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Easy Ways to Give this Christmas

One of the things we should all remember during this holiday season is that it isn’t about what you get, it’s about what you give. Whether it’s your love and affection to family members or donations to your favorite charity, we should all take the time to realize how blessed we are and pass these blessing onto one another. You don’t have to make sizable donations to huge charities to make a difference. Every little thing counts and giving versus not could make a difference in just one person’s life. Here are some ways to give back this holiday season.

  • Leave a good book in a waiting room, on the bus, on the subway – anywhere it might be picked up. Put a “free to good home” note on it and maybe even write Merry Christmas inside.
  • Small surprise pay offs – pay for someone behind you in the drive through, pay off someone’s layaway. Something that will make someone’s day because they weren’t expecting it.
  • Don’t forget the furry friends! Donate to your local SPCA – our local one takes cash donations as well as extra supplies like blankets, food, bowls, etc.
  • Donate blood! Give the gift of life. The Red Cross is sponsoring at least two blood drives that I know around our area. Go here to find one local to you.
  • If you see an opportunity, take it! Even the small things – donating a dollar the register, dropping some goods in a food drive bin at the grocery store, putting extra change in the bucket of the Santa ringing the bell – help and make you feel like you’ve done something.
  • Invite people to dinner. Whether it’s a few close friends, a family from the neighborhood, or someone from work, it’s always nice to be able to provide a warm meal to those who may need it during the season.The good company is just a bonus.
  • Remember your service people! You don’t have to tip everyone and their brother but it’s nice to acknowledge those who do things regularly for you that you take for granted. I like to leave batches of cookies and, this year, Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards (in small increments so there’s no conflict about accepting gifts) for my mail carrier and garbage collectors. If you have someone who does an awesome job dry cleaning your clothes or a daycare worker who takes care of your kid, remember them and thank them for helping out, even if it’s something small. They’ll feel appreciated and you’ll get an opportunity to recognize how much others do for you.
  • Bake cookies and give them to people. Sometimes this is the cheapest route to go. I used to do this for my coworkers when I was in a smaller office. I’d buy the premade dough, in rolls or the big buckets and for five bucks, I had enough cookies to go around. It was just a little way to show my appreciate to those who may feel uncomfortable with getting an actual gift but that I wanted to recognize.
  • Hang some mistletoe and call people out when they’re standing under it. Nothing like encouraging love during the holidays!
  • Smile at everyone you pass and wish anyone you talk to Merry Christmas (or Happy Holidays, whichever your preference). You’d be amazed at the power of a simple smile.

What do you during the holidays to give back? Any other ideas besides the ones above? Am always looking to spread the cheer!

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