The month of December kicks off in less than a week and the holidays officially kick off this week with Thanksgiving on Thursday. When I was writing this post, it was on a morning that I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I was wallowing a bit and then I was suddenly struck with the realization that Thanksgiving was less than a week away. I thought to myself, I have so much to be thankful for! So I immediately grabbed Edwin and told him just how Thankful I am for him. So, I’m now writing this post with a warm, full heart!
During the holidays, there is such a focus on shopping and commercialism. Don’t get me wrong, when you pull that all away, you can boil it down to gift giving, which I love to do. However, I think it is so important to take time to think about what the holidays actually mean! So, today’s post is dedicated to 31 ways to spread kindness in December. I promise you, if you do just one of these ideas, it will make a difference in someone else’s holiday season. The saying is true, no act of kindness however small is ever wasted! I feel extremely rich in love so I know how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to spread that love through a little kindness.
I hope these 31 ideas spark your imagination and I hope one, two, or three of them will speak to you! If they do or if you spread kindness during the holidays in another way, then please leave a comment and share! I would love to hear from y’all!
31 Ways to Spread Kindness in December
1. Give to your favorite charity. I can’t express how easy this is! It takes 5 minutes to donate to a charity that serves a population or works toward a mission you believe in. Even if you donate a small amount like $25 it helps. Remember, no act of kindness however small is ever wasted.
2. Give someone the gift of a donation. Last year, for Christmas, my siblings and I were stumped on what to gift our parents. They are the first to say that they don’t need anything so we thought outside of the box. We made donations in each of their names to causes they believe in for Christmas instead of gifting them something. For my mom, we donated to ALS Foundation. For my dad, we donated to the Preservation Society of Charleston. They loved it and it brought my mom to tears!
3. Volunteer to serve a meal. In Charleston, I volunteer at One80 Place to serve meals to those in need in our community. You’ll see me there once a week this holiday season!
4. Run an errand for a friend or loved one. Has someone ever done this for you? I know when someone does this for me, it honestly changes my whole day! The holidays are so busy so this is a great easy idea!
5. Ask one of your children’s teachers what their classroom needs. When I taught Kindergarten, I was always so grateful when parents would contribute to our classroom in this way. It is so easy to provide a classroom with things like new glue-sticks, new sharpened pencils (it takes teachers so long to sharpen pencils – for young students, teachers do the sharpening), new whiteboard markers, new craft supplies etc. You can also visit Donors Choose to support local classrooms in your community!
6. Donate to a children’s hospital. There are two super easy ways to go about this. You can donate your time or items on a local level or a national level. If you live in Charleston, then you can get involved in a number of ways at MUSC Children’s Health here. On a more national level, I recommend donating items to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital here. They list exactly what they are looking for. This time of year is a wonderful time to give because they request so many toys and other holiday gift type items.
7. Donate items in your home and/or closet that you no longer use. There are Goodwill locations everywhere so this is so easy!
8. Donate food in your pantry or food you buy to a local food bank. In Charleston, a great food bank is Lowcountry Food Bank. If you’re looking for a food bank in your community, visit Food Pantries and search your city.
10. Let someone go in front of you in line. Talk about an easy way to spread kindness!
11. Babysit a friend or family member’s kids for a few hours. Giving a loved one the gift of time so they can go out and Christmas shop or accomplish something on their to-do list will be extremely appreciated.
12. Give hot coffee to someone working outside in the cold. This could be a police officer, a construction worker, or the man ringing the Salvation Army bell outside of the grocery.
13. If you pass a homeless person on your way out to dinner, return after dinner with a hot meal for the person. We might not think twice about a hot meal but one unexpected hot meal can make a world of difference to someone in need who might not know where their next meal is coming from.
14. Offer to help someone load or unload their groceries and then return their grocery cart for them. This is so easy and will be greatly appreciated, especially by a mother who has her hands full with children.
15. Donate your time or funds to a local animal shelter. Many shelters need things like blankets so this is a great way to help our furry friends! In Charleston, head to Charleston Animal Society to donate.
16. Pick up the phone and call someone you’ve been meaning to call for forever. I promise you’ll be so happy you did!
17. Bring coffee or baked goods to your office. It’s so fun to surprise your office or your team with a little holiday cheer.
18. Invite someone to your holiday gathering. Invite someone who you think might not have plans or someone who can’t travel home due to work to join your Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations. They will be forever grateful to not be alone at the holidays!
19. Pay expired parking meters you pass on the street. This is easy and actually pretty uplifting.
20. Pay it forward by giving a gift card to someone in need. If you know someone that is having a hard time for one reason or another, give them a little pep in their step by gifting them a gift card to their favorite coffee shop, workout class, or book store.
21. Give a little gift or card + money to your mail person, garbage/recycling person, UPS delivery person. They are so busy and hardworking this time of year!
22. Adopt a family through your church or another organization. My family did this every year growing up and it is such a rewarding experience, especially for children to do! In Charleston, there is a great organization called East Cooper Community Outreach that puts on an annual family adoption program every holiday season.
23. Give holiday gifts to a local orphanage. It’s hard to imagine the holiday season without a family so this is a fantastic example of a little something you can do that goes a long way. In Charleston, Lowcountry Orphan Relief has a stocking program, which provides a super easy way to gift!
24. After you finish reading a book, pop it in the mail to a friend you know would love it too! A few of my friends and I do this and it’s so much fun because we always have books in common to talk about.
25. Smile at and say hello to three people you pass on the street a day. Smiling is contagious so when you smile, you’ll bring a smile to someone else’s face as well!
26. Think about who needs extra love during the holidays. The holidays bring so much joy but they can also be a time of stress and/or sadness for people who are struggling with or reminded of the loss of a loved one(s). To spread a little kindness, check in with these people, let them know you’re thinking of them, and give them an extra hug.
27. Tell someone at work that you are grateful for them and appreciate their work. Comment on something he/she has contributed this year that you are a fan of. Recognition in the workplace goes so far with people!
28. Pay for the coffee order of the person in line behind you. Can you imagine if someone did this for you? It would bring such a smile to my face!
29. Give an unexacting someone a thoughtful compliment. I guarantee it will stick with them!
30. Leave a big tip. Leave a tip at a restaurant above 20% to someone who provided great service with a little “Happy Holidays” note written on the receipt.
31. Share this post with a friend who you know is looking for ways to spread kindness this holiday season! When you share my post, it spreads a little bit of much appreciated kindness to me and it helps spread kindness all around! Happy holidays!
P.S. I love this casual, easy, everyday look! Everything I’m wearing is so comfortable. The real MVP of the outfit though is the boots. These suede boots come in three colors and are so chic. They look like they could be a pair of $700 Stuart Weitzman boots but they are much less expensive at $200. Cheers!
Get my 31 Ways to Spread Kindness in December look:
Photography by Edwin Eversole