What are you doing for the holidays?

cardsI’m just about to finish my NaNoWriMo Novel, I’ve got a short story in the making and nearly finished, I’m not even halfway done with the handmade Christmas cards that I’m doing this year for my friends all around the world, and what do I do? I adopt a US Soldier on http://adoptaussoldier.org 

Just in time for the holidays. I’ve also got 5 unsuspecting Pay-It-Forward surprises to take care for people who have probably long forgotten that they signed up for this!

I want this December to be for giving. This December I have the time (sort of) to finally pay forward some of the help I’ve received along my way in life. I think back to a time in college when I was paying with cash in Wal Mart and didn’t have the 33 cents change to pay my bill. A kid about my age, in baggy jeans and a wife beater with a chain on his wallet pulls out the 33 cents and smiles. Another woman coincidentally traveling back the 17 hour trip to my home town this year brought me back a package of tortillas and salsa, because she knew that was what anyone from that town misses the most. I’ve recieved free drinks at Starbucks, free upgrades for pizzas at restaurants, and not because I was rude or insisted that I was God’s gift to humanity and they were afraid they would lose their job if they didnt appease me (can you tell i’ve worked in retail?) , but rather because I was kind, and considerate, and I believe that good things come to those who are pleasant. These among many other instances in life underline exactly why I haven’t lost my faith in the kindness of people. It was also exactly the customers in the retail position that made going to work great. I had customers that would catch me on a down-day and ask, “How are you?” As I asked them the same question, half expecting to be ignored as if I was a robot without a brain dishing out a service or so far below them in their brain that I didn’t even merit a response. I asked because I cared, not because I had to.

boxNow I can hand-write letters and make cards all day long, but how else might I be able to Pay-It-Forward a friend faraway, some of them as far as Europe? I recently read an article about a woman sending hand-made quilts to a Pay-It-Forward receiver. Now I’m not talented in that way so that idea is out, but the thought of providing something so basic, and warm and useful struck me. And if you were to send a care-package to a US soldier away from everything he knows and comforts him/her for the holidays, what would you like to find in a care-package? I guess what I’m looking for is suggestions. Does anyone have experience with these things? What would you like to see in an unexpected package on your doorstep?

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