In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in our own busy lives, and forget that the holidays can be difficult for many people.
With a little effort, you can help make a difference in the lives of others, and spread a little holiday cheer. Read on for some simple ideas to get you started.
4 Simple Ways to Spread Christmas Cheer
Make a Donation
Most charities receive a large percentage of their financial donations during the last few weeks of the year, and there is always a call for donations during the holiday season. If you are in a position to make a charitable donation, I would encourage you to give what you can to a cause that’s important to you.
While it’s always nice to be able to donate money to charity, there are many other donations that are needed and appreciated at this time of year. Here are a few ideas:
- Donate warm clothing to a homeless shelter. They always need warm hats, gloves and mitts, as well as coats, scarves, warm socks and blankets.
- Many hospitals and community organizations organize toy drives to help bring a happy Christmas to a child who might not otherwise have one. Consider donating new, unwrapped toys, games, books, art supplies or puzzles to a toy drive in your community.
- The next time you go grocery shopping, pick up some extra non-perishable food items to donate to your local food bank. Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, body wash and shampoo are also useful items to donate.
- Non-profit organizations such as shelters and food banks really appreciate gift cards for grocery stores, as they allow them the flexibility to buy the items most needed.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
Do a Good Deed
The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, but the reality is quite different for some people. Families that have recently experienced a financial setback, job loss, major illness or death of a loved one may find it hard to celebrate, and individuals who are alone without close family or friends feel even more isolated during the holiday season.
You can help brighten the day of a neighbour, friend or co-worker by doing something nice for them. It does not have to be something big – simple gestures can be just as impactful as grand ones, and will be less likely to cause the recipient to feel obligated to reciprocate.
Need some ideas? How about:
- Bake them some yummy Christmas cookies
- Make up a basket of holiday treats or healthy snacks
- Shovel their driveway
- Bring over a home cooked meal
- Invite their children to a movie or other holiday outing
- Phone them just to say “hi”
- Invite them over for tea or coffee
Many organizations and charities can use extra volunteers during the holiday season. It should be quite easy to find an organization that you can volunteer with for a few hours.
Ways to volunteer during the holidays:
- Help wrap presents for a local toy drive or children’s charity
- Serve a meal at a local soup kitchen or church
- Ring the bells at a Salvation Army Christmas kettle
- Assist in packing food hampers
- Deliver meals to seniors
Share the Love
Perhaps the easiest way of all to spread holiday cheer is by doing the following, as often as possible, with as many people as possible:
- Be kind
- Be a good listener
- Offer a friendly word