I read a lot about news, current events, politics, and so on, and all the rest. T can tell you I frequently get agitated and hiss and spit at my computer when I read something upsetting or displeasing. While there’s certainly plenty of bad news around the holidays, just like any other time of year, I feel like “the media” also highlight a lot of positive human interest stories, random acts of kindness, things that fit into the holiday spirit.

I remember last year, there were a lot of stories going around about people paying off stranger’s layaway balances – here’s one good example from The Consumerist: “Reader Pays Off Strangers’ Layaway Tabs, Becomes Santa Claus“. I try to be a generous person, and I certainly donate to a wide range of charities, but I’m always impressed and a little bit humbled by people who can be so spontaneously kind.

One apparently recurring story is when people drop gold or other coins worth more than their face value into donation buckets, as happened recently in Elmira, NY.

And even kids can get into the action! One boy from Owasso, OK requested toy donations instead of gifts for his 8th birthday party, and ended up with donations of 500 or so toys to a local Toys for Tots drive.

I realize these acts of kindness don’t just happen this time of year – when T and I went to adopt Cookie this fall, there was a family where the son had requested pet toys, food and other donations for the Franky Fund at the animal shelter. I just appreciate that these kinds of stories seem to get extra attention when they happen around this time of the year!