person from Bulgaria (Tanya)

Being kind at Christmas

Tanya's goosebump moment

Being kind at Christmas – Tanya’s goosebump moment

(text video)


Hello! My name is Tanya, and I am from Bulgaria. My goosebump moment was back in 2015, a day before Christmas. A friend of mine and I were shopping for gifts and we were coming out of a store we saw a poor old man selling chestnuts in the middle of the rain. It was raining heavily, and he was on his bike, on a bike selling chestnuts. So, my friend and I were both raised in a religious family. So, we could not just walk away. We went by and asked for a pack of chestnuts just so we could give him something, and he said, “two euro, please”. And my friend gives him twenty euros and says “it’s okay, keep it, it’s Christmas” and the old guy just starts crying and saying to my friend “thank you Jesus” and then to me “thank you Mary”.

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The kindness of sharing

December is perhaps the most anticipated time of the year. Family time, dinners and gifts are a fundamental part of the holidays.

There are those who define Christmas as a pretext to share, to reconcile with the environment and above all to serve. In short, for many, it is a date to give with joy without expecting anything in return.

Foundations, groups and even individuals put their share of effort to give those most in need a moment of happiness this Christmas. Without a doubt, Christmas is associated with good feelings, such as kindness. But it’s never a bad time to start helping others.

Acts of kindness

Although we well know that solidarity actions should always be put into practice and not only in specific events, such as Christmas, we also understand that they are special dates in which we can have more time or resources to share with others.

Beyond supporting people close to us, such as family and friends, you can collaborate with organizations that work next door or thousands of kilometers away to improve the lives of the most vulnerable; start caring for the environment as a gift to future generations, or change harmful habits for more just ones.

Another option is to volunteer. If you have more free time at Christmas, why not spend it with those who need you? There are many who need your company on these special dates.

Another alternative is to make donations or if instead of money, you prefer to give fun for the little ones to whom Santa Claus or the Kings may not bring them anything, previously select the organization that will receive the toys and confirm which user profile it goes to intended for the age of the children, if they have any disability to adapt to their needs.

In addition to toys, clothes or food can be delivered to the most disadvantaged. In this case, it is important to make sure that what you offer is necessary and in good condition.

The range of activities in which you can give time is very varied, from cooking for soup kitchens to accompanying the elderly. Those who try it, say that what they receive is more than what they give.

Helping makes us happy

There are studies that affirm that by being supportive we feel a personal satisfaction that our brain understands as a reward, and reacts by increasing levels of happiness. That is why we experience a physical sensation of well-being that makes us want to repeat.

Thus, being supportive becomes a stimulus that leads us to be more often. This is because we are social beings, and sharing and being generous allow us to interact successfully with others, which makes us happy.

In addition, sometimes it makes us interact with people we do not know, for example if we collaborate with an NGO, and that allows us to develop our social skills. One of the keys to solidarity is not to expect compensation for having been generous.

And giving without expecting to receive frees us from the stress that often comes from seeing what we receive for what we give. When we do not look for a response that equals what we give, we feel freer and emotionally healthier people.

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