Being a good person is a pretty universal aspiration. Who wouldn’t want to be a good person? And yet, sometimes it can seem like a tall order. We get wrapped up in our own stuff and forget to see the everyday opportunities for doing good. It’s happened to me, and I bet it’s happened to you–and that’s why we put together this list of 41 ways to be a good human this holiday season. Being good isn’t hard, it just takes a little effort.
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41 Ways to Be a Good Human This Holiday Season
Foster a pet.
Maybe you aren’t able to care for a pet full-time, or maybe you’re not sure if you’re cut out for it. Fostering gives you the ability to show a furry friend some love when shelters are experiencing a huge overload and gives an animal a cozy place to stay.
Donate your crafting to charity.
Whether you knit warm things or make lovely things to look at, donate them to charity and let someone less fortunate benefit from your talent.
Run (or walk) a 5K for a cause you care about.
Raise money for something that matters to you and get moving at the same time. Win-win.
Donate books to a domestic violence shelter.
Kids and adults alike appreciate a good book, especially when reality is hard to bear.
Skip the Facebook fight.
Choose relationships over another pointless debate.
Hold a dessert drive.
Organize a drive for treats like chocolates, candy, and cake mixes for the food bank and give someone a sweeter celebration.
Babysit–for literally ANYONE.
Parenting is exhausting and babysitters are expensive. Take a friend’s kid(s) for a while so they can feel like a person again.
Scrape the ice off your neighbor’s windshield.
You know you’d be stoked if someone did that for you. So do it for them.
Walk a dog for someone who can’t.
Illness and injury can make properly walking a dog impossible, but doggos have energy to burn regardless. Give a person and their pet some relief by volunteering to help.
Have your kids write thank you notes to overlooked staff.
Acknowledging the efforts of janitors, office staff, bus drivers, and the like is a good life lesson. Besides, anyone who deals with that much puke and whining deserves a thank you note, if not a medal.
Donate your skills.
Whether you code, write, bake, build, or analyze, there’s a deserving organization or person out there who could benefit from your skills. Offer them up for an afternoon.
Help someone with a disability decorate for the holidays.
Decking the halls can be difficult for someone who has physical limitations. Help make things festive and then come back at the end of the season to clean it up.
Take a lonely friend as your holiday party date.
Skip the significant other and invite a friend who’s in need of some company.
Volunteer at the animal shelter.
Sadly, it’s a busy time of year for shelters, and the staff is often overwhelmed. Volunteer some time and be rewarded with kitten snuggles.
Show some sticky-note love.
Get a stack of sticky notes. On each one, write something good about someone, and then stick it somewhere they’ll see it like their bedroom door or computer screen. Do this until the stack is gone.
Give your restaurant leftovers to a homeless person.
Instead of forgetting about them in the abyss of your fridge, give them to someone hungry. It’ll likely be the best meal they’ve had in a long time.
Hold a clothing swap and donate anything that doesn’t get claimed.
Your friends have good taste and everyone has a few things they’re bored of wearing, so invite everyone over to trade. Take everything left at the end of the night to Dress For Success or a similar cause.
Adopt a grandparent.
A huge number of senior citizens are alone during the holidays. Open your home and family to one–even if your own grandparents are around.
Donate airline miles to charity.
Airline miles can be used to transport medical teams, patients, and emergency supplies, or turned into cash to support research or organizations like Make A Wish.
Cover a coworker’s shift.
Let a coworker know you’d be happy to cover them so they can spend a little time with family and friends during the holidays.
Show emergency responders some love.
Take treats to your local firehouse/police station/paramedics/911 dispatchers and thanks them for being there when we need them.
Leave dollar bills around the dollar store for others to find.
Whether you can spare $2 or $20, this is a simple way to brighten someone’s day.
Invite someone without a car on a holiday-lights drive.
There’s something magical about holiday lights. Share the joy with someone who might otherwise miss out.
De-ice your neighborhood sidewalks.
Sidewalks get treacherous when it’s cold out. Shovel them and throw some salt down so everyone can get where they’re going safely.
Email an old teacher and thank them.
We all have that one teacher who made an impact. Teaching is a thankless job. Write and email and tell them how they made a difference for you.
Help out at the food bank.
Lots of people donate goods to the food bank, but not enough donate labor. Give them a few hours of your time and energy.
Invite a refugee family to join your celebrations.
if you’d been forced to leave everything you knew in fear for your life, you’d hope people in your new home would be kind. Be kind. Ask a local refugee organization to pair you with a family in need of community.
There’s always a need.
Send greeting cards to soldiers.
Take some time to thank the men and women who risk everything to protect us. Bonus points if you put together care packages.
Ask for a manager–and say something good.
Managers and service industry workers hear complaints all day. Take a moment to tell them what someone did right.
Pass on the next book you read.
Next time you finish a book, give it to someone else to enjoy instead of adding it to your shelves.
Bring a hot coffee to the crossing guard.
Thank the person who freezes their butt off to help kids cross the street safely with a hot cup of coffee.
Hold a penny drive to buy toys for kids.
Ask neighbors, coworkers, or friends to gather their loose change. Combine the coins to buy toys for underprivileged kids in your area.
Donate to the Pride center.
The holidays can be especially hard for some members of the LGBTQ community. Call your local pride center and ask what they need. Then do what you can to provide it.
Double your effort.
If you’re doing some maintenance or chores around your place, ask a neighbor if you can do the same for them.
Reach out to a friend who has lost a loved one, gotten divorced, or been through a breakup.
Invite them over. Be there for them. Show them they still have love in their life.
Pay all or part of someone’s layaway.
Chances are, if someone’s got things on layaway, the holidays are a financial difficulty. Give them a department store version of a Christmas miracle.
Give small gift cards unexpectedly.
Get a few $5 gift cards for a coffee shop and give it to people whose work often goes overlooked like supermarket cashiers and bus drivers. Or just give them to strangers for no reason at all.
Share your pet.
Maybe there are kids whose parents can’t afford a pet, or someone whose landlord won’t let them have one, or residents at a nursing home who miss animals. Whomever they are, find them and arrange for them to spend some quality time with your pet.
A few clicks is all it takes, but the ripple effect could be huge.
Got your own ideas for being a good person this holiday season? Tell us on Facebook!