It’s the most wonderful time of the year and everyone should have an opportunity to experience that. Paying it forward during the Christmas season is an important way to spread holiday cheer. Although this applies to those less fortunate, it applies to other situations as well. Doing something nice for your neighbor or small business owner in your community is also impactful. If you’re looking for ideas on how to give back on Christmas day or in the days beforehand, start with these seven which are sure to be appreciated.
1. Send holiday cards to those in need.
There’s no better feeling than receiving a heartfelt card during the holidays. For those who aren’t able to receive them from a friend or family member, you can provide them with one. Whether you’re writing cards for patients at St. Jude or isolated seniors, it’s a nice gesture to wish season’s greetings to someone who’s in need.
2. Donate to your favorite charitable cause.
In addition to giving your loved ones gifts, donating to a charitable cause is meaningful. And no amount is too small. Kevin Scally, chief relationship officer of Charity Navigator, tells Nasdaq.com, “donors should give with their hearts, but also give with their heads.” He also suggests researching a nonprofit organization that aligns with your passions and understanding how donations are used to support that mission.
3. Find unused items you can give away.
Giving back doesn’t always involve spending money or buying things. Donating any items that are unused and/or in good condition is a simple way to pay it forward. These items can range from clothing to household goods. Be sure to do your homework on the exact donation items that are accepted at local charities in your area.
4. Volunteer at your local food bank.
Food insecurity, especially during the holiday season, causes many families to struggle with. Fortunately, the nonprofit organization Feeding America reveals three tips for getting involved with your local food bank:
- Reach out to a food bank or food pantry near you in advance because volunteering spots can fill up quickly.
- Have a willingness to help where you’re needed the most—whether that means serving hot meals or delivering boxes of food to people who are unable to travel to their local pantry.
- If you’re unable to volunteer, consider giving a donation to your nearby food bank.
5. Get involved with your nearby pet shelter.
If you’re a pet lover, the holidays are a perfect time to help out your local pet shelter. The experts at PetProConnect.com offer a few ways you give back to animal shelters such as volunteering your time, spreading holiday cheer to animals in need and fostering or adopting a pet. Ultimately, your furry friends can greatly benefit from any act of generosity during this time of the year.
6. Help out a neighbor.
If your neighbors aren’t going out of town for Christmas, give them a helping hand whichever way you can on the occasion. Things like inviting them for dinner so they can have a night off from cooking or delivering them a batch of freshly baked cookies to cover dessert can go a long way. Basking in the festivities with your neighbors helps spread holiday joy.
7. Shop at a small business.
An option for spending any money you receive during Christmas is by supporting small and local businesses. This easy yet impact act helps entrepreneurs and business owners in your community or worldwide continue to thrive. Most small businesses could be closed on Christmas day, but these days you can order products or services via their online store 24/7.
‘Tis the Season for Generosity
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, take time to do a selfless act for someone who needs it. Not everyone has friends or family that they can rely on during this time. But, you could be the very person that helps someone enjoy a hot meal during the holidays or puts a smile on their face with a festive card. These seven suggestions should spark ideas as to how you’ll go out of your way to make sure someone else has a merry Christmas!