The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
The best gift you can give this year is the gift of giving back. Whether it’s donating your time at a soup kitchen or paying it forward while grabbing your daily cup of coffee, any gift of giving back is sure to bring holiday cheer to those around you. I love to get creative, so that being said here are four creative ways to give back to your community this holiday season.
- Give a Meal to healthcare workers
Over the past few years, healthcare workers have had less and less time to spend with their families as they’ve become overwhelmed as a result of the pandemic. This holiday season, you can show your appreciation of our local health care workers by delivering meals or baked goods to local hospitals or medical facilities. In an ideal situation, homemade goods would be very heartwarming since most of them may not be able to enjoy their own family’s home-cooked meals once again this year. But in keeping COVID friendly, maybe having food catered (in individual packaging) from mom-and-pop restaurants or bakeries could help them feel a little closer to home. In doing so, not only are you raising the spirits of healthcare workers, but you are also supporting local businesses, which is another way to give back to your community during the holiday season.
- deliver stockings to a homeless shelter
We often get so wrapped up in buying presents, drinking hot cocoa and watching our favorite Christmas movies that we forget that some people don’t have the means to do any of those things during this season. Another great way to give back during the holidays is by putting together stockings filled with essentials that you can deliver to a local homeless shelter. Items to include in your stockings are necessities such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, body wash or lotion, socks, hand sanitizer, deodorant, and floss. Some other things you might want to include are chewing gum, cough drops, snacks (granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers) and a crossword puzzle book. One other thing you could put in your stockings is a handwritten note wishing these individuals happy holidays from you and your family.
- Write letters to deployed military members
The people who fight for our country don’t have the chance to come home and be with their families for the holidays. Therefore, several organizations send letters to soldiers every Christmas. One way to help participate in this holiday tradition is by inviting your friends and family over for a holiday card party and guests can write letters or even put together small care packages for the soldiers. Then you can bring your packages to one of the local organizations that will ship them out to our soldiers.
- bake homemade treats for animal shelters
Not every pet has a home to spend the holidays in, so take some time this season to send some love and bake homemade dog and cat treats for local animal shelters. There are tons of easy dog treat recipes that can be found on Pinterest. Here’s a link to an easy peanut butter dog treat recipe.
The holiday season is not just about giving and receiving presents, it’s about appreciating the things we have and the people in our lives. Make the most of this season by giving back to those who can’t celebrate with gifts or loved ones this year, because that is in fact the best way to spread Christmas cheer.