There’s something magical about the holidays that brings people together. But this can be a very busy time of year with jam-packed schedules, stress, and shopping. Still, that doesn’t mean you should lose your spirit of giving.
The best presents are not always materials ones. It is the small acts of kindness that really show you care. On top of that, it’s also a lot cheaper than getting a physical gift. Simply writing a thank you note to your local shelter, offering your friend a ride to the airport or donating anonymously can go a long way. Never underestimate the smallest act of kindness as it can warm up the spirit of others.
The following are ideas you can do to spread the holiday cheer.
1. Purchase coffee for a stranger. The next time you find yourself at the drive-thru of your local coffee shop, pay for the others behind you. If the customer has not ordered yet, you can give $20 to the cashier and ask them to use that money for the next customers until the bill runs out. However you prefer to do it, this will sure to brighten someone’s day.
2. Bake a little bit more. If you don’t want to break the bank but still spread the holiday cheer, bake or cook a bit extra to share with others. If you were planning to bake Christmas cookies anyway, why not share your extras with other people who would enjoy it at the homeless shelter or nursing home? The same thing goes for other activities you’re doing. For example, if you’re shopping Christmas presents for your children, purchase another one for a child in need. There are numerous organizations you can donate to those who can benefit from this such as the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree.
3. Foster a pet. This season, make a new friend whether that’s a dog or a cat. Animal shelters can get pretty chilly especially during winter so fostering some animals to your warm home can help! If you love dogs but is unsure about the commitment, this is the best way you can help out. You can also teach your kids a bit of responsibility by introducing a pet they can watch over. Because of these reasons, a furry friend is an ideal way to spread the love.
4. Leave a generous tip. Customer service is one of the most difficult jobs out there. These thankless jobs often going unnoticed all year long. The next time you dine in, leave a generous tip to your waitress. An extra $20 can go a long way and especially during Christmas when they would rather be spending time with loved ones.
5. Become a friend. The majority are blessed to spend their holidays with loved ones, but others are left alone especially when they have lost a loved one. If you know someone who’s going through this situation, extend a welcoming gesture by asking them to a warm holiday meal. You can also give them your time just to listen.
6. Videochat with an old friend. There’s nothing like catching up with a good old friend during the holiday season. Despite the distance, technology has changed the way we communicate via video conference. Take this time to see each other face-to-face even though they might be thousands of miles away.
7. Donate anonymously. Find an organization that matters to you, and donate to their cause. Do it without getting anything in return. Nevermind the tax deduction — do it purely for the gift of giving.
8. Write a handwritten letter. Nowadays, everything is digitalized which loses a touch of genuinity. Instead of giving generic Christmas cards, write a written message to your loved ones. You can also send some to those you haven’t spoken to in a very long time. Doing so lets them know that you’re thinking about them. Trust us; snail mails are still very much appreciated.
9. Relieve someone’s holiday travel plans. The holidays are such a hectic season that it throws people off their normal routine. Because of this, offer your neighbor or friends a ride to the train station or airport. You can also provide to pick them up.
10. Purchase a gift to the homeless. Whether you choose to go to a shelter or someone in the street, give them a gift of a good meal in a restaurant or warm blankets for the cold winter nights.
11. Offer to pet sit. Many people who travel for the holidays don’t always take the pets with them. Because of that, they worry about who will take care of them. Pet sitting services can cost a lot of money especially when they have to be gone for a few days. Instead, offer to help them by walking their dog while they’re gone. This will bring them the peace of mind that their beloved pets are in good hands.
These small acts of kindness probably won’t change the world, but they can make a difference within your circle. Whatever you do and no matter how busy you are, never forget to spread a little holiday cheer. Happy Holidays!