that don't require any money or very limited money.  Bake cookies and take them to the assited living center, take some cards to elderly neighbors who I know don't get out and visit with them for awhile.... oh the ideas running through my head! This means so much to me!


Tomorrow, December 13 starts my 12 Days of Christmas!  Where I will try to make a difference in my little part of the world through Random Acts of Kindness.  I have wanted to do this for many years, and with cutting back a bit on my Family Gifts this year, feel this is the year to implement my plan of attack.

I encourage you to try as well.  Each day I will post my ideas for making a difference for that day...and then, will come back and tell you about my experience as well as any photos I may be able to get.

I also would love to hear from you on your experiences!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Couple photos of our first snowfall!

 The first snowfall always has a certain magic to it!  Of course, that is the FIRST the end of February... not so much!
 I love the way the snow sticks to the tree branches.  It is so pretty...almost peaceful!
 Definitely beginning to look like Christmas! Better get my shopping done on that note! 

Secret Santa Exchange...

 So I participated in a Secret Santa Christmas Exchange with my "Country Sampler Forum" Friends on Facebook!  And, my oh my, I received my goodies on Friday! This is the loot above!!

 This adorable old suitcase (looks like it probably was a ladies makeup case) was filled with so many surprises! I just couldn't contain my excitement with each discovery!
 This little rusty tin was even inside the suitcase, with yes, you guessed it...more surprises inside with the wax gingerbread man and acorn...and a very cool old bottle that reminds me of my grandpa who collected bottles way way back in the day!  Interestingly enough, the person I had for my Secret Santa collects "Purple Sun Glass"... I had an old ink bottle that was purple sun glass from my grandpa's collection.  I included that bottle in her gift... ironic that I received a bottle back in return! 
Even the box was "packed" with a variety of pinecones! I am going to dip them in scented wax and place them in a big basket in the family room!

Well, Christmas is definitely on its way!

Today, I am going to do some decorating! I will post pictures soon!  What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your home??