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Kathy McEwan

FCS Agent, Southwind District

Editor's Note: Kathy S. McEwan is a K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences and 4-H extension agent assigned to Allen County, Southwind Extension District. She may be reached at the Iola office (620) 365-2242 or by email at kmcewan@ksu.edu.

It is the season . . . share the holiday spirit

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

This week, I'd like to share a blog post from a co-worker from across the state. The following was written by Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Linda Beech in Finney County about a recent experience she and her husband had in their hometown that is both humbling and inspiring. I hope it will encourage you, as it did me, to be kinder and more generous as we celebrate the spirit of the season that is upon us. It is shared with Linda's permission.

Sharing the holiday spirit

I've read about it in books and magazines and seen it dramatized on TV, but before this week I'd never experienced it myself. The "it" I'm talking about is a random act of kindness bestowed upon my husband and me by someone we don't even know. It was a touching way to share the spirit at the beginning of the Christmas season.

It happened to us . . .

It happened last week in a local restaurant where my husband and I were enjoying a meal at the end of a long, busy day. The waiter had brought our bill, and as we were finishing our meal, another server stopped and picked the bill up. But when she didn't return it, we asked her about our check. It was then that she told us that another customer had already paid for our supper.

We were amazed and confused -- we hadn't seen anyone we knew in the restaurant that night. We wondered if it was someone who somehow knew us -- maybe from my work or our community activities? But no; the server told us the customer admitted she didn't know us but just wanted to share the holiday spirit by paying for our meal. What a wonderful and uplifting gift!

What a great way to get into the holiday spirit and spread it to others! My husband and I have marveled at how wonderful it felt to receive an anonymous gift of kindness when we were least expecting it. And, we've been inspired, too, to look for ways we can spread the joy and touch the lives of others with the holiday spirit this month.

Share the holiday spirit

How about you? You may be able to lift someone's spirits with your own small act of kindness. It doesn't even have to cost any money to surprise and delight someone with your thoughtfulness. If you need inspiration, the Internet is full of ideas, stories and surprises that can jog your imagination and creativity.

A great place to get started is the list of kindness ideas at the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website. Check it out at www.randomactsofkindness.org.

As we embark upon the Christmas season, I encourage you to look for ways to share kindness and love with others -- those you know and those you don't know. It will make our world a better place to live during this holiday season. Merry Christmas!