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Random Acts of Kindness during the Holidays

Updated on November 16, 2014

Snowflakes, decorations, gingerbread, lights, and gifts are just some traditions that get us into the spirit of the holidays. While we are decorating our homes, preparing our holiday goodies, cooking for our families, and singing carols, what better time of year than the holidays to get you into the spirit of giving! Check out some random acts of kindness that you can perform easily by yourself or with your family to brighten someone’s day during the holiday season.

Create a Kindness Calendar to Track your Progress

Advent Calendar of Kindness
Advent Calendar of Kindness | Source

Consider making an advent calendar or holiday calendar to track your random acts of kindness that you and your family perform each day as you countdown to your holiday celebration.

Steps for creating a kindness calendar:

  • First, decide how long you want to perform your random acts of kindness (i.e. the 8 days of Hanukkah or the entire month of December to countdown to Christmas).

  • Then, use an online calendar creator or just use your own standard calendar that might be hanging in your kitchen or office to help you count down.

  • Brainstorm with your family and get your kids involved to come up with ideas for random acts of kindness you or someone in the family can perform each day.

  • Write one act of kindness down on the calendar for each day of your countdown.

  • Take turns crossing them off each time you or your family complete one.

  • Come up with a small reward each time you complete one. Fill a pretty jar with candies and pass them out each time someone completes one of their random acts.

Pick up the Tab

This is an easy one! And one that can be performed by people all year long, but the holiday season presents an opportune time to pick up someone’s tab and put a smile on their face.

Buy a holiday latte for the person next to you next time you pick up coffee, offer an extra sweet treat to someone when you are in the bakery picking up your holiday goodies.

Bake an Extra Batch

Bake an extra batch of cookies
Bake an extra batch of cookies | Source

You are probably busy making goodies for church, a school bake sale, or a work potluck this holiday so why not bake an extra batch while your kitchen is already messy?

Bake an extra batch of goodies and make up a plate. Then randomly leave them on your neighbor’s door step or someone elderly in your neighborhood so they have a sweet treat next time they go to the door. No need to leave your name or expect a thank you note. Your heart will feel full knowing someone else will feel cared for.

Thank Someone

There is no easier task than to thank someone! This random act is easy and won’t cost you a penny, not to mention you will leave someone feeling loved and appreciated.

  • See someone in uniform while you’re out running errands? Thank them for their service to our country!

  • Notice a busy grocery store clerk that looks frustrated with a long line of customers? Thank them for their help and let them know they are doing a good job!

  • Know someone who is stressed this holiday season? Take the time to write a nice hand written note to your spouse or family member to let them know how much you appreciate them!

Spread Some Cheer

Have you ever performed holiday themed acts of kindness?

See results

Reach a large audience by spreading some cheer this season and help others get into the spirit.

  • Use washable markers to write a fun holiday message on the back window of your car.

  • Tie some mistletoe or a big red bow to the front of your car.

  • Decorate your work cubicle for the holiday season.

  • String up lots of lights to brighten up your neighborhood.

  • Send out a mass email with a message of holiday cheer to your family and friends or post it on social media.

  • Help an elderly neighbor or friend decorate their home.

  • Pass out candy canes to your coworkers.

Sponsor Someone

Christmas bell ringers
Christmas bell ringers | Source

Unfortunately, there is never a shortage of needy families during the holidays. Sponsor a family who may be in need this year in your community.

  • Reach out to your social services office for a list of families or items they are looking for.

  • Ask organizations like the United Way or Ronald McDonald House what items are needed this year. Then purchase them or look for gently used donations to drop off.

  • Donate your gently used coats, mittens, hats, and outerwear to a homeless shelter.

  • Keep your eye out at local churches who run holiday drives or giving trees for the opportunity to select a few items you can purchase or provide for children and families in need.

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen around Thanksgiving.

  • Keep your eye out for those red kettles and drop your spare change in.

Let your Voice Ring Out

Christmas choir singing
Christmas choir singing | Source

Music is one of the most important parts of the holiday season. Why not join your voice into the chorus of holiday giving whether through making beautiful music or using your voice in the spirit of giving and volunteerism?

  • Join a community or church choir.

  • Volunteer your time at a community organization. Use your voice, influence, or contacts to help them organize their holiday events.

  • Organize your family or group of neighbors to go caroling around your neighborhood.

  • Lend your time to others. Visit a nursing home, neighbor, or call and old friend you haven’t talked to in a while.

Surprise Someone

The best part about performing a random act of kindness is the surprise factor! Most random acts of kindness are not expected by the recipient. Try surprising someone this holiday season.

  • Offer a hug to someone who could use it.

  • Wrap up a small gift and give it to someone who could use a pick me up “just because.”

  • Tell someone at work they are doing a great job – they will love receiving a compliment out of the blue.

  • Offer compliments and random smiles to strangers. With so many of us focused on electronics and speeding around this holiday season, take a moment to connect with someone else.

  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.

  • Hold the door open for the person behind you.

  • Shovel your neighbor’s driveway or take their trash out to the curb for them.

Check out One Man’s 25 Random Acts of Kindness for Christmas

With so many ways to spread kindness this holiday season, what are you waiting for?

How will you feel after performing a random act of kindness?

At peace

What other ideas do you have for showing kindness to others? Share your own ideas for random acts of kindness we can perform during the holidays in the comments, below!


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    • WheelerWife profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Minnesota

      denise.w.anderson - what a cool idea! I love that! thanks so much for sharing :)

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      When our children were young, we decided to help them have the experience of being Santa. We chose a family that could use gifts, then went to the store and purchased them. The children helped choose those for the children in the family of similar ages. They also wrapped the gifts, and we went as a family to the home. Everyone helped carry the gifts to the door quietly, then rang the doorbell and hid ourselves. The look on the faces of the family when they answered the door was priceless! We were hooked!


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