4 Simple Ways to Lift Spirits This Season

Huge parties and extravagant gifts aren’t the only way to express your holiday spirit. There are plenty of thoughtful gestures and feel-good activities that can create a magical holiday season for you and your friends and family. Here are a few ways to spread as much love and appreciation this month in meaningful ways:

  1. Send personal, handwritten notes. In the midst of texts, emails and Snapchats, letter writing has become a lost art. And while many people buy and send greeting cards (about 5 billion are bought in the U.S. each year), it’s easy to just stick to the generic message in the card. This year, try taking some extra time to write meaningful notes to those you care about. The extra effort it takes to customize your message will show the other person that you’re thinking of them. Plus, research shows that hand-writing letters can improve your learning skills and promote a more positive outlook on life.
  2. Share a holiday treat. The holidays are the perfect time to indulge in festive, tasty snacks. When you whip up a batch of your favorite holiday cookies or savory treat this year, make extra to share with your family, friends and neighbors. Need some inspiration? Check out these recipes for healthy brownies, ginger-spiced hot cocoa and almond cherry scones. You can also share a family recipe that’s special to you, and include a note mentioning the great traditions and memories that the recipe inspires. Package them up in a festive container with a sweet note and you’ve got the perfect gift to fill your loved ones’ hearts (and bellies!).
  3. Participate in random acts of kindness. There are countless opportunities to brighten someone’s day, you just have to keep an eye out for them. Compliment the shoes on a stranger in the elevator, pay for someone’s morning coffee or offer to help an older person cross a busy street. There is even an official organization that can provide ideas. Taking advantage of these little moments can inspire a ripple effect of kindness.
  4. Give the gift of generosity. The spirit of holiday season can sometimes be overshadowed by desires for the latest tech gadgets, hottest clothing trend or must-have toy. Take a different approach to gift giving by making a donation to a charity in your loved one’s name. Choosing a cause close to their heart will not only show you care about their interests but will do good on a larger scale. If you’d still like to give a tangible gift, consider these options that use proceeds to support a variety of causes. The impact of these gifts will last far beyond the holiday season.

Photo Credit: Thomas Wenger

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  1. I love baking cookies, then give them away. It seems like withdrawal to not bake, but I don’t want to eat them all and gain the weight back I have lost. Makes a good treat for others, and I can still get my baking fix.

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