In a world where everything is supposed to be faster and easier than ever, there are still times when slow and thoughtful may be the better option.
Too often we settle for comfort and ease when what could really make a difference in someone else’s day is taking the extra time to make them feel special. Here are eight simple, old-fashioned acts of kindness that are worth the time they take.
1. Send Handwritten Letters
Have you ever received a truly personal handwritten letter? If so, you probably still have it saved in a shoe box somewhere to bring a little sunshine to a rainy day. Pay it forward and reach out to an old friend by putting pen to paper for them.
2. Read Books Aloud
This is a simple way to share an adventure with your significant other or pass along your favorite classic to your child. Even better, turn reading together into quality time that keeps on giving by making your shared book fodder for dinner table discussion.
3. Lead The Welcome Wagon
Anyone who has been at the receiving end of a warm neighborhood welcome knows what a difference it can make. Bring fresh-baked muffins to a new neighbor with a card and a list of your favorite local stores and restaurants.
Or purchase a special treat from a local mom-and-pop store and drop it off. Nothing says welcome like a local or homemade gift, but what’s really important is the act itself.
4. Write Thank-You Cards
Not just a show of gratitude for a gift, a little encouragement in the form of a thank-you note can go a long way. I recently handed out some super simple (some may even say cheesy) cards to let people know I appreciated them.
Although they were a little silly, they brought smiles and gratitude. Try writing cards letting people know you’re thinking of them and are grateful for their presence and contribution. It may just encourage them to keep it up.
5. Spend Time With The Older Crowd
There’s that word again, time. It means so much when it’s shared, but it always seems like we have so little to give. Try to find some to spend with that older and wiser generation. Not only will they be grateful, you’ll be moved and inspired by their experiences and insight.
6. Purchase Some Personalized Stationery
Why? Because it’s beautiful and we need more beauty in the world. Plus, it makes a simple note feel more like a gift.
7. Be A Good Guest
Bring some flowers, a bottle of wine or a small hostess gift—it’s the little things that matter. Offer to help with dinner and/or clean up. Don’t ask for something unless it’s been offered and make sure to end the event by saying thank you.
Also, now would be a good time to send out one of those handwritten thank-you notes on your personalized stationery.
8. Invite Someone Over
It’s not what you serve that matters, it’s how you treat your guests. Greet them when they arrive, offer them a drink and then offer to refill it when it’s gone. Listen, make eye contact, show that you care and then walk them to the door when they leave.
Simple things go further than you’d think, and make others feel valued. Even better, teach your kids to do the same.
Photo by Regis Andrade
h/t: Real Simple