Spreading joy at this time of year really doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. You don’t have to go into debt to make the people around you happy, although most people do it this way for some reason! Buying gifts for people is nice, but spreading genuine joy and happiness is even better, and best of all, it can be free.
Did you know that making others happy can be one of the quickest ways to make yourself happier? We think that we can make ourselves happier by buying stuff or doing something selfish, but it’s actually the selfless acts that make us happy and give us a sense of purpose.
So, take a look at the following affordable ways to spread joy this season and take your pick. Not only will you be making a huge difference to the lives of others, you’ll be making yourself happier in the process.
Volunteer Your Services For Charity
Choose a charity that means something to you and volunteer your services. Even if you can only help out for a day, it can help so much when times are super busy. You could help the homeless, or head to an animal shelter to give out lots of love, cuddles, and walks. You don’t even have to go to a charity; you can take matters into your own hands. Why not cook meals for homeless in your area and take them onto the streets? If you’re a hairdresser, you could offer free haircuts. If you own a cafe, you could invite them in for a free coffee and sandwich. Do what you can!
Send Small Tokens Of Love To The People You Love
Send small tokens of love to the people you love to make them smile. It doesn’t matter how far away they are; if you’re creative, you can still send something to them inexpensively. You could send real printed photo postcards online to them, for example. Greetings cards are ok, but people don’t usually keep these. Send something they can keep instead!
Pay It Forward
Paying it forward is a great trend, and it can take over like a domino effect! Next time you’re in a queue for coffee or food, why not pay it forward for the person behind you? Studies have shown that this can have a profound effect on people, and some ‘pay it forward’ queues have gone on for hours because each person continued to pay it forward for the next person! People really can be amazing.
Donate A Toy To Those Less Fortunate
Not all children are fortunate to receive toys at this time of year, so why not take your kids to pick out a special toy to donate to them? Lots of places run these programs, so find out where they are near to you. This is a great lesson to teach your kids too!
Leave Treats For The People Around You
Be mindful of the people around you who are working extra hard. Perhaps the cleaner at work, the mailman going above and beyond to get everything delivered, and even window cleaners. Ask them if they’d like a mince pie – even make them a drink if they have time. They’ll truly appreciate this small act of kindness. It could make their whole day. Don’t forget to leave a small tip for others at this time of year too, where it’s the barista who makes you your daily cappuccino or the hairdresser who hasn’t had lunch!
Spend Time With The Elderly
Elderly people don’t always have loved ones to spend time with. You could help your elderly neighbor with their shopping, or even go to a home to have a chat, play a few games, and give them some company. The amount of elderly people who report feeling lonely is frightening, and is terrible to think about at a time of year like this.
Leave A Dollar
A dollar may be nothing to you, but it could be everything to somebody else. Do something totally senseless, and hide dollars around your local dollar store ready for people to find. People who have slightly larger budgets hide money in other places too, such as the library, a coffee shop, and other stores they visit. Set a budget and then figure out where you want to hide it!
Have A Clear Out And Donate
Set a day aside and clear out your belongings, then donate to a charity or multiple charities that mean something to you. Not only will this clear space for great things to come in the coming year, it could help to make money for a worthy cause.
Write A Loving Letter By Hand
The art of letter writing seems to be lost, so why not write a loving letter by hand? You could write a letter to a loved one, or even somebody you’ve never met just to brighten their day. Why not write out notes, like ‘hey, you’re doing great!’ or ‘you look nice today!’ and leave them lying around for people to find them. A person who finds a note like this is bound to smile!
Brighten Up A Cashier’s Day
Why not brighten up a cashier’s day by engaging in small talk with them? Sometimes we just want to get our things and get out, but you should find that a quick, friendly chat with somebody else will cheer you both up to no end.
Take Donuts To Work
Why not take donuts to work, or even bake your own delicious treat to share with your colleagues?
Pass On A Book That Changed Your Life
If you’re a reader, pass on a book that has changed your life to somebody who you think might need it. Books can affect us in profound ways, so pass that magic on.
Simply smiling at everybody you come across can help to brighten the world for a while. Smiling is contagious – try it and see for yourself!
Are you ready to spread joy? Leave your own thoughts and ideas below!