The holiday season is a busy time of year and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, with the gift giving and the extra commitments of parties, get together and travel, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The easiest way to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to enjoy the true spirit of the holidays is to pay it forward. The holidays are the perfect time to think of others in your life and community and to show your gratitude for all that you have and to share your bounty with others.

Even the smallest gesture can have the most profound impact on friends, family, strangers. I’ve compiled this list of 7 ways to pay it forward this holiday season, so you can enjoy the spirit of giving and enjoy your best ever holiday season.


Every day through the holidays make it a point to smile and greet people with a simple ‘hello’ or ‘good morning,’ on your commute or when you are shopping or waiting in line. See someone struggling with a heavy package or trying to open a door with their hands full? Open the door and ask if you can help. Small acts of kindness improve the day of the people around you and show you how much impact even the smallest gestures have.


Volunteering your time and skills to help out in your community can really make a big difference, many community organizations need extra volunteers at the holidays as regular workers and volunteers may need time off. Whether you are helping at the food pantry, the Senior Center or the Animal Shelter, you are contributing to the improvement of your community and everyone in it.


Sharing special holiday treats can make any event from a sports practice to a day at work a fun festive way to spend your time sharing your traditions and making new friends. While not everyone celebrates the same holidays, we all enjoy tasty treats, and letting others know that you thought about them lets them know that you appreciate them.


There are many ways to donate during the holidays. You can donate items to local community organizations, that may host food and clothing drives, you can also make a cash contribution to charities or causes you passionate about. If you want to go the extra mile, you can organize a collection for items or cash at your work or in your neighborhood.


Whether you pay for coffee, buy groceries or a meal at a restaurant, picking up the tab is a sure way to happily surprise and brighten someone’s day. Often many cafes report that once one tab is picked up, that folks will continue to pay for the next person for the whole day.


Sending cards or care packages to service men and women who are deployed during the holidays makes being away from home and family a little easier and less lonely for our troops. Let’s let them know that their communities are thinking of them and supporting them!


Singing is the perfect way to share your holiday spirit. It’s a time to rejoice! Whether you go caroling in your neighborhood, at the hospital or homeless shelter you’ll be bound to bring a smile to the many folks you sing for.

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