‘Tis the season to be giving. If you are looking for simple ways to practice generosity, here are some ideas you might start with. You’re sure to find that not only does stepping up your acts of generosity bless the recipient, but the rewards come to you as well. It’s such fun and colors the whole season with the spirit it’s meant to have.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate giving into your regular life is by overtipping. If it’s possible to budget extra funds for this idea, establish the habit of going above and beyond the typical amount you’d normally tip for services received.
Whenever you go out to eat, pick up your dry cleaning, receive a delivery, get a haircut, check out of a hotel, or have any professional service performed at your home, you have an opportunity to tip big. If it’s in the budget, choose moments to offer an unexpected blessing to someone this holiday season.
Treat Your Neighbors
Our neighbors play a special role in our everyday lives. One way to show your appreciation for them is to offer them special holiday treats this season. Deliver fresh-baked cookies, a pie, or some specialty you’re adept at; pick up something you know they just love; deliver them a note sharing your gratitude for having a neighbor like them, or simply give them a personal holiday card to let them know you’re thinking of them at this special time.
Send It Snail Mail
We are so accustomed to lightning-fast communication at our fingertips, that receiving a thoughtful note or package in the mail means more than ever before. Make a loved one’s day by sending them a care package filled with curated treats you know they’ll love or a simple note of appreciation.
Simple gestures warm the heart and are greatly appreciated. This works beautifully for relatives and friends who live far away, but also for those close by. When mail usually comprises junk and bills, a surprise message of love is a total delight.
Give Your Undivided Attention
Not every act of generosity requires money or things, of course. Something that is becoming an ever more rare commodity is undivided attention. Make an extra effort to step away from the screens and other distractions when you’re with others and offer them your undivided attention. This may take a surprising amount of practice, but if you aim for progress throughout the season, you may be thrilled to find that you’ve been able to deeply connect with the people in your life. Let your cares be light and share your lightness with those around you.
Cure Someone’s Loneliness
The events of the past couple of years have certainly exacerbated the problem of loneliness for many. Take stock of how your loved ones—or even acquaintances—are doing and offer your time and attention to those feeling lonely. Paying a visit, sharing a cup of coffee or tea, or ringing them on the phone may mean more than you’d imagine to people who have been suffering from loneliness. Make the effort and spread holiday cheer to those who most need it.
The element of surprise in giving can be such a delight to both the recipient and the giver. Offer surprises to anyone you can this holiday season. An unexpected gift, a freshly baked treat, a candy cane hung on a doorknob, a Christmas dinner to someone in need, or picking up someone else’s bill are all ways that you can surprise someone else and have such fun giving of yourself this holiday season.
Generously (and Genuinely) Compliment and Thank
Finally, and perhaps most simply, look for the good in others, and offer genuine compliments or words of thanks. Gratitude for the simplest things in life is one of the easiest and most effective ways to share hope, beauty, and goodness within yourself and with those around you. Be a light this holiday season—a refreshing, uplifting, and optimistic influence on the environment around you.