If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

Birmingham, AL: $481.00. Charleston, WV: $1,000.00. Moraine, OH: $15,000.00. Bellingham, MA: $20,000.00.

All the denominations listed above are payments that Secret Santas across the country have donated towards items, often toys and children’s clothes, held on layaway. I love the anonymity of these acts because secretly extending a helping hand to another person is the purist form of giving. The reward is internal, not external, yet the act is powerful, emanating from the most complicated organ any of us possess: the heart.

With that in mind, The Giving Challenge for today is to Do Something Anonymous. Even though the generous folks in the scenarios above parted with cash for their anonymous acts of kindness, you don’t have to spend money to secretly do something nice. If you’re having trouble figuring out what that might be, use the photos below for inspiration. It took me about 60 seconds to roam the house this morning for examples of how a child (let’s say mine), could anonymously make someone’s day (again, let’s use me as an example), by doing something kind in secret (one more time, for me).



Thanks to mysterious shadowing created by the iconic IKEA Maskros pendant light, you can’t even tell that my middle child’s bed is never made. Like ever. Not in the history of never is it ever made. What a gift from the heavens, if, just once, I could walk into her room and not see, you know…this.



One of my top Secret Santa wishes is that my kids will someday hang up the clean clothes that I wash, dry, fold, and organize into neat piles to be put away. This is a picture of those very treasured possessions, thrown in a heap onto a dresser by my youngest daughter. While no animals were harmed in the making of these photos, our dog is seriously scared shitless to go into Essa’s room.


We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day when we f****** hang up our towels.

We are the world.
We are the children.
We are the ones who make a brighter day when we f****** hang up our towels.


We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day when we f******* close our dresser drawers.

Ahhh, the infamous “I’ve got way too much homework to close my drawers” excuse. Full discloser: nothing in this picture was photoshopped to make my kids’ crap look skinnier than it is.


No words for this one.

No words for this one. Not one.

So there you have it. Several real-world examples of how to anonymously make someone’s day. With those thoughts in mind, go out and do something secretly fantastic, and stop by my house if you need some inspiration.

I, Gemini Girl, have interrupted my non-existent programming to bring you the 25 Days of Giving Challenge. Please join me in my quest, over the next 25 days, to make people happy. I’ll share stories of giving escapades that will be sure to wow, delight, or at least not annoy anyone who chooses to participate. Each Day of Giving will be conveniently brought to you via email if you follow this blog. And if you’re already a follower? Pass it onto your friends. If we work together we can change the world, or at least dramatically improve my hit ratio.

16 thoughts on “25 Days of Giving Day Seventeen: Check Your Ego At The Door

  1. Rah Rehula says:

    This is a perfect post for the day ;-D

    1. Thank you Rah, for reading and commenting!

  2. Laura says:

    Hilarious! I love these examples and sadly, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I can’t imagine it x3! Personally, I’m waiting for the dog to clean up her own crap. We’re almost there, she cleans up cat crap on every walk.

    1. My dog eats other dog’s crap sometimes and is especially into elk crap, so even if he can’t clean up my kids’ crap he’s pretty much helping the world at-large. I think.

  3. Beth Markowski says:

    When Grace figures out how to make her bed, have her teach Carly. Just wanting to let you know your are not alone! Will, on the other hand, doesn’t make his bed everyday, but keeps his room very tidy otherwise. All dirtly laundry in basket, drawers closed, towels hung, no dried toothpaste streaming down the sides of the sink. So I’m pretty much batting .500, which I consider complete success! Hey, who wouldn’t want that batting average!?

    1. I’d take 500 any day of the week. =p

  4. stellacastro says:

    My girls’ always leave their towels and dirty clothes on the bathroom floor – and when I ask, they would say they put them back on the rack or in the hamper, but the “gremlin” messed it up. I forwarded this post to them and I’m hoping the “gremlin” doesn’t mess it up today! 🙂

    1. Those sneaky gremlins must hang out with mu kids too. Thanks for the read and comment Stella. Chatting with you here is almost as nice as seeing you in person. Almost. xoxo

  5. I always found removing the prospect of food and drink produced a dramatic and effective improvement in the situation. Eventually screaming maniacally “Clean up your f****** room or your chilli con carne goes in the trashcan!” does not appear in any parenting manuals I ever read. It should.

    My daughter has grown into a warm, contented, artistic and wonderful human being. Her room, now occupied only occasionally, still looks like a bomb site. I just don’t go in there any more. My life is a ball of happy light.

    1. Chili con carne. That’s a great idea for dinner tomorrow night Yolly, thank you! Always great to see you here, I’m guessing your daughter and mine have a lot of great things in common. =)

  6. purplemary54 says:

    I try to straighten out my mother’s bed every day because she likes to get into a neat bed at night, but usually doesn’t have time to do it herself. But that’s not anonymous since I’m the only other one with opposable thumbs who lives in the house.

  7. That’s really nice, Mary. It’s possible she believes in ghosts, though, so maybe your act of kindness is a little more anonymous than you think. =p

  8. D K Powell says:

    Wonderfully hilarious examples for us all (though I suspect you might have had a particular audience in mind 😉 ) 🙂

  9. Bondseye says:

    Another funny post Stacie. Sadly, I have everyone on this list of comments beat. I am too embarrassed to publicly admit just how out of hand my daughter’s room got, but I will say that a motherly intervention was required on more than one occasion when, well I’m not even going to say it. I read somewhere the best thing is to close the door and ignore it. Which is all fine and good until things that are breeding in there come out into the rest of the house. Fortunately it was only ants and fruit flies. See now how I’ve brightened everyone’s day! Actually besides that the worst is when you find the clothes you’ve neatly washed, dried and lovingly folded in the dirty laundry. Seen that more than once. My grandma told me how to handle that. Make them buy their clothes back from you. I haven’t had the nerve to actually follow through on that. I just remind myself…someday they will all be gone, my house will be clean but lonely and I guess this is better than that.

    1. By sharing your candid truth about the vermin in your daughter’s room, you’re not only giving to me, but anyone who reads this comment and has had a similar experience. Trust me, as mothers we are all in the same boat. Your honesty made me smile, one of solidarity and a little pain. xoxo

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