Whether it's a present to a loved one or donation to a good cause, Christmas is a time to give.
But what about the gift of goodwill?
Go Local Fort Frances and the Town of Fort Frances want residents to think about how they can make someone else's season bright with the “Christmas Kindness Pledge” challenge.
“Christmas Kindness Pledge" tags are now available at participating "Go Local” businesses.
The public is urged to fill them out—making a commitment to brighten someone else's day in their own way.
This could include “paying it forward,” baking a cake, telling a joke, letting someone go ahead of you in line, or holding the door open for others, economic development consultant Tannis Drysdale noted.
“Go Local” staff then will gather the tags from the participating businesses and hang them from a Christmas tree located in the Rainy Lake Square.
New tags will be hung on the tree until Christmas.
“This is the first year we'll have a Christmas tree at the Rainy Lake Square [and] we were pondering how to decorate that tree,” Drysdale said.
“There's obviously issues with a tree in a public place with lots of decorations, so we decided to create a decoration that's greater than the decoration itself,” she explained.
“It's something that will make this Christmas holiday a beautiful experience for everyone, regardless of the tag,” Drysdale added.
"So anywhere in downtown Fort Frances, at participating merchants, you can pick up these little tags and write out your commitment to doing something kind or nice this Christmas season.
“You don't have your sign your name, it doesn't have to be an enormous challenge, and we'll make sure that that gets picked up and put on the tree,” she remarked.
“And then your part of the bargain is to fulfill that kindness challenge.”
While it's likely the elements of an outdoor tree in December will lose a few tags to wind, rain, or snow, Drysdale said “the magic of the promises to do something kind will remain.”
“So please give some thought as to how you can make this Christmas season brighter for someone else and write out a 'Kindness Challenge'—and carry it out,” she urged.
The first tag was filled out last Thursday by new Mayor June Caul.
“I think this is a wonderful idea,” she told the Times.
For her part, Mayor Caul pledged to volunteer at the community Christmas dinner on Dec. 25 at Knox United Church—something she's done for at least 20 years.