Winter Solstice 2012
The longest night of the year is upon us and once again I’m throwing with my sister our annual Winter Solstice bash. Will it be the end of the world? Will there be more snow? Will I have enough food for all of the friends we're expecting? Enough Champagne to toast the New Year? Enough of Caron's Nuit de Noel to carry me through to the end of the year? I’m truly not sure about the whole “End of the World “ thing , but I’m definitely hoping that it’s the end of an era. You’d have to be tucked somewhere in the deep dark wilderness to have not been affected by the tragic news this week. It seems that America is experiencing her own longest night and I must admit that it’s difficult to not give in to the sadness. I knew that somehow I needed to honor the little angels whose lives were lost last week in Newtown, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Then very unexpectedly came an invitation from my niece to join a Facebook group called "Random Acts of Kindness".
Random acts of kindness are certainly not a new concept, but this one had a twist. The founder of the group, a young mother herself, probably not older than 25 asked us each to do 27 random acts of kindness in honor of each of the lives that were lost last Friday.
She writes “I know that the tragedy in Newtown, CT touched many of us and are unable to give back like we would like to. But I proposethis! In remembrance of all the victims that we do our best in carrying outRANDOM acts of kindness! It could be as simple as opening the door for an elderly person, or buying lunch for the homeless...anything. Just remember more acts of kindness will only promote other people to want to do the same! This violence in this country needs to be put to an end and the only way we can put a minimum to that is being kind to one another! So, lets prepare to carry out 27 RANDOM acts of Kindness in remembrance of all the victims that lost their lives all too young!”
What a simple yet brilliant truth. You don’t have to have a lot of money to perform a random act of kindness, just the desire to make a difference. Random acts of kindness can be well thought out or they can be spontaneous! They are precious in that they are gifts of yourself, something that this world seems to need now more than ever. So on this Solstice eve I propose that we follow her example and think of something we can do that doesn’t necessarily cost a dime yet would make all of the difference to the receiver. Half the fun of doing this is to perform these acts towards someone who has no clue who you are or if you’re going to do something for someone you know don’t let them see you. I love the idea of writing 27 Christmas cards and putting them on anonymous car windshields like she did, who knows? The possibilities for kindness are endless! So I thank you Nicole Canales for although we have never met, I am so grateful to you for reminding me of the difference that I can make in this world. I encourage you to visit her group on Facebook simply called “Random Acts of Kindness”. You’ll be very glad you did.
To you my dear readers once again we have reached that spoke in the wheel of the year where I get to tell you just how much I appreciate you all. This funny little world that we inhabit together, this place where gorgeous perfumes and yummy foods blend to make the most sublimely passionate prose is one of my happiest places. I always wish that you could be at my Solstice Party, where I would feed you cups of luxuriously boozy and spicy eggnog and platefuls of the most glorious desserts that you’ve ever seen, some fruit, some chocolate… all splendid. Mostly I wish that I could just once wrap my arms around each of you and give back to you personally what you have given to me. As I light the fragrant Noel candles and the Yule fire this year I will be thinking of you all and making a wish for the most wonderful 2013 to come. As corny as it sounds, in the eternally sappy words of Jerry Maguire, ”You complete me”. The comments you leave and the emails I receive let me know that from my little desk in my little corner of the world that I’ve made a difference to you and that’s not a little thing for a wordsmith like me.
Wishing you all a Very Merry Solstice and I’ll see you all on the other side of 2013!
Beth Schreibman Gehring
Photo Credit: Beth