The holiday season is often filled with gift-giving, hot chocolate and twinkling lights. Those things are all a beautiful and wonderful part of the holiday, but this time of year is truly about selflessness, kindness and compassion. What we do for others brings us joy and cheer, it makes us feel good knowing that we can make someone else feel special. It only takes one act of kindness towards your friends, family or a stranger to show that you care and want to spread joy. So, remember that during this holiday season you have the power to pay it forward and brighten someone’s day.
- Pay for another person’s meal in the drive-thru. This simple and unexpected act of kindness can brighten someone’s day and remind them that they are cared about.
- Donate blood. Taking an hour out of your day to donate blood can make a huge difference in the lives of people who may be unable to be home with their families during the holidays.
- Clean out your closet and donate. We all have those few items of clothing that sit in our closet waiting to be worn all year long. Clear out those unused clothing items and bring them to a local youth center or homeless shelter. Warm items are especially appreciated during the winter.
- Compliment a stranger. Do you like someone’s sweater? Tell them! Do you like someone’s shoes? Tell Them! Do you appreciate someone? Tell them!
- Invite your neighbors or someone you lost touch with out for coffee. Life is busy for everyone and we can lose touch with those who were once so close to us. Reach out to someone you’ve been growing distant from to catch up and reminisce.
- Shovel snow or mow the lawn for someone. If you have some extra time, show your neighbors you appreciate them and help them out with some yard work.
- Take someone’s dog for a walk. Get some exercise and puppy time for yourself by helping a friend by taking their dog for a walk around the block.
- Give a generous tip to your waitress or waiter. Servers work super hard, especially during the busy holiday season. By leaving a generous tip you’re letting your server know you appreciate their hard work and you’ll boost their mood for the rest of their shift
- Leave a positive review of a local business or restaurant. Local businesses rely heavily on positive word of mouth to spread the news about their businesses. By giving a 5-star review on Yelp or Google, you can help out a small business.
- Buy a reusable shopping bag for someone behind you in line. Help be more environmentally responsible and make someone’s day by gifting them a bag they can keep in their car to continuously reuse.
The holidays are a great time to get started on paying it forward as we reflect on all of the great times of the past year. Often, paying it forward can set forth a chain reaction. If you do something nice for someone else, they might just pay that kindness forward to another person. If you do something nice for two people, and those two people do something nice for two new people, the chain reaction could be endless. You have the power to set a powerful chain in motion by starting with any one of the simple ways to pay it forward above.