As you grow older, the holidays become more about giving and less about receiving. We all know how great it can feel to receive a gift over the holidays, no matter how small, but there’s truly no better feeling than seeing someone’s face light up over your kind gesture.
Showing your friends and family members you care with thoughtful gifts is rewarding, but doing the same for a stranger can make you feel even better. When you do something kind for someone else with only the purest of motives, the satisfaction you get in return will be the ultimate gift.
Your act of kindness doesn’t have to be huge, expensive or dramatic, and you definitely don’t have to wait until December 25th to carry it out. Pay it forward acts are appropriate all year round, and reaching out to help someone in need is always in style.
This holiday, try implementing one of these kind gestures to brighten someone’s day. You may just end up on the nice list!
Start a “coffee on me” chain
The next time you’re at a coffee shop, pay a little extra and tell the barista you’ll be covering the order of the person behind you in line. Hopefully, the next person will appreciate the kind act and offer to pay for the next person’s coffee, and so on and so forth. Your one small act will create a chain reaction of good moods all day long for everyone who joins in on the fun.
Write anonymous love letters to the people you see every day
Whether it’s the person working front desk at your gym, the guy who toasts your panini at lunch every day, or the friendly fare-taker at your subway stop, the people who work hard to make your day run smoothly will appreciate your gratitude. Have fun creating beautiful DIY holiday cards to let them know their kindness doesn’t go unnoticed.
Turn your holiday party into a fundraiser
If you’re throwing a party for the holidays anyway, one of the easiest ways to give back is to let your guests know you’ll be gathering small cash donations, non-perishable food items or used clothing pieces at the door. Chances are, you’ll end up with a solid stack of cash or items to donate to those in need, rather than a dozen extra bottles of wine you don’t need.
Support World Wildlife Fund
From African Elephants to Pink River Dolphins, WWF’s symbolic species adoption initiative features almost 150 species of exotic (and adorable!) animals to choose from. Kids especially will love the plush toy that comes with the gift, and you can rest easy knowing that you’re supporting the conservation of wild animals and their habitats through your donation.
Attending a blood drive could ultimately be one of the most important pay it forward acts you make this holiday season. Even if you hate needles (who doesn’t?), donating blood could mean the difference between life and death for a stranger, especially if your blood type is relatively rare. If you’re healthy and able, there’s no reason not to donate your blood and time to help those in need!
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