As the holiday season approaches, the level of spoiling that goes on in my house reaches record heights. I get swept away in the decorating, the celebrating, the baking, and the shopping. I want to make a million lasting memories for my girls. This year, we are making an extra effort to step away from complete self-indulgence and bring some holiday magic and hope into the lives of others who don’t necessarily have the same privileges that we are afforded. Recently, after a morning of Nutcracker rehearsal, we hopped into the car and headed to the store with one purpose – to purchase a toy for a child in need. I didn’t give the girls any parameters except that they should take their time choosing a gift and they should consider what another child their same age might be excited to receive. Of course the girls found many toys to write down on their wish lists and they spent ample time studying and playing with many of the toys across the aisles. But without further instruction from me, they each selected a single toy on their own and were confident in their choice. They remembered why they were there. We purchased the toys and brought them home. The girls filled out blank notecards to the unknown recipient of their gift. I encouraged them to write “dear friend,” and something that would make the other child feel special. The best part was watching Olivia quietly fill her notecard with kind words, stars, balloons and beautiful drawings, and then seal it up for no one to see but her “friend.” Buying a toy and giving it to someone they would never know wasn’t the easiest thing for my kids to do, but I think our recent super secret smile mission in the bakery helped them to imagine the connection to another girl they’ve never met. I hope they imagine the happiness that would come with receiving a hand-chosen gift and a “you are special” note. I hope that they are learning the intrinsic joy that we feel when we do something selfless and thoughtful for others. The Best Part is an online community that’s dedicated to brightening your day—every day. How? By spreading optimism, one share at a time. The Best Part posts inspirational stories, encouraging quotes, good news and other upbeat items on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—and encourages fans and followers to share that optimism with their friends. Because when optimism is shared, it grows, making an even more positive impact on our world. Check out what others are sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.