Giving Back To Others During the Holiday Season
My favorite memories from my childhood Christmas’ are the ones when we participated in simple acts of kindness to those in need. I remember one Christmas in particular when I wanted to deliver a 12 Days of Christmas to a family who needed a little extra cheer that year.
My dad helped me choose a family, and I tenderly picked out 12 special gifts with a note to go along with each one. I remember the excitement as my dad drove me to their house each night. We always left after dark and drove slowly over the gravel driveway.
My heart pounded as I tip toed up to the doorstep, quickly rang the doorbell and ran away.
I constantly imagined their faces as they opened the door every night to the gifts. I wondered if they had any suspicions about who their “secret santa” was. Were they anxiously waiting for the doorbell to ring? Were they secretly peeking behind the curtain? More than anything I hoped that this act of service brightened their December.
Frugal Acts of Kindness
Ever since those young Christmas memories I have wanted to continue to serve and give to others each Christmas. I once thought that the only way to give back was to have a lot of money to spare. But, that’s just not true.
There are many many acts of kindness that you can do this holiday season, without even spending a lot of money, and I want to share those ideas with you!
1. Stock The Food Pantry
One easy act of kindness is to check with your local food pantry to see if they can accept donations. Most food banks love receiving canned goods during the winter months to help feed the community. Look through your cupboards and pick out a few cans you are willing to spare and drop them off.
A fun way to make the donation even bigger is to ask a few co-workers or neighbors to donate along with you!
2. Serve Food At The Homeless Shelter
Volunteer at your local homeless shelter to serve food to those in need. This is such a humbling experience to take care of others and be reminded of just how blessed your life is.
3. Visit Nursing Homes
Bring some joy to the elderly by visiting them in the nursing home. You can join them for a game of cards or simply sit and listen to their stories.
You can even bring your kids to sing a few carols while there. This is such an easy and rewarding way to brighten someones day!
4. Shovel Your Neighbors Driveway
My husband once told me, “If you are out shoveling your own driveway, you have time to stop by and shovel another neighbors driveway too.”
This has always stuck with me and I love when I look out the window to see him and my kids shoveling a neighbors driveway. The next time you get all bundled up to shovel your own driveway, consider shoveling one or two others while you are at it.
5. Send A Card
You do not have to buy expensive fancy cards to send out Christmas Cards. Simply, buy a pack of blank note cards from the dollar tree, think of a few people who might need a little extra love, and then send them a thoughtful note in the mail.
I love receiving mail and would be thrilled to receive a card full of cheer! Words are my love language!
6. Drop Off a Frugal Treat
I love when someone drops off a surprise treat or gift. It’s such a fun surprise and warms my heart. Check out this list of frugal gift ideas for some inspiration. Choose something cheap, yet thoughtful, and give it to a friend or neighbor who needs a pick me up. Remember, it’s the thought that counts when it comes to serving, not the price tag!
7. Bring Someone a Meal
Drop off a meal to someone in need. This might be someone who hasn’t been feeling well, or who might be extra busy, or just someone who has been on your mind. You can deliver a freezer meal for them to stick in the freezer to use another day, or a hot warm meal to eat immediately.
8. Donate Gently Used Clothing
Look through your closets and pick out a few items you can donate to others. A few places I like to donate are:
- Local Thrift Store: Donate used clothing, toys, home decor, etc. to a local thrift store. A few common stores in my area are Savers, DI, and Goodwill. This is a great service to others because it gives them good clothing to buy for a cheap price.
- Facebook Free Cycle: Search “Freecycle (type cities name)” on Facebook. Most communities have a free Facebook group to share and request items in need. These groups have a no selling allowed rule, I’ve given many items away through this resource.
- Homeless Shelters: Call around and ask what your local homeless shelters need for donation. If you have any of the requested items laying around your house, consider donating to this great cause!
9. Light the World
My family loves participating in the Light the World campaign each year. This campaign runs through the month of December and shares easy ideas to serve others, without having to spend a lot of money.
I signed up for the daily text messages and each day I’m greeted with a simple prompt about how I can serve someone and spread goodness this month.
Some days I don’t participate in the prompt, but other days I do. Yesterday the prompt was to tell my parents I love them. So simple, yet so beautiful!
10. Giving Jar
Fill up a jar with coins throughout the year. Use this jar to serve someone in need during December, we call this jar our Giving Jar. You can secretly leave the jar on someones doorstep, or exchange the coins to purchase presents for a Giving Tree around town.
11. Candy Cane’s on Windshields
Last year our family came up with one of our favorite acts of kindness ever!
First, we typed up a little note that says, “Merry, Merry Christmas and a Ho, Ho, Ho! You’re simply amazing and we want you to know! You’re loved beyond measure, you make the world bright! Happy Holidays to you and have a wonderful night! Love, The Candy Cane Bombers”.
We printed out a bunch of these notes and attached them to candy canes. That night we went out in the dark and put these candy canes/notes on random cars. We chose a few cars parked on the streets in our neighborhood and a few from a store parking lot.
This is such a frugal way to give! Candy canes are really cheap, and you can brighten so many people’s day without spending a lot of money!
Frugal Giving is Possible!
In short, it is possible to serve and give to others in need without having to drop the big bucks. Use your imagination, but most importantly use your heart! The moments that mean most to me in life are the ones when someone gave me a hug, a smile or a simple kind act of service.
What Christmas Acts of Kindness do you enjoy each year?