Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights. What better way to celebrate than to spread the light, both physical and metaphoric.
While the story and the miracles of Hanukkah, defeating an enemy against all odds and a flask of oil with barely enough for one day lasting for eight full days, took place many centuries ago, it feels just as relevant today. It’s a reminder that anytime you are surrounded by darkness, you can choose light, and if there doesn’t seem to be much, then you can be that light!
Here are 8 different ways you can spread light during the holiday.
When you light another candle, you are sharing your light with another while your own light only grows brighter.
What are your favorite ways to spread light?
1. Pay it forward, with a post-it.
This is one of my favorites. Create a card full of post-its with notes of kindness and bring it to your local coffee shop. It can be as simple as “have a beautiful day” or “enjoy your coffee.” Ask the owner or barista to keep this on the counter and tell the patrons they can “pay with a post it”. It’s fun to keep it anonymous and see people’s reactions (that’s a gift in and of itself). You can write a holiday message and sign it, “love a fellow resident of (your town) who just wants to spread the light this holiday season.”
2. Pay it forward my way on the highway
Simple and guaranteed to make the person's day. All you have to do is literally just pay for the person who comes after you through a toll - leave a note for the person wishing them a happy holiday, “This trip is on me. Xo, just a friend from (insert town) trying to make the holiday season a bit brighter”.
3. You’ve got mail and a little extra
Offer your local mail carrier a hot drink… “ring the bell for service”. Postal workers and UPS drivers working overtime this season in the cold to deliver all the holiday gifts. I have put this sign outside my door and gotten a few happy and appreciative customers who told me that nobody had ever done this before. They were all so appreciative. If you’re not home, and you know what time they come daily, you can leave a traveler of coffee and some cups right outside the door with the note. Or if the drinks are too complicated, I like to leave a basket of snacks as well outside my door with the note.
4. Gift card giveaway
This idea comes from my friend Deena @fun.in.the.bc. Buy gift cards to a local Walmart or Target in different small denominations and hand them out to customers in the store. Offer a friendly smile and a card just because…this is how we like to celebrate Chanukah, by giving. The feeling you get from the happy reaction you will be met with is better than anything you can buy in the store. Great to get your kids involved. https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0g-sDLJurm/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA%3D%3D
5. Mini care packages for the homeless
Prepare a few small ziplock bags with a granola bar, beef jerky, hand warmers, thick socks. When you pass by someone on the street, rather than dropping coins money leave them this package with things they can use. They will be touched that someone took the time to do it. This is inspired by my kids who used to get saddened by the people who sometimes stand by the highway begging… I didn’t always have the cash to give them, so I’d throw whatever water bottle or protein bar or snack to them from the window.
6. Light up with a write-up
So many businesses depend on their ratings. If you get good service and ask how you can share it, many will ask you to please write a review! It’s a gift that costs nothing but a few minutes of your time…Go to the website of your favorite store, salon, doctor, or service provider, and click on the leave a review app or find them on Yelp or Zocdoc. If it’s a podcast go to Apple Podcasts or Spotify and take a minute to write a review. It’s inconvenient but means so much to them. Another way to do this is on social media, be a positive light too. You can like and share content you like, and write positive comments on posts whose creators you support. Putting yourself out there is no easy feat and the support online means a lot.
7. Bring a small token of appreciation to your local police or fire station
They work hard to keep us safe and are so grateful (now especially…) to be thought of. Baked goods are an especially popular treat… whether store bought or homemade, this is a nice one to involve your kids in.
8. Adopt an attitude of gratitude
Smile at everyone you see from the cashier at the supermarket to the janitor in your school. Thanking them and Wishing them a beautiful day and a happy holiday goes a long way!!!
We’re fighting a war on so many fronts. For those of us on the battlefield of everyday life, Let’s kill them with kindness so bright there’s no room for darkness.
Let’s create a name for ourselves that makes everyone smile and share only love and positivity! We can’t control what others think; only our actions and our reactions.
Rather than get dragged down in the darkness, let’s be the light.
Happy Chanukah 🕎 sending love and light to all!