It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of the holidays. Everywhere you look you can see bright, twinkling lights on homes, magical displays in storefronts, gorgeous decorations on trees, and so many delicious and festive foods to devour.
The holidays generally bring about joy in people. As we decorate our houses, we feel joy. Hanging the stockings on the mantle brings us joy. Writing out all our Christmas cards may not exactly bring us joy (so many cards…), but we certainly know we will put a smile on the face of the person opening the card! Baking & eating Christmas cookies is always tasty. Spending time with friends and family creates so many memories too. There are so many holiday traditions to enjoy.
Maybe this year, you can add another tradition to your holidays. Let’s work on spreading the message of the holidays in new ways this year starting with kindness. Kindness can be such a simple thing but is SO incredibly important and rewarding. I pray you already see and feel plenty of kindness, but I know the world can always use more.
Some of these ideas are simple; some are more complex. Many ideas can be done individually (by you or your child) or as a family to show your kids how important it is to share joy always, but especially this time of year. The holidays are not always a happy time for everyone so let’s work to make it a joy filled season for all this year!
Holiday Acts to Spread Kindness & Joy –
Call or Face Time a loved one
Send a holiday card to a few people who aren’t typically on your “Holiday Card List” (or send a few cards if you don’t normally send any). Cards from kids are even better – think of the smiles they will bring to the people receiving them.
Shovel/snow blow for someone (if we get snow before the holidays – save for January if not)
Invite someone new to your home
Offer neighbors, extended family, or friends without family nearby to celebrate the holidays with your family
Bring a co-worker coffee/tea
Put someone’s shopping cart away for them
Donate some extra school supplies to your child’s teacher
Be extra kind in traffic – let someone merge in front of you or get the “good” parking spot
Offer to bring someone a meal
Paint a rock and leave it somewhere for someone else to find
Bring in treats to the office
Fill and put a bird feeder outside
Bring a treat to the school secretary (or your office secretary)
Send an old photo to a friend to remind them of the memory
Do a chore for your brother/sister/parent so they don’t have to
Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
Unload someone’s cart into their car for them
Take your kids (or parents) out for a meal or treat just because
Put coins in a red kettle
Write someone a hand-written note – neighbor, teacher, co-worker, coach, parent, firefighter, police officer, school nurse, etc.
Donate old toys and books
Make a new friend
Pay for someone behind you in the drive thru/check out
Offer to let someone with a few items go in front of your full cart in the check out line at the grocery store
Invite your grandparents over for dinner
Write a simple thank you note to a family (you may or may not know) for putting up beautiful outdoor lights that your family regularly enjoys seeing
Become an organ donor
Encourage another mom
Send a hug in the mail – We did this with my girls when they were first born and we lived away from family. Many family members still have the project!
Leave a coupon you won’t use near that item in a store
Support a small business
Play Christmas music
Help someone wrap gifts
Share baked goods
Clean the snow off of a vehicle
Leave a generous tip for your waiter/waitress
Make a get well card for someone who is sick
Volunteer at or donate non-perishables to a food pantry
Write a letter to your own mom (or other influential person) thanking her for making the holidays special for you growing up
Read a story to someone younger than you
Help someone reach something (or find something) at the store
Say please & thank you often
Offer to watch your friends’ children so they can have a date night (or even just go grocery shopping alone)
Hold the door open for someone
Introduce yourself to a neighbor you don’t know yet
And remember, in the words of Elf/Will Ferrell “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is by singing loud for all to hear!” Really though, listening to holiday music this time of year always puts a smile on my face. I especially love hearing my kids sing Christmas carols!
I would love to hear other unique ideas you may have! Wishing you plenty of kindness and joy this holiday season and new year ahead!