10 Ways to Give Back

The hustle and bustle of the next few weeks can send acts of Christmas generosity straight to the back of your mind. So make your giving goals happen by keeping them simple. Here are a few ideas:

1. Carry extra cash in your wallet. Decide on a set amount of Christmas cash you want to give away, but don’t designate it to a specific organization. Instead, keep your eyes open. When you see a need or feel a prompt, you can freely give!

6. Get your kids involved. Make a discount store run to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child or buy items on a wish list for Angel Tree. Encourage your kids to make some of the key shopping decisions—and watch as they work through the emotions of giving instead of getting and, as a result, learn to be grateful and content.

2. Do a front-porch gift drop. I’ll never forget when my mom and dad took us to buy presents for three kids whose mom couldn’t afford Christmas gifts. Ring the doorbell, drop off the
gifts, share a hug, and be on your merry way. It’s so much fun!

7. Send a handwritten card. Who doesn’t love opening the mailbox and finding another Christmas postcard with a pudgy baby photo and a yearly family update? Still, there’s something special about receiving a personal note. This time of year can be tough for many people, and a little thoughtfulness goes a long way.

3. Donate your time to help people in need. Giving doesn’t have to involve money. You can serve in a homeless shelter, sing carols at a nursing home, help a neighbor with car or home repairs or volunteer at a local charity or nonprofit organization.

8. Leave an over-the-top tip. Grabbing dinner out on Christmas Eve? Consider giving your server way more than a 20% tip. Enjoying an Uber or Lyft ride for your company’s Christmas party? You know what to do!

4. Hand out your signature sweet. Do you make the best snickerdoodles, chocolate fudge, or peanut butter truffles? (Can we be friends?) Bag up the special treats (complete with the recipe) and deliver them to your coworkers, neighbors, kids’ teachers or the local police and fire department.

9. Give your full attention. Yes, quality time is a gift. In the midst of shopping for the people you love, make sure to also be with the people you love. Offer eye contact. Ask questions. Engage. Enjoy the season together.

5. Treat a young family to dinner. A mom navigating the Christmas season with little ones in tow is tired! Invite a young mom and her family over for a home-cooked meal. Or better yet, take them all out to eat—your treat.

10. Invest in someone’s future. Did you know you can tell someone, “I believe in you!” With the simple purchase of a book, a class or a tool? Encouragement is often the first step toward total life change. Look for ways to be an encourager with your gifts!

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