Did you know that November 13th (today!) is World Kindness Day? Well now you do, and you should celebrate it!  This season is when kindness is generally most encouraged (of course we should be kind all year round, though!) and also most needed.  Sure, the Holiday season is filled with cheer and laughter, but lets be real, it is also about last minute shoppers trying to find the perfect gift, kids that are overtired from all of the celebrations, people all over the world that don’t have adequate food or means to even celebrate, and the list could go on.  But instead of just dwelling on all of the not-so-great things that are going on around us, why don’t we focus on how we can spread the kindness and just maybe turn one of those situations around?  Here are 10 simple ways that you can spread some kindness today:

spreadkindness

  1. Smile.  I know it seems simple, but sometimes in all of the craziness this world brings it is harder than you would think.  Just a simple may be all that is needed to put a smile on someone else’s face, too.
  2. Donate.  This is the time of year that food pantries and other non-profit organizations are looking for donations of products, and/or time.  Donating either is a way to help someone in need.
  3. Send some snail mail.  Who doesn’t like getting “real” things in the mail?  I’m talking about real, hand written letters and notes from friends, not bills and advertisements.  Through blogging I’ve gotten to know many awesome people all over the world and sometimes just a nice note in the mail is the perfect way to show appreciation and keep up that friendship even when you are many miles away.
  4. Hold the door open for someone next time you are out shopping.  A parent trying to wrangle several kids and/or a stroller.  Someone with several bags trying to balance everything and open the door.  And older person who is using a cane or walker, or may not have the strength or grip to open the door easily.  These are all wonderful candidates for spreading some kindness.
  5. Do a chore that your roommate usually does.  An easy way to lighten their load in this always busy time of year.
  6. Bring a snack to your work to share.  Happy co-workers make for a much happier work day, in my opinion.  An easy way to show some kindness to them is bring in some kind of snack or baked good to share with everyone.
  7. Buy coffee/beverage for the next person in line  When I was a Starbucks addict drinking coffee all the time, this happened to me surprisingly often while going through the drive through.  If you can spare a few dollars to pass the kindness along to the person behind you I’m sure it will be a pleasant surprise.
  8. Send a happy text, email, or Facebook message to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.  It doesn’t have to be anything long or complex, just a “Happy Friday” or “You are awesome!” will do the trick.  This is one of my favorite easy ways to spread kindness.
  9. Next time you get some of those printed-at-the-register coupons that you can’t use (like at Target and CVS) keep them and put them next to the item in the store.  That way when someone who needs they product is about to buy it, they can use the coupon instead of you just putting it in the garbage!
  10. Give yourself a break! You deserve some kindness too.  Buy yourself that fancy coffee, take a nap, splurge on that cupcake.  Showing yourself kindness is just as important as showing it to others.

What are your favorite easy ways to show kindness?


Naming a child may be the most difficult and stressful decision in the history of life.  (or maybe I’m just being dramatic because we are not even close to having a name for this child that will be here in just a few months.)

naming

There are many things to be considered when choosing a name – most of which come down to personal preference.  Some people prefer more “normal” names, some prefer names that are a little more out of the box.  Some people choose names that have significance in their family, some just like a name because they like it.  You could name your child after an icon of popular culture (past or present) or a historical figure. The list of possibilities goes on and on.

I’ve heard of people using the “presidential name test” when choosing the name for their child.  This basically means that if you put the word “president” in front of the child’s name it sounds reasonable.  For example, President Evan William Jenkins sounds more presidential (to me at least) than President Mustafa Badger Jenkins.

Advice that I’ve heard over and over again, is to not tell anyone your top contenders for a name unless you really are sure you want their opinion.  The likelihood of them having some opinion about that name – good or bad – is high.  What if you really love the name, and then your friend tells you that they know someone with that name who was a horrible person? Or maybe they remind you of a mutual friend who is going to name their next child that name? For most people, that will then affect how you view the name, and it will likely cause you to think twice about your choice, and maybe not choose it at all.  Now, that doesn’t mean that you and your partner shouldn’t discuss the naming of your child, or maybe if you have a really good friend that you trust you could run it by them, but overall I agree with the advice to not share your choice names with the world until you are ready to actually name your child that.  People have opinions about everything these days, but the name of your child is something that you definitely don’t need someone else’s opinions on if you don’t want them.

Even once you have chosen a name (assuming it is before the child is born), do you tell the world, or do you keep it a secret until he/she is here? (for the record, we will be keeping it a secret.) I suppose there are benefits to each side of the argument. If you are really in to personalization or monogramming, then knowing the name ahead of time would allow people to give you these kinds of gifts ahead of time, or use the initials or name for for nursery decor. (Though both of those things could easily be done after the fact, too.) But on the other hand, (especially if you already know the sex of the baby) wouldn’t finding out the name of the baby be a fun thing to leave as a surprise to everyone until the baby is here?

Overall, I think baby naming – though difficult – is also super interesting.  There are name combinations that I never would have thought of myself, but have heard them as friends children’s names and think they sound wonderful. It also is kind of fun to hear about a name that has a lot of history.

Tell me: if you have kids, how did you choose their names? If you don’t have kids, do you have future baby names picked out already? (I am not one of those people who has known for years what I would name my future children.)