As I talked about on Monday, I’m over the materialistic-fueled hustle and bustle, selfishness, and stress of the holidays. In keeping with that same general theme, today I’m sharing my reverse guide of 20 gifts you can give this holiday season (and beyond!). None of these have 2-day shipping or 40% off sales. I can promise you, however, that everything on this list is priceless, meaningful, and will leave a lasting impact on everyone involved.
- Go through your closets, find any warm clothes/coats you no longer wear, and donate them to a homeless shelter. You can also participate in a giving tree or coat drive!
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter.
- Pay for the meal of the person behind you at a drive-thru or another table at a restaurant.
- Give a favorite, life-changing, or inspiring book to a stranger.
- Tip way over 20%.
- Bring travel mugs of hot chocolate out to your garbage collectors and delivery men.
- Bake cookies or brownies and deliver them to your fire and police stations.
- Leave a kind, uplifting note on someone’s windshield.
- Donate blood.
- Send cards and packages to soldiers overseas.
- Make a donation to a special organization in someone else’s name. These are often tax-deductible!
- Bring cards and good company to a nursing home.
- If you live near a university, adopt an international student for winter break.
- Shovel your neighbor’s sidewalks and driveway.
- Do a grocery trip for a local food bank or donate to a cause that provides a holiday meal for families in need.
- Give a hot meal and a necessity package to the homeless.
- Spend a day with Habitat for Humanity. I did a work day with my spring break team and I promise it’s a lot of fun!
- Fill a shoebox with Operation Christmas Child or Operation Shoebox. Check in with a local church to see if they participate!
- Donate your hair. Do your research on this one! Some organizations aren’t as honest as they should be!
- Do your shopping on smile.amazon.com instead. Your purchases will help a charity of your choice! As of last month, all of the charities have received a combined total of $37,903,623.82!
In addition, check out this link for a list of 50 amazing organizations that need your help!
To make these gifts extra special, don’t flaunt your “charity” for likes and praise on social media. It’s not cool and it’s not what giving is about. After all, “beautiful things don’t ask for attention.”
And remember, the generosity and care shouldn’t end when the ornaments and stockings come down. The “season of giving” transcends any perceived time period!
“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up. Who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.” -Denzel Washington
~What’s your favorite way to give back?