Hey there! How's your week so far? Mine has been pretty busy catching up on things. It's also been super rainy and dreary here the past few days. So, I'm hoping the sun decides to show it's face by tomorrow!
During the holiday season it's so easy to get caught up in the commercial aspect of it - buying gifts. Believe me, I'm completely guilty of this. I mean, giving our loved ones gifts is really fun! BUT sometimes I think we all get caught up in it a little too much. I'm challenging myself to make a conscious effort to complete at least FIVE random acts of kindness this holiday season. I like to think that everyone loves on each other a little bit more around the holidays, and what's a better way to show it than doing something kind for a stranger (or someone you know!)? I promise that when you do a random act of kindness you're going to feel just as good (if not better) as when you give someone a gift.
I've compiled a list of 15 Random Acts of Kindness that you can do this holiday season. I challenge you to complete at least FIVE acts of kindness just like me. Let's see how many people we can make smile this month with just these simple acts!
Some of these acts of kindness require money, or more time, whereas others will take you less than five minutes and are free!
1. "Adopt" a child for Christmas.
There's so many organizations that sponsor these type of programs. Simply google "adopt a child for Christmas," along with the name of your hometown. Usually these children and teens' wish-lists consist of things that they need - like a winter coat or a hat.
2. Pay for the person's coffee order behind you.
Many people have been doing this over the years, and it often creates a chain reaction where each person after them continues to pay for the next person's order. Be the one who starts the chain of kindness!
3. Give someone a genuine compliment.
This can obviously be someone that you know - maybe it's a friend, a co-worker, or one of your family members. Do you notice that many of us don't stop to genuinely compliment people in our life that we really value? This random act of kindness will take you less than two minutes. Let someone know why they're so great and watch the smile appear on their face!
4. Leave post-it notes on your company's bathroom mirrors.
This one is so easy and won't take you long at all. Take a few post-it notes and write a few encouraging quotes or words on them. It could be as simple as just writing "smile"! You never know when someone just needs a few encouraging words to get them through the day.
5. Drop off blankets or food to local animal shelters.
Animal shelters are often looking for blankets, especially around the colder months. If you have older blankets that are in good condition, take them to your local animal shelter. The dogs and cats there will be very thankful! You can also donate food if you'd like.
6. Make a baked good and deliver it to a neighbor, for no reason.
Make a baked good for a neighbor for no reason, and hand deliver it to them. Let them know that you were thinking about them and just wanted to deliver them something sweet!
7. Hold the door for someone.
Another act of kindness that is so simple and takes no time at all! Hold the door for the person behind you, or better yet, open the door for them and hold it for a few people to walk in. Honestly, it's sad to say, but many people don't hold the door for each other anymore. Make the conscious effort to do so!
8. Offer to babysit a friend's kids for free.
Holidays are such a busy time, and it's no different for parents with young kids. If you have a friend with younger kids, offer to babysit their kids for them at no charge. This may be one of the greatest gifts you can give to a parent!
9. Give a homeless individual a "care package".
Have you guys heard of people doing this? Instead of giving money to the homeless individuals you see, give them a care package. Fill a large ziploc bag with things that may be useful for them. You can include things like - gloves, a winter hat, a $10 gift card to a diner, a water bottle, etc.
10. Donate money to a charity of your choice.
You know that charity that you really believe in, and always tell yourself that you're going to donate to it once you just have a bit more money? Donate to them! Even if it's $5 - everything makes a difference.
11. Thank your regular coffee barista for making your morning more enjoyable.
If you go to the same coffee house each morning before work make the conscious effort to genuinely thank your usual barista one morning. Tell them how much you appreciate them making your early morning more enjoyable!
12. Stop and ask a retail associate how their day is going.
Can you imagine how many grumpy people they get shopping throughout the holidays? Be their little ray of sunshine. Although I never worked in retail, I was a hostess at a restaurant and it was truly so nice when customers made an effort to ask me how I was doing and just shared a few kind words.
13. Buy a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop or deli. Put it in a coworker's mailbox anonymously.
How fun would it be if you went to check your mailbox at work and amongst all of the paperwork sitting in there for you was a gift card?! A $5 gift card won't break your bank for the holidays. Leave an anonymous note with the gift card, wishing them a happy holiday and that you hope this would bring a smile to their face!
14. As you're walking down the street, make eye contact with two people and smile at them.
Seems silly, right? SO many people don't do this though. People are constantly looking down at their phones - texting, checking emails, etc. The next time you're walking down the street or to your car, make a conscious effort to make eye contact with someone and smile at them. I mean, if smiling is Buddy The Elf's favorite, it's gotta be good, right?! ;P
15. Shovel an elderly neighbors' driveway when it snows, without them having to ask.
With the holidays comes the colder weather and probably some snow for some of us. If you have an elderly neighbor, go out and shovel their driveway and sidewalks for them. They'll be so appreciative of this!
Alright, friends, I challenge you to pick FIVE of these acts of kindness and do them before Christmas. Spoiler alert: doing these random acts will not only make the recipient happier, but it'll make you happier, too! Just wait and see :)
Spread some cheer, guys!