How to be kind during the Holidays:
“Kindness is by far what we all can exercise no matter what we think. One thing I do is when I encounter a person who is cranky or tends to be rough or not so nice, I make a point in being nicer to that person. I look at them in the eye, with a smile and I say something nice about them, something that is true, though (like if it is a coworker, I can say something like I appreciate that you are reliable, or punctual, or whatever…). They may be having a bad day for whatever reason, or their life may be difficult and they feel disheartened. I find that when I treat them this way and not mirror their mood, they soften and they smile more. And that makes me smile too! I sure need this when I am having a hard day and find it difficult to be nice.”
Shiela Marie Barnhill · 9:24 Checking on my senior, elderly and disabled neighbors. Offer to run an errand, change a light bulb, fix a door knob, and lend an ear. Share stories. So many are alone and without family.
Rachel Izadi · 16:32 The charity I like to donate to in the UK is teenage cancer trust after working with many teenage bone cancer patients. It’s a very worthy charity.
Laura Webber · 33:40 When I’m at the grocery store if someone has just a few items and I have a lot, I always invite them to check out before me.
Lori Hanson · 18:41 Take time to make lasagne for kind neighbors!
Denise Genovese Rodriguez · 17:50 Make care bags for the homeless and hand them out—filled with basic necessities.
Lori Hanson · 17:37 Acknowledge people by asking them how they are and actually listen to what they are saying.
Annie Kind · 17:20 Living in London at the moment, have been giving umbrellas to the homeless. ❤
Nikole Lynn · 17:16 Leave handwarmers in the mailbox for my mailman/lady!
Reggie Brooks Szuter · 21:16 When you do something kind for someone else you heal those pained parts within yourself ❤
Daphne Steinberg · 18:41 Bought a monogrammed mini Christmas stocking for a neighbor’s baby. Plan to leave it at their house with a note of cheer with no name. Just a random act of kindness that I hope will motivate them to do the same.
Shiela Marie Barnhill · 18:13 You can also go to a local nursing home or skilled nursing facility and volunteer. Look in your area, call around and ask what they need. Most welcome artists, musicians and other creatives to come in and do a group or activity.
Cecelia Ercolino · 41:55 Everyday small acts of kindness help—saying please, thank you, and holding the doors open for others whenever I can without expecting a response in return.
Katelin Jenkins · 40:01 I am going out of my way to say something kind to everyone I come Across this week and my bf’s daughter is encouraging us to donate clothes and recycle.
Tricia Yaskus · 31:32 Tipping is a good way to do it and walk out feeling great. If you don’t have a lot of cash, have a small gift in your purse that will leave the waitress with a smile.
Jessica Hathorn · 11:22 Donating art to non-profits that auction art in order to raise money to purchase food for those in need.
Tricia Yaskus · 37:34 My daughter is 17 now, but as a little girl when we were just starting out she would cut snowflakes from paper and give them to frazzled folks at the post office. Really good way to bring smiles to the stressed!
Leah Russell · 11:22 We actually feed a young man, and a stray cat everyday… My two daughters and I make sandwiches and homemade soup to bring the homeless in our city, whenever we can…
Holly J. Conger · 11:23 Food drive at my school…people can also host different drives and collect blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, warm socks, etc…
Melanye King · 22:54 Yesterday on the light rail, I told an exasperated man with three kids that he was a good dad. I watched him for awhile managing and loving those kids. It brought tears to his eyes. Small acts can have a big impact.
Katina Cuberos · 2:47 I’m a caregiver so please remind families to show their families in nursing homes some love…they need their families love.
Kelty Jot Nivas Edraney · 15:31 Positive sidewalk chalk art, positive protest signs, baking goodies and handing them out in town! There is so much to be done, so much connecting to be done. We all are in this together, and all we have is each other.
Nienke Mekkelholt · 15:29 Act of kindness: just smile and let people know you see them.
Gloria Schwabe · 12:27 Seniors Secret Santa is a great program! Get a seniors profile and get them a gift and let them know they aren’t forgotten. 💜 💖
Shiela Marie Barnhill · 24:52 Here’s just one way to sponsor a senior: volunteer.samaritanhousesanmateo.org/family-and-senior-sharing-program
Rachel Izadi · 11:24 In the UK you can volunteer with Age UK to help older people.
Jo-Ann Duncan · 32:55 I help whenever I can and I see my 11 year old sees it. Since a young age he’s donated all his leftover change when he sees a certain local pet charity can.
Nancy Sparks · 23:45 Organizing a drive at work for food and clothing for needy—also a “random acts of kindness” just because…
Michelle Howell · 27:39 I’m disabled so if it’s just listening to a friend online. I’ve donated backpacks for homeless care kits.
Tracy Thomas · 21:58 I am serving a holiday dinner to over 100 senior citizens in my community.
Bobbi Michelle Stepp · 27:46 Definitely be kind to everyone in retail and those that serve the public.
Indigo Jones · 27:07 I love the idea of paying for someone else’s coffee. Great if you don’t have a lot of funds, but still effective!
Reggie Brooks Szuter · 10:56 My family & I give to Smile Train through Andi’s Smile Facebook page ❤ For cleft lip & palate children all over the world.
Heather Jaeger · 34:16 I feel doing these types of acts of kindness with your kids is so important.
Dee Featherstone · 22:57 Letting people know you care by a smile, hug and letting others know that you do care. 💞
Holly J. Conger · 23:34 One kind thing I try to do every day is when I am getting ready for work and I am de-icing my car, I also like to scrape my neighbors/co-workers car before they get outside so they don’t have to…they are a wonderful, loving family!
Holly J. Conger · 15:38 Donate at my favorite summer camp, for kids and adults with disabilities, Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp, www.mhkc.org
Shirley Griffin · 7:46 Cooking larger meals and sharing plates of food with elder neighbors.
Andrew Clemo · 8:48 Donate winter supplies to Standing Rock.
Danae JP · 28:23 This Christmas “holiday,” I will be volunteering in a refugee camp in Greece, where refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and other places are gathering to escape from war. It fills my heart to be of service and I am fascinated by the beautiful ancient cultures in the Middle East, which have been so continuously attacked in the recent years. It breaks my heart.
Shiela Marie Barnhill · 42:56 The other day an older couple was taking a pick-up truck full of plastic bottles to a recycle center. The load spilled over into the street, bottles everywhere. Folks were honking and impatient. I pulled over, cleared traffic and helped pick up the bottles and put back into their truck. Once I did so, others began helping too. The couple was so thankful. We cleaned up the spill in minutes and flow of traffic was restored.
Leslye Petersen Hernandez · 13:32 Donating socks for the homeless.
Reggie Brooks Szuter · 23:26 Send a hand-written letter to a friend .
Jessamine Loolala · 11:43 Meals on Wheels.
Shannon Walter Mesneak · 31:00 I like to help out homeless pets.
Shiela Marie Barnhill · 31:52 When you’re in a grocery or other store, offer to help with carrying groceries or packages, when a senior looks confused or overwhelmed ask how you can help not if you can help. Better yet, don’t ask just do!
Ngaire Dootson – Greenland · 35:25 Being open to who and what needs assistance at any given time. Using your intuition or just plain common sense. You can always help someone. Be open.
For those of us dealing with stress and burn out: 10 Basic Salves for Burn-out & Everyday Depression.
Maitri—Unconditional friendliness toward ourself.
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior.
In addition to Shambhala, here are Waylon’s Buddhist book recommendations: Best Buddhist Books for Beginners with Simple Meditation Instruction.
If you like the hats: elephantjournal.com/hats
Shop our ethical gift guide. The best presents—the ones that you remember from your childhood—have a story to them. Here are a few meaningful, elegant, simple, fun gifts we’ve found from around the world. elephantjournal.com/gifts
“What my family calls ‘Christmas cheer’ or ‘holiday spirit,’ the Buddhists might call yun. It’s a Tibetan word, which means ‘wealth’ or ‘richness.’
But not in the Wall Street way.
Richness as in full of texture, and flavor. Full of detail and feeling.”
Holiday 101: How to Be Rich.
“Love is about finding one’s match, which means we shall touch our minds and hearts together at once, and never condescend or aim for any goal between us but the truth.” ~ Waylon Lewis, Things I Would Like to Do with You. Get the book! It’s on holiday special: buy 1, gift 1, 2nd book = $10: elephantjournal.com/books
“The clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only to oil. As a personal stylist I have found it possible to help my clients curate individual expression while keeping in mind the harmful effects of apparel production, distribution, and discard. Practicing conscious consumerism can take time, energy, and mindfulness, but in the end it will help us save lives, the planet, and in some cases, cash!”
How to be Eco-Friendly & Fashionable at the Same Time. (It’s Possible!)