The holiday season is the busiest time of the year; you’re likely running around to find the right Christmas presents, heading to overcrowded grocery stores to make your holiday feasts, and working long hours to make sure you have the budget to use. Take a moment to breathe and consider the reason for the season. If you’d like ways to give back, peruse this compilation of ideas and be the difference in others’ lives this year.
1. Tip With a Smile
You likely have regular services taken care of, like hair, nails, or gardeners. Make sure you let these people know just how much you appreciate their care by tipping generously during the holiday season. Those who work during the holiday season are missing out on time with their family and friends, so make their efforts worth it by giving a tip that will bring some joy into their busy days.
2. Participate in a Toy Drive
There are many children who go without gifts during the holiday season, and you can make a huge difference in their lives by donating a few toys. A few dollars from your pocket in exchange for a lifelong happy memory for a deserving child? I think that’s a fair investment.
3. Foster a Pet for the Holidays
Fostering a pet might not have been the first charitable act to come to mind, but it’s a worthy way to spend your energy and time during Christmas season. Animal shelters and rescues are usually short-staffed during the holidays, and you can take a bit of the burden off by opening your home to a needy pup or cat. This also frees up room for any other animal who may need shelter during the cold winter months. You can help socialize the animal as well, making it more likely for them to be adopted later on. You never know, you might just fall in love with the animal and adopt it into your family!
4. A Hospital Delivery
Spending the holidays in the hospital is an exhausting and miserable experience. Give them something that they likely wouldn’t otherwise receive by heading over to your local children’s hospital with a cookie arrangement to bring smiles to the faces of the kids and their families. You can drop it off with the nurses or go around yourself with the delivery. Everyone will appreciate the sweet treat and the festive thoughts, and you’ll feel amazing being able to give back to your community.
5. Cards for Soldiers
Troops spend huge amounts of time away from their families, and many of them miss out on celebrating the holidays with those that mean the most to them Help them get through their holiday season away with heartfelt cards to thank them for all they do. If you have kids, this is a great way to get them involved and teach them a lesson about the spirit of generosity this holiday season. You can send along small care packages with items they might be missing from home, and spread cheer to those that sacrifice so much for the good of everyone else. You can send along your items through Red Cross or Operationwearehere.com to make sure deserving soldiers receive your gift.
6. Donate Warm Clothing
The weather is getting colder, and with talk that this could be one of the wettest winters in recent history, warm, protective clothing is a must. If you have any old coats lying around, or if you have items your kids have grown out of, consider donating them to a homeless shelter. There are many who sadly will be on the streets during this holiday season without the right protection from inclement weather. You can change a life with a jacket, so simple and so true. If you don’t have any old items lying around that you can part with, consider purchasing one and making the difference in someone’s life this Christmas.
7. Random Acts of Kindness
If you’re a Starbucks fanatic, the next time you’re in the drive thru pay for the order of the person in line behind you. Throw some quarters in a parking meter that’s about to expire. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway after a big snowstorm. Small things like this can make the biggest difference in someone’s day, which is especially important for those who have a hard time during the holidays. With any luck, your generosity will make an impression and see them repeating the behavior throughout their day. Paying it forward never felt so good.