Ah, holiday time! A beautiful time of the year where we get to:
Hint at all the gifts we want
Drink eggnog until we puke
Have an eating contest with our past Christmas time selves
Watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” 14 times
Spend time with our loved ones.
It is always a jolly holiday when we have a warm fire, food to eat, and friends to share it with. The holiday season is also a great time to give back to your community and say “thanks” for all the wonderful joy you experienced this year! Okay, okay…so 2016 was a little rough for everyone, but it was definitely rougher on some than it was on others. In order to end this year on a positive note, we created a list (and we checked it twice) to help you give back and reverse some of the bad 2016 karma that’s been going around. Here are four creative ways to show gratitude this winter, help boost the spirits of those around you, and avoid being a total Scrooge!
1. Start Spring Cleaning Early
The holiday season is the time of year where we receive all of those exciting gifts we were truly hoping for. Suddenly, it’s ‘out with the old and in with the new,’ and before we know it, we have piles of old stuff that we no longer have space for in our closet. Take this time to donate what you don’t need, so someone else can have the excitement of getting gifts too! Give your old clothes, toys, unopened toiletries, and non-perishable food items local donation boxes or homeless shelters. There’s no such thing as too many presents, so really criticize your closet and give it a good sweep. You’ll feel great for giving back to your community, and you can even check ‘cleaning out your closet’ off your New Year’s Resolution list!
2.Pay it Forward
Another great way to show gratitude this holiday season is to pay it forward with some general kindness and cheer. We know that Santa doesn’t exist (spoilers), so we need to be the Santa in our own lives. Buy the coffee for the person behind you in line. Donate money to the mall Santa’s Salvation Army buckets. Give a little extra holiday tip to your wait staff. Give a pair of gloves or a hat to the struggling person on your street corner. Find the little things over the next few weeks that you usually take for granted, and give them a little extra TLC. There will definitely be a person or two (or seven) that are extremely grateful for your generosity!
3. Take Time to Donate
Sometimes, paying it forward doesn’t need to be about giving something tangible! Give up some of your time off, and take some time on to find philanthropic tasks. Spend a few hours at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a hospital, or even in your own school to help raise funds with clubs and councils. Find those committees who are already doing charity work and hop on their Good Deed Train! You don’t always need to be the conductor, and it is perfectly okay to hop on board and join others with the same good intentions. Who knows? You might even make some new friends with big hearts!
4. Say Thanks
In the hustle and bustle of buying gifts and making (eating) holiday meals, we can forget to say thanks. Take a moment to appreciate the people in your life by telling them thanks. Call those grandparents or friends that you haven’t spoken to in a while and let them know that you care. Everyone needs a little love in their life, and everyone loves to feel recognized around the holidays. You can never give too many compliments – just like you can never have too much stuffing!