Good Deed December is upon us and anyone can participate

December is the time of year when we normally spend all of our time caught up in thinking about all the things we need to get done, the gifts we have to buy, the places we have to go. Most people are so stressed out during that month that they don’t even get a chance to enjoy the time spent with their friends and family. That is one of the reasons why Good Deed December came into being.

Good Deed December gives us a chance to slow down and think about ways we can be a blessing to someone else each day during the month of December. One couple, who choose to remain anonymous, have been celebrating Good Deed December for about five years now. John and Jane Doe try to do a good deed every day during the month of December. They have one rule, and that rule is that the good deed has to be for a stranger. Sometimes they go to a restaurant and leave an outrageous tip. Sometimes they put quarters in all the carts at Aldi. Sometimes they tape coupons on items at the grocery store. Some days they tape a dollar on the fountain drink machine at a gas station. “The possibilities are endless,” says Mrs. Doe. “You’d be amazed at how good you feel after you do something nice for someone else.”

Carrie Wisehart, in her blog, “The Ponderings and Musings of a writer, teacher, speaker, wife, mom, bicyclist, joy chooser, and Jesus lover living out the best day ever adventure,” suggests making a list of 31 things, and then completing one item on the list each day. Some of her suggestions are:

• Pick up trash near your work or school.
• Write a thank-you note to someone who doesn’t usually get thanked.
• Give something away from your closet.
• Pay it forward at a coffee shop or restaurant.
• Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
• Visit or give a gift to a neighbor.
• Write a public note of encouragement to someone on social media.
• Buy a box of candy canes to give away individually or as a box.
• Leave a nice note on someone’s windshield.
• Buy a coffee for a bell-ringer.
• Leave a letter to a stranger in a public place.
• Give something away today — something you have that you know someone else would love.
• Intentionally compliment someone in front of someone else.
• Make a Christmas card for a service worker.
• Thank a teacher.
• Do a chore for someone.
• Send five encouraging texts.
• Leave a note in a book at a store or in a library.
• Be present with family and friends — put that phone away.
• Say what you need to say to family and friends — be intentional.
• Write thank-you notes for your gifts.
• Thank the postman or the UPS delivery person with a card or gift.
• Give something away — make it meaningful!

There is even a Facebook page titled “Good Deed December,” and on it you can find stories such as the one of Jessica and Brad Bond, who took their wedding guests to Target and asked them to buy gifts for Toys for Tots instead of buying wedding gifts for the couple.

Many people on the page shovel snow for their neighbors and others visit the elderly in nursing homes. “Give them the gift of your time and you will be rewarded. Talk with them. Have lunch. Play a game of cards or dominoes,” said one man.

“Don’t forget to get some cash out of the bank so you will have it ready for the bell ringers,” suggested another.

Toys for Tots was another suggestion as a place for donations.

The Soundwave Art website even offers some suggestions:

  1. Send a card to a soldier.
  2. Volunteer in your child’s classroom.
  3. Pick a random name from the phone book and send a greeting card.
  4. Pay for the people behind you in line when you are at a fast food restaurant.
  5. Babysit for someone.
  6. Shop at locally owned, small businesses.
  7. Befriend your neighbor.
  8. Be kinder than you have to be.

These are just a few of the suggestions out there for Good Deed December. Why not try some and see if it’s true that it is more blessed to give than to receive?

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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