Christmas is a season of giving and is a perfect time for you to count your blessings and do a good deed for others. Although being charitable should not be reserved just for the holidays, it’s great to start somewhere, right?
You can also get your children involved in these random acts of kindness and instil philanthropic values from young.
If you’re not sure what exactly you can do to brighten up someone’s day or bring a smile to a complete stranger’s face, here are 12 acts of kindness you and your whole family can do together to make this a wonderful Christmas for somebody out there:
1. Smile at others
You’d be surprised just how wonderful you will feel just by smiling more and by giving a sincere smile to others – even complete strangers. It will make you feel good and your happiness will spread to those around you. In fact, smiling is probably the easiest form of charity.
2. Do a household chore for someone
Did your colleague recently give birth and needs a hand getting her mountain of laundry done? Or do you notice your neighbour’s plants looking a little withered lately? How about your cousin who is a single mum and has dirty dishes piling up in her kitchen? Lend them a hand and offer to do a household chore for them to ease their burden.
3. Donate blood
If you are between 16 to 60 years old, you can share the gift of life by donating some blood to those in need. It will cost you nothing and is the most valuable gift you can ever give to someone to help improve their health or even save their life.
4. Share food with your neighbour
Show love to thy neighbour by whipping up a nice hot meal and going over to surprise them with it. This is a great way to connect with them and you may even form a long-lasting friendship. But if you’re not a very good cook and fear you might give them food poisoning, then you can also buy them some good food from your favourite eatery. You don’t want to send them to the emergency room on Christmas Eve and create potential awkward rides together in the lift in future.
5. Clean out your closet for charity
When was the last time you wore that green sweater that is too tight for you now? What about that pink jacket that you only wore once? Or those blue running shoes you haven’t even touched even though you vowed to start exercising regularly since last Christmas? Your old clothes will be put to good use by those in need, instead of just sitting at the back of your closet for another year.
6. Leave a tip
Although it is not customary nor required for someone to leave a tip here in Singapore, it is still a great way to show someone your appreciation for their great service. You never know that the extra $5 can actually go a long way for someone who truly needs it.
7. Bring delicious treats to work
What better way to bring some Christmas cheer to your office than getting a few yummy treats to share with your co-workers? You can eat together during your tea break and bond over some home-made chewy chocolate brownies. They might appreciate this kind gesture and return the favour by bringing a few delicious goodies of their own to share with everyone too. Who knows? You may just start a new office tradition!
8. Hold the door open for someone
We always seem to be in a hurry to go somewhere and often times forget that small gestures such as holding the door open for someone just might make their day. This also applies to lifts – if you see someone running towards the lift and waving their arms wildly, this is a cue for you to press the “open” button, not frantically push the “close” button while avoiding eye contact and then heaving a sigh of relief when the doors shut on their face.
9. Feed a stray cat
Sadly, pets get abandoned by their owners everyday here in Singapore, some get picked up by local animal welfare groups and some are left roaming around the streets. Buy a small pack of cat food to feed your neighbourhood kitty or alternatively, you can also donate to an annual pet food drive to help ensure that the cats in the community will have full tummies this Christmas.
10. Write to an old teacher who made a difference in your life
Is there an old teacher you used to have in Secondary school who was very patient and kind to you? Or a teacher who inspired you to go into the line of work which you have a successful career in right now? Drop them an email or write them a letter to tell them how much you appreciate their guidance back then and how they have positively affected your life.
11. Get a cup of coffee for your security guard
The nice old security uncle who always waves to you in the morning when you arrive at work, or the guard at your condo’s entrance who greets you and your children everyday, will be happy with a nice hot cup coffee to keep him awake and alert on his long shift.
12. Help a mother with her baby stroller
If you see a mother struggling to carry her baby stroller in one arm, with a wriggling infant in her other arm, a 10kg diaper bag hanging from around her neck, while she’s trying to tap her EZ link card on the bus with her teeth, be kind and step in to give her a much-needed hand.
Do you have any ideas for random acts of kindness we all can do – not just during Christmas, but all year round? Leave your comments below!