How to Show Goodwill Amid the Bustle

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“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Luke 2:14 New King James Version

Hearts are often receptive to learn about Jesus during the Christmas season. But busyness leaves little margin for unexpected opportunities. I recently learned how to show goodwill amid the bustle.

My granddaughter is twenty-two-months-old with a rich vocabulary that only her mother understands. My husband and I are constantly saying, “What did she say?” But Audrey had no language barrier when she met a little girl named, Zoe.

Wordless Goodwill

Our community hosted a “Meet Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus” event last Saturday. For Audrey, it was meet Santa—for the first time.

In the lobby, a huge snowman greeted everyone with a wave. Red, green and gold decorations made the Christmas tree sparkle near the fireplace. A table with baked Christmas delights caught our attention, but Audrey’s interest shifted when she noticed, Zoe.

When Zoe told me she was five-years-old I thought the age difference would end the sudden friendship. To my surprise they became inseparable. They smiled and giggled like old friends. They colored at the craft table and sat together while waiting for Santa.

When Santa arrived, the children sat on the floor. Zoe followed the crowd, but not without Audrey. Zoe patted the floor to show Audrey it was time to sit and listen to Santa. Then, she took Audrey’s hand and brought her to the front of the crowd so she could meet Santa.


After the “Ho-Ho” experience, Audrey returned to the spot on the floor next to Zoe. She gently touched Zoe’s arm with a friendly pat, and Zoe repositioned Audrey’s oversized Santa hat when it slipped off her head. They couldn’t communicate with words, but they shared wordless goodwill.  


Audrey and Zoe inspired me to embrace a deeper commitment to goodwill and look for unexpected opportunities to share the meaning of Christmas.


A few ways we can show goodwill amid the bustle:

1. At the grocery checkout, let someone move ahead of you to pay.

2. Gift a waitress or waiter a generous Christmas tip.

3. Give a stranger a warm smile.

4. Start friendly conversations while you’re waiting in line at the post office.

5. Support a church program and contribute a few dollars.

6. Take a few minutes to listen to someone.

7. When you buy a blended coffee, tell the Barista you’ll pay for the order behind you.


Goodwill is being a helpful friend. It’s being present at the moment, and being present is the greatest present we can give someone.

Can you think of ways we can spread goodwill this season? I’d love to hear your quick and simple ideas in the comment box.

Have a blessed weekend.

Marisa Shadrick


The New King James Version. (1982). . Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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