To my darling boys,
Christmas is nearly upon us and we’ve been rather busy buying presents and decorating our home. Our much too big Christmas tree sits in the corner of the dining room, adorned with red and golden decorations, lights are twinkling, Christmas candles are placed on the sideboards and stockings hung on the staircase. Our heating is well and truly on, blankets have made their way from the cupboard to the sofa and hot chocolate is stocked up in the cupboards. It’s all very cosy and snug, ready for the Christmas season. We live in quite a cosy little bubble really.
The thing is, not everyone lives in a cosy little bubble like we do. In fact this time of year can be terribly lonely for many. While bustling about the city centre desperately buying mountains of presents, for Father Christmas to collect and deliver for us we passed by a young man sat in a dreary, wet doorway. He certainly looked down on his luck, with an unshaven beard, tatty coat and dirty sleeping bag.
We walked passed as most people do. We were rushed, time on the car was running low and we had presents to finish buying. As I thought about that, I looked down at the bags on the pushchair, filled with things people don’t even really need. Nobody needs a new Yankee candle, nobody needs an abundance of sweet smelling Lush products and nobody needs new puzzles or toys or food hampers to accompany their huge pile of Christmas food already purchased and sat in the cupboard. Nobody needed anything I had bought them that day. But this young man sat in the doorway looked like he needed someone to be kind, even if it was the smallest of gestures.
So we changed course, we stopped being rushed for a moment and instead went into the nearest coffee shop and bought a hot toastie, some biscuits and a cup of tea to take away. We loaded up on sugar and stirrers and made our way back to the man sat in the doorway. We took the time to say hello and passed him the bag of hot food and drink and he looked up at us in shock, before thanking us. He smiled at both of you boys and asked how you were and thanked you both individually, before we told him to take care and returned back to our rushing.
The reason I am writing about this moment boys, is to explain to you what happened next and how one small gesture of kindness spread to other people. The shoppers who had been rushing past just as we had, suddenly started to stop. One older gentleman placed down his shopping bags and began to have a conversation with this young man. A woman stopped and took a few notes from her purse and passed them to him. Small gestures, but gestures that could make a difference to this young man sat in the dreary, wet doorway.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, jobs they can go to or friends they can count on. So boys, if you ever find yourself in a position where you can perform a small act of kindness, then do. Kindness is catching, small stones cause big ripples and in a world where you can be anything, I urge you with all my heart to be kind.