a little christmas spirit goes a long way

Even though it seems like the last 3 months have been a bit on the difficult side for our family……

we’ve made the best of what we can and are grateful and thankful that we have a happy,

healthy and thriving family.

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for that my heart is full.

Two years ago when we were living in Illinois….we bundled up the kids one day……hopped on the train and

headed into Chicago to spread some love.

You can read all about here {here}.

It’s been two years since we’ve done something like that and my heart was pulling at me to do something

this year with the kids here on Kauai. The homeless population is different here….no real downtown to do something

like what we had done but that didn’t stop me from trying to think outside the box.

plus we didn’t have one single extra dollar to spend 

that is till last Tuesday when i got home from work and there was an envelope from my godfather.

I haven’t seen him or his wife since our wedding but every year we still send a Christmas card to them

so i opened up the envelope and in it was a check for $150.

Then on Wednesday Mason was outside playing and our neighbor handed him $10 and wished

him a Merry Christmas as he was getting in his car to head to the airport and out of the country for a month.

Two different acts of kindness in two days.

How could we not think of something to do….and with what happened a week ago Friday….there was a whole lot

of random acts of kindness floating around lately….because so many of us were affected by that horrible shooting.

Later that afternoon i went into work to grab my paycheck and in it was almost like getting a bonus

because so far we had the kids Christmas gifts all paid for…..and sort of felt like we were right on track….

 even though our parents and siblings didn’t get much more than some Kauai love for Christmas this year….

we knew that they would understand and know that what we were going to do with this extra money

would mean so much more to them then something wrapped up in paper.

This time of year it’s also hard to hear my kids talk about what they want…..

what they think they should be getting.

It’ certainly takes the joy out of Christmas and the meaning of giving is lost.

That is why i felt so compelled to go forth and bless others who really could use the help

much more than we need it.

So this last Thursday…..we got up in the morning….and piled in the mini {van not cooper}

and headed to town.

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{we call going to town….going to the big city…which is Lihue and it’s not really a city…but you get the gist}

First stop was to Super-cuts.

Fin wanted a haircut and so when i walked in to inquire about the wait…..

i was told it was going to be about 30 minutes because there were 3 sisters getting their hair cut.

I saw the mom in the back standing next to the youngest girl who was probably around 5 years old

and i knew that this would be a family that would appreciate a blessing today.

I asked the cashier if maybe we could pay for the three girls haircuts….and her eyes got wide

and then she smiled really big.

We paid for the cuts and then we left a really nice tip for each of the stylists.

We also told the cashier that we wanted to do this anonymously ….

so when they checked out….the cashier told them that some elves had paid…and to have a Merry Christmas.

The mom smiled the biggest smile i’ve ever seen and my kids and i looked at each other with silent smiles

because it felt so good.

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Once Fin had his haircut……we were starving and headed to our favorite Brick oven pizza place.

Our favorite server was working …….so once again….our minds started playing overtime.

At first we were thinking we would just pay for someone else’s bill that was also dining in the restaurant

but it was just us and another couple who looked like they were visiting.

Because we know how much servers rely on their tips

we knew our server would appreciate a little love today.

Plus i had a glass of wine with lunch so i was starting to feel real good.

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oh….you might notice Fin’s new haircut in the photo below……

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I’m still trying to figure out how the cut went from

asking for a trim to a full on cut that now has him looking like Jim Carey from the movie 

Dumb and Dumber.

Anyhoo……

check check…..

after lunch we had one more stop.

This was to be our biggest stop yet…..

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We headed into Kmart.

Kmart does Layaway…..and i’ve heard here and there that on occasion people will go in and help

to pay off people’s purchases and so i stored that into the back of my brain for a day like this.

The kids and i walked in to Kmart…..found out that the layaway was in the back of the store

then headed back and got into the line that was 30 minutes deep.

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The kids were getting restless when we finally made our way to the front of the line and the cashier

asked us for our receipt and if we wanted to make a payment.

I casually mentioned that we were actually here to see if it would be possible to maybe

make some payments on some others lay-aways and if so….would she be able to help us out with it.

She immediately got on the phone and called the manager back.

I kept thinking sheet…….uh oh.

The last thing i wanted was for someone to get on the overhead speaker system and say aloud

“attention Kmart shoppers…..”

but she didn’t..……

what she did do was get the manager to come back to help her because no one had ever done this before

at their Kmart. I asked the manager if it was possible that we help pay for families that only have toys 

left or on hold for their layaway.

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She pulled up 5 families for us….and then told us she would call each of these 5 families and let them know

some elves came in and helped pay off their balances.

The first family only had a balance of around $8.

$8!!

I think this is what made me feel all warm and fuzzy all day…..

because if someone is having a hard time just paying off $8

then this is someone who needed it the most.

We paid it off. 

The second family had a balance of around $60.

We paid it off.

For the third, fourth and fifth families…..they had a lot higher balances…so we decided to pay $25 each

towards their balance.

5 families that were blessed because we decided to pay it forward with the generosity of a few people

that didn’t even know what their money was going to do.

3 kids that had a wonderful day blessing others….

{well…the youngest wasn’t too sure about it….but i blame it on the haircut}

and one momma who wanted to show her kids that by doing selfless acts of kindness will take you further

in life than anything else ever will.

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Comments

  1. I love it!! You have inspired me once again.

  2. I follow you on IG so I had already see the photos, but I was wondering where you had gotten the extra cash from
    and needless to say, I am in awe of what you and the kids have done.
    I’ve also heard about the Kmart layaway paying off and now I want to take my kids there tomorrow to see if we might
    even be able to just pay a little bit to help out.
    Thank you. I love your family.
    Jackie

  3. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I have followed your blog on and off for awhile now. I decided to check it out today because we are doing Christmas in Kauai this year – rented a house in Hanalei. I was so moved by your story. I never thought of paying off of someone’s lay-away, but like you, I will store it.

    I live in a little beach town in California on a lane that dead ends on the ocean. We do a street progressive dinner every New Year’s Eve and last year we decided to adopt a family. We set out a collection box at every house on the dinner route. Everyone invites “non- street people” so they threw in $$$ too. We collected nearly $1000 to give to a family that was down on their luck and mom was very ill. The money was given to the family the first week in January and so sad, the mother died the next day. Little did we expect that we would help to pay for her funeral.

    This year, I am responsible for finding a family. I teach middle school and I found a student at my school who also has a little brother. Neither of them have more than 1 pair of shoes, no jacket for the winter and they just got evicted and are living in a shelter. When I get back to California, we start the collection and then anonymously donate what we collect.

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  4. Tears in my eyes! Merry Christmas to you all!

  5. I love your family. I do.

  6. It’s been fun to see snippets of this on Instagram but to hear the whole story of how you were blessed? Even better.

    Your kids will never forget this.

  7. What an amazing post . . . may you and your family be blessed in tenfold. You made such a wonderful impression on your children and it will continue to make that impression throughout their lives individually. When my kiddos were little, if we were short on money and one of kids were invited to some event that was going to cost a little extra, everyone of my kids were chip in with whatever they had including Mom and Dad and we would make that day happen for them. All of my kids have never forgotten that and to this day they get more joy out of giving then receiving. I thank God everyday that I raised them that way. Blessings :O)

  8. Love what you have done this year Kasey ~ it teaches the kids what Christmas is all about and that’s all that matters. Merry Christmas to you all!

  9. Valerie mathews says:

    Thank you for your selflessness and for showing your children how to be a blessing to others. Merry Christmas and may you be blessed tenfold.

  10. Inspiring! Especially considering you and your family have experienced a tight budget this year. Merry Christmas and God bless:)

  11. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your loving, kind family.

  12. You’re the coolest, Kasey! Those kids of yours are lucky to have you.

  13. You rock!!!!!! Have the best Xmas ever as you deserve it. What a heart you have – and your family too. Here’s to 2013 being kinder to many of us xxxx

  14. Wondreful teaching, Kasey. A true Christmas. wishing your family and yourself the very best. Merry Christmas, Happy 2013.

  15. What a beautiful story! You are teaching your kids the true meaning of, well, life – Do Unto Others. No one gives to another and walks away with a frown on their face. Giving makes everyone feel good and you are doing an excellent job of teaching that to your children. Save all your change in 2013 and in December check out Heifer International. Those gifts of animals don’t cost a lot but they are life-changing for the people who receive them. Merry Christmas Buick Family!!! It’s pretty doggone cold in Minnesota!

  16. Lots of tears here in NJ as I sit here drinking coffee and reading your heart warming blog! Your children will never forget this Christmas. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Merry Christmas!

  17. Just beautiful, Kasey. Inspiration for sure. merry christmas to you all from a Texas girl who also loves Kauai.

  18. well done Kasey, what a great post, also two years ago! very inspiring, have a wonderful christmas! Heather x

  19. Brought a tear or two to my eyes.
    That is the true meaning of Christmas.
    You are raising the next generation to be kind and caring.
    Merry Christmas,Kim

  20. I love this idea, thanks for sharing! you’re an awesome mom to those cute kiddos.

  21. This post was so perfect for us on so many levels this year. We are paying for college (no loans), cut up our credit card, and are simplifying our lives dramatically. We have had soooo many discussions as a family about our culture of over indulgence. It really sickens me at times. I want our kids to understand the power of giving. We tried coming with ideas similar to yours. I wish, though, we had followed through on them. My hats off to you and your kids. This is just incredible.

  22. thanks for sharing a sweet and tender post of the love and care for strangers you all did even in your own uncertain season. i’ll bet those who got the call that there balance was paid off must have felt totally shocked even. i pray you all continue to thrive and grow in your life there as you do.

  23. Thank you for sharing this and reminding all of us what is most important at this time of the year. Love to you all!

  24. Love that….totally awesome.

  25. I enjoy your posts and always get excited when I discover a ‘new’ one waiting to be read. This post was the best….it is an example of how everything fell into place and you spread the aloha spirit.

  26. It wasn’t possible being happy this season because of what happpened on the 21st, but spreading kindness was a step in the right direction…
    lovely post.

  27. Chris in FL says:

    I absolutely loved this post! I was thinking of you a few days before Christmas because our family did the same thing. I remember your post about you all blessing the homeless in Chicago. I thought that was so cool. This year my family had a little extra so we decided to buy Starbucks gift cards and pass them out around the mall. Our kids in tow with Santa hats on, we marched through the mall handing out these cards. It was so much fun!! It felt so good to bless people! I wished we had triple the amount to have blessed so many more people.

    I like what you did this year. I am going to keep this in mind.

    Happy New Year Kasey! :)

  28. Merry Christmas, Kasey! May God continue to bless you and yours!

  29. So wonderful! You made me cry!

  30. Elizabeth Eichhorn says:

    Hi Kasey–I’m stealing your Kmart layaway idea for next year! You are totally sussying! Check out: thesussyproject.com. So proud that it orginated here in my hometown. Love your blog and reading about your adventures! Elizabeth

  31. Julie Odle says:

    You are beautiful!

  32. I remember your previous post about blessing homeless in Chicago and it has really stuck with me as will this one. Great job Buick family!

  33. Once again you’ve inspired me. I can’t wait to do this with my children. Love your big heart and desire to serve others. I just love you Kasey and am so honored to be your friend:) BESTMOMEVER!!

  34. hey Kasey!
    Very random question from a mom who is looking for some new meal ideas? Specifically from Trader Joe’s?
    Thanks much!!
    :-)

  35. Kasey … I’m really missing you. Blog to us soon! And a very Happy New Year to you and your beautiful family!

  36. love this idea! thanks for sharing. where r u? missing your posts. love the blog. hope all is okay? {see how much you’re appreciated} :) sincerely, your readers

  37. Ciao Kasey, I love you and your post! Hope everything is ok…love, MOnica

  38. I have tears in my eyes. This was an amazing and selfless thing to do, especially since you and your family have had a rough go of it lately. Bless your big hearts!

    XO,
    Jane

  39. What a beautiful post. You’ve inspired me to do something like this with my kids. I LOVE your blog and miss reading your posts. Hope everything is okay. You are missed.
    Jen

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