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Nicole Phillips, Published November 25 2011

Phillips: Giving the greatest gift this holiday season

I have so many things to be thankful for. Three of them are running around my house as you read this. But while many people joyfully proclaim, “The holiday season is upon us!” I find myself making stressed-out mental to-do lists. I’m trying to take inventory of who I need to buy presents for, what I’m going to get them and how I’m going to pay for it all?

Sound familiar?

This holiday season, I want to stop and focus on kindness. I’m offering to help you give someone you love the greatest gift he or she will ever receive. And guess what … it’s going to be free.

First, a little background: My sister-in-law recently sent me an email about an assignment she has to do for her daughter’s sixth grade social studies class. She has to write a letter telling her daughter exactly what it is she loves about her. This is an amazing assignment, and it got me thinking. I tell my husband every day I love him, but I seldom tell him why. I kiss my children every day and tell them that I’m proud of them, but I seldom tell them why.

There is a big holiday coming up for many of us. Before you run out and fill your cart with things that will eventually end up in a garage sale or shoved under a bed, I urge you to sit down and write a letter to someone you love.

The next step is sharing that letter, and that’s where I come in.

The Forum will print as many as many letters as can fit on a page in the SheSays section of The Forum on Christmas Eve. The rest of the letters will be published on my blog (kindness.areavoices.com), which will be featured on the Inforum homepage.

Imagine the impact you could make on someone’s holiday when he or she reads the letter you wrote specifically for them on Christmas Eve. It will be a very powerful gift and may even encourage that person to tell you why you’re special.

If you need an example of how to write a “Letter of Love,” you can read the one I am writing to my children. It will be in my Kindness is Contagious column next Saturday.

For printing purposes, try to keep your letter to around 200 words. I’ll also need to have it by December 15. But don’t worry … we’re going to make this easy. Instead of emailing me directly, write your letter on the special form we’ve created at kindness.areavoices.com. That will allow you to submit your letter electronically and will ensure we have all of the necessary information for printing.

If you choose to send a handwritten letter, please have it postmarked by December 13 and send it to Nicole Phillips, c/o The Forum, 101 5th Street North, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.

Don’t worry if you aren’t a good writer. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. Being kind this holiday season doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune, but can simply be done by telling people how fortunate you feel to have them in your life.

Continue to share your random acts of kindness stories at nphillips15@hotmail.com.


Nicole Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is the mother of three kids and the wife of Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday.