It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the season. Amidst the parties to attend and the traveling to and fro to see family and friends, it’s easy to forget what the holidays are really about—expressing gratitude and spreading kindness. Doing this warms our hearts more than any gift under the tree or classic Christmas movie ever could. Getting in touch with the true meaning of the season doesn’t require a massive check or hours spent in a soup kitchen (though these are great options, too). I’m talking about simple, easy, even anonymous forms of kind gestures that may make all the difference in a person’s day.
I learned this firsthand last week when a kind stranger paid for my bag of groceries when my card wouldn’t work and I was trying to wrangle a toddler who was 100% over it. Our local newspaper ran my little op-ed in this past Sunday’s issue and I pray she happened to read that and know how incredibly thankful I am for her act of kindness. It reminded me there are so many wonderful people in the world and lit a fire in me to pay it forward this season – and encourage others to do the same.
Here are a few simple and spirit-lifting ways to pay it forward this holiday season:
Buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru and ask the barista to tell them “Happy Holidays”
Visit your elderly neighbor and take the time to chat
Send a handwritten note to a friend or family member to thank them, just because
Give a large tip for truly excellent service
Bring in your neighbor’s trash can
Let someone go in front of you at the grocery store and in traffic — again and again
Clean out your closet and donate to Goodwill or a shelter
See kiddos acting right? Take the time to compliment their parents
Leave a positive review for that small business or local restaurant
Ask the cashier how their day is going
Bake cookies and gift them to the men who pick up your trash
Leave a holiday treat for your mail man
Volunteer to babysit for a friend so they can have a date night
Pay someone a genuine compliment
I’d love to hear some of your ideas. How are you planning on paying it forward this season?