The arrival of the holiday season often means spending time with families, exchanging gifts and enjoying a delicious meal with loved ones. But, it’s also a perfect time to focus on gratitude and giving back. Choosing to focus on doing good during this crazy and busy time of the year is a wonderful tradition to start for yourself and your family. And, whether you’d like to volunteer, perform random acts of kindness or make a donation, I have a few suggestions on how you can do some good this holiday season.
Teach Your Kids the Importance of Giving
The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids the importance of giving back, even at a young age. Here’s an idea. For one of the kiddos’ holiday gifts, give them a pre-determined amount of money. Then help them to choose a charity that they would like to support, and let them decide which they would like to donate their money to.
Stock Up on Gift Cards
This is such an easy and kind idea. Stock up on $5 or $10 gift cards (Amazon, American Express, Walmart, etc.), and hand them out to people that you interact with often: USPS or mail person, a cashier, or your favorite barista. Passing along a gift card with a simple “Happy Holidays!” wish will almost always bring a smile to someone’s face.
This is one of the easiest to do something kind for a complete stranger and a favorite. The next time you go through the drive-thru to get your morning Starbucks cup of coffee, pay for the person behind you. It’s that simple! You’ll drive away before they’ll know what you did so they won’t get a chance to thank you, but you’ll know that you totally made a stranger’s day. J
Up Your Tips
Another easy way to do good over the holiday season is to randomly increase your tips when you go out to eat. Write a simple “We wish you a happy holiday!” on your bill, and leave your server a nice tip.
Thank Your Local Firefighters
Call the non-emergency number of your local fire department to find out how many firefighters they typically have there at any given time. Then, put together a delicious breakfast of baked goods you can drop off to thank these brave men and women for their service.
Help Your Local Animal Shelter
And finally, my favorite one! If you’re an animal lover, it would be a lovely gesture to volunteer at your local shelter as a family. Often the dogs need to be walked and socialized, which is a great activity for the family after all the holiday goodies. Also, ask the shelter what’s on their wish list and stop at a pet store before you volunteer, so you can bring collars, dog beds or anything else they might need.
Receiving gifts is awesome, but giving back is even better! Spend some quality time with your family, but don’t forget to make this season about gratitude and giving back – it will make your season so much better while making others smile!