‘Tis the Season to Give Back

The holiday season – a time for eating your weight in Pillsbury snowman sugar cookies, listening to Michael Bublé’s Christmas on repeat, spending way too much money on peppermint mochas at Starbucks and watching Elf like it’s your job. When December rolls around, it is pastimes like these that bring friends and families together. However, people often get so wrapped up in the stockings, sleigh bells and snow that they forget about the true meaning of the holidays: the spreading of joy. While most don’t have to think twice about enjoying a cheerful holiday with loved ones, some aren’t as lucky. As much as the holidays are about the giving of gifts, you should also consider giving your heart to others this holiday season. Giving back to your community – especially during the holidays – is the true embodiment of the holiday spirit. The following list contains a few ways to spread joy this holiday season to those who may not otherwise experience it.

Perform a Random Act of Kindness

Aesop once said, “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” He knew what he was talking about. Regardless of what it is, a kind deed can go a long way. Smile at a stranger. Hold the door open for someone. Leave a nice comment on your friend’s Instagram. Pay for the person behind you at Tim Hortons. You never know the impact your kindness could have.

Donate Your Time

Take advantage of the volunteer opportunities in your local community, especially during the holidays! From serving a holiday meal at your local homeless shelter to distributing toys to children spending the holidays in the hospital, there is so much you can do to help out. At a time when giving is so encouraged, give your time to charitable causes.

Start Online

As university students, it is almost impossible to balance giving back with exam season looming. Freerice and The Hunger Site are just a few of the many websites you can go onto while taking a break from a study session. In just a few clicks, you’ll be able to make a difference in the lives of people around the world. Try these out next time you’re procrastinating!

With these ideas in mind, give a little bit of your heart this holiday season. The gratification you will receive in return will surpass any present under the tree.