For 10 days at the end of October, Apartment Therapy wants to help you get ahead on the holidays. Together, we're checking off doable daily tasks to get one step closer to the effortless holiday season you deserve. Sign up now (it's free!) so you don't miss a thing.
Contrary to what TV commercials might tell you, the holidays are not just about buying gifts and spending money. The reason we're all enamored with this season is the spirit of it all. The calendar reminds us that another year is ending, our time is poetically short, and we all should celebrate and spend more of our moments being kind to each other.
When we built this Holiday Jumpstart program, I wanted to make sure that it felt like a well-rounded kickoff for the holiday season. So yes, it's smart to start budgeting and maybe get some gift-buying out of the way for your own peace of mind. But I also carved room in the program to jump start the more compassionate parts of this season we all love.
That's all we're focusing on today...
Do a random act of kindness.
That's right: Let's get the holiday spirit started early! Choose one small act of kindness you can do today, and do it.
We put together a list of ideas, but the options are truly limitless. Any kind thing you want to do for somebody else is fair game.
- Buy a coffee for the person behind you in line.
- Leave quarters at the laundromat.
- Return all the carts at the grocery store.
- Take a walk and pick up any litter you might see.
- Send a "thinking of you" text to somebody you haven't spoke with in a while.
- Send a handwritten letter or crafty greeting card to a friend or family member.
- Leave a glowing review for a local small business you love. Head to Facebook, Google, or Yelp and leave your positive notes.
- Rake a neighbor's leaves for them, or blow the leaves off their yard or patio, or shovel the snow from their sidewalk before they wake up.
- Leave your favorite book in a "little free library." You can find one near you with this map.
- Leave inspirational notes around the office or on co-workers' desks.
- Sneak a five dollar bill into somebody else's coat pocket.
- Go to the library and pay somebody else's library fees.
- Find a few things around your space to donate, like towels to an animal shelter or clothes to a women's home. Or take your Amazon delivery box and mail it back with donated items for Amazon's Give Back Box program.
- Leave a basket of goodies on a neighbor's doorstep.
- Steal a chore from your roommate's to-do list. Do the dishes even though it's their turn.
- Make a small donation to a charity you support. Charity Watch's list of the top rated charities is a good place to start.
- Write a thank you letter to a service member. You can send your letter to Operation Gratitude to be included in a future care package to our troops.
- Write a thank you note to the nurses at your local hospital, first responders at the fire station, or librarians at your favorite library. Include flowers or a treat if you're able.
- Leave cold drinks and snacks out for your postal carrier and delivery drivers. Add a sign that says "Thank you USPS/UPS/FedEx/Amazon/Postmates" and "Help yourself."
- Visit with a nursing home for a moment today. Call up and ask if there are open visiting hours, and bring a game or book.
If you're going to do something that's not on this list, let us know in the comments so we can share even more ideas for spreading a little grace and love today and everyday.