I remember the feeling of loneliness all too well. Sitting in my first hour class, watching as my classmates exchanged gifts with one another, and feeling like an outsider. Despite being in my third year at my new high school, I struggled to make friends. Many of my classmates didn’t know how to respond to the way my cerebral palsy affected my speech and movement. I became a child who was largely invisible, just kind of there. It was the darkest time in my life.
The thought of not having anyone to celebrate Christmas with made me feel empty inside, just like the year before. But something happened that changed everything. As I sat at my desk, watching the clock and listening to my classmates chatter, a girl I didn’t know approached and set a small red present on my desk. “I wanted to get you something,” she said. Inside the box was a red and green Christmas cupcake. “Merry Christmas,” she said before walking away.
A few minutes later, another classmate placed a small gift bag on my desk. Inside were a Santa Claus cookie and some chocolates. I was so shocked that I couldn’t even speak. I was overwhelmed with emotion, tears streaming down my face. The fact that someone had thought of me when I had assumed no one did was what truly made me happy, not the gifts themselves.
These small acts of kindness stayed with me all day. I felt a warmth in my heart that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Those girls will never know the true impact of their simple gifts. They have no idea how long I will remember that day. In my opinion, the greatest gift you can give someone is compassion, especially during the holiday season.
I want December to be a month of random acts of kindness all around the world. I’m asking everyone to do at least one kind deed. Show others the power of kindness. Your deed can be big or small, extravagant or simple. It could be as simple as sitting with someone who’s alone, buying them a cup of coffee, giving them a compliment, or donating toys to those in need. Anything!
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but for many, it can also be a time of sadness and loneliness. Your act of kindness, no matter how small, can make all the difference in someone’s life. You never know how much a small gesture can brighten someone’s day.
So let’s spread some joy and kindness this holiday season, and make it a time to remember for all the right reasons.