Tuesday, December 1, 2020

12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays

The holiday season has officially arrived and this year we are focusing on the gift of giving with our kids. Spreading kindness through random acts of kindness and paying it forward is something I personally love doing and I'm excited to see my kids and others experience that joy!

12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays + FREE Printable

Being a blessing to someone and spreading joy doesn't have to be expensive; there are many ways that we can reach out to others.  Download this FREE printable of ideas our family came up with of how to spread joy this holiday season to get you started!  

Make a basket for your delivery drivers


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Delivery Driver Basket

For the last several years we have set out a basket of drinks and snacks next to our door for our delivery drivers.  This time of year these men and women are putting in long hours and extra days to help get all of our gifts and packages delivered.  So this is a simple way to say thank you and acknowledge their hard work.

Fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child

Many churches participate in this program through Samaritan's Purse but there is an easy way for anyone to contribute this year; you can build your shoebox online!  This is how our family took part in the annual campaign that provides shoeboxes of Christmas gifts for children around the world.  Our family created a shoebox for one girl the ages of our daughters and one boy the age of our son.  The kids had a lot of fun picking out "Wow" items, personal care items, and extra toys to fill the box.  They also liked including a photo to go with the personal note and we can't wait to see what countries our shoeboxes go!

Donate to every Red Kettle you see


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Red Kettle

Hearing the bell ringers by the Salvation Army Red Kettles is a memorable sign that the holidays are here.  As a family, we make it a point to contribute to each red kettle we pass.  This year there may be fewer traditional red kettles in your area, so consider contributing online through the Rescue Christmas campaign that also provides assistance for meals, groceries, food pantries, homeless, etc.

Give your favorite foods to your local food pantry


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Food Pantry

Participating in a local food drive, like our son did here with his 4-H club, or donating directly to your area food pantry, is a great way to spread joy this holiday season.  When giving food, ask the food bank what their top needs are, or have your family pick out their favorite foods to donate, like our son with his bag full of mac & cheese.  An item that we commonly give because it is a top request at our local food pantry is milk.

Leave candy canes on windshields


This is a random act of kindness that will get everyone in the holiday spirit!  Grab a box of candy canes the next time you go shopping and leave a little gift for everyone in the parking lot before you leave.

Volunteer to move snow for a neighbor or your church


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Move Snow for your Neighbor

A great way to help a neighbor out this holiday season, and all winter long, is to help move their snow.  Living in the country, we move snow for several neighbors with our snow plow.  If you live in town, consider scooping more than just your sidewalk, or getting out earlier than you neighbor to surprise them with a clean driveway.  Our church uses volunteers to clean the sidewalks, so our family always signs up for a couple of weeks each winter.

Pick up a tag from an angel or giving tree


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Angel or Giving Tree

Many organizations and businesses sponsor angel or giving trees and this is a fun way of getting the whole family involved.  Every year we have each of our kids pick a tag from the Ronald McDonald House giving tree at our local McDonald's.  The tags are everything from a ream of copy paper, to kitchen tools, to to-go food items.  We have also picked out tags from our area Rotary Club's angel tree, where you pick an ornament with a local child's information and needs listed.  When participating in an angel or giving tree, be sure to mark down the date the items need to be returned/donated so the organization or business can get them delivered.

Write thank yous for Christmas gifts

This is a great practice for the whole family to get involved with.  Create a fun thank you online or simply get out some paper and pencils, and be sure to thank everyone that gifted you this Christmas.

Go Caroling


We traditionally have went caroling at our local nursing homes but due to COVID, we won't have that opportunity this year.  Consider caroling around your neighborhood or to some family or friends that need some Christmas cheer!

Drop off books you no longer read to a Little Free Library


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Donate Books to Little Free Library

Go through your books and drop them off at your local Little Free Library.  Little Free Library stewards always welcome new, or gently used books.

Bake cookies for your neighbors


12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays - Bake Cookies for Neighbors

Dropping off a plate of Christmas Cookies is not only a great way to spread joy during the holidays, but it is a great way to get to know your neighbors.  We also like to give all of our neighbors some homemade bacon, but that could be because we're pig farmers.

Send a Christmas card to a service member


Sending Christmas cards is always a great way to spread joy during the holidays, but consider sending an extra to a service member.  There are different organizations or groups that will send troops serving overseas Christmas cards.  Be sure to check their rules and due dates so you can participate.  Some places to check out are: American Red Cross's Holidays for Heroes, A Million ThanksUSASOA, Soldiers' Angels or your local solider and family readiness support group.

12 Ways to Spread Joy During the Holidays + FREE Printable

Which act of kindness are you excited to do with your family?  Be sure to print off the list and add your own kind deeds.  I would love for you to share them below too to give more inspiration to all of us on how we can spread joy this holiday season!

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