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Spreading Joy this Holiday Season

Spreading Joy this Holiday Season

It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the season. Yet, once the food has settled and the gifts opened, it’s also a great time to do something for someone else—and sharing this act with your family makes it even better. It’s been studied that those who give to others are happier in life, so take today to think about how you can give back and spread joy.

Lend a Hand: Your local homeless or women’s shelter always has the need for volunteers. Help serve a meal, collect warm blankets or clean up a facility—just ask and you’ll be put to work.

Donate Clothes: Maybe you and the kids just opened a bunch of new clothes. While they’re on break from school, have them clean out their closets (you do it too!) for gently used clothes they no longer wear and bring these to the local Salvation Army for those in need. (Do your research to make sure the organization where you donate actually has a charitable mission.)

Share your Leftovers: Do you have some extra holiday cookies, pies or sweet breads? Wrap those up and take them to a less fortunate neighbor or coworker or to the local nursing home or hospice center.

Surprise a Stranger: Buy the man behind you his coffee. Pay the toll of the driver behind you on the highway. Add another’s breakfast tab to yours. While you may not see the reward, you’ll definitely brighten someone’s day.

Run a Race: Many cities around the country host Christmas Day or New Year’s Day 5K races or half marathons. Find one that serves a cause you believe in and get out with friends and family to walk or run.

How do you Give Back and Spread Joy?

How do you give back and spread joy during the holiday season? Do you go to the local animal shelter and hang out with adoptable animals or do you shovel the neighbors yard without second thought? We’d love to hear about all the ways you brighten the holidays around your community. Share your ideas in our comments section below.


About the Author:

Amanda Fretheim Gates is a writer and editor living in Minneapolis.

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