As the holidays are approaching, I know many of us are checking our Christmas shopping lists and making plans to buy gifts for the special people in our lives.  As I began to plan for Christmas, I decided to do Christmas “gifting” a little differently this year. I want to be a blessing to others as much as possible and so I thought of 8  simple ways to do just that!

  1. Pick up the phone  We pick up our phones ALL the time. Phones are the way we stay connected with others. Unfortunately, we seem to stay connected via text and social media more than we do with “in person” conversation.  I’ll admit, I’m one of the main offenders when it comes to this. Texting is so convenient, but also so impersonal. This Christmas, choose one, two or maybe even three people to connect with via phone call. I know it seems so small, but sometimes a simple phone call to check in on someone and to see how they are doing might just be the day-brightener they need.

  1. Mom’s Day Off  Yes!! This is a great gift to give a mom. Moms are so busy and have so much on their plates that taking a day off from “mommy-ing” is not something they do often.  Many times moms feel guilty just thinking about “taking a day off” because they feel obligated to do so much for the family.  Offer to take her kids for the day with the condition that she HAS to use that day for herself. She can use that day to catch up on her shows, get a mani/pedi, get her hair done, do some shopping, etc. As a mom, I know how much that would be appreciated.

  1. Coffee & Chat Many times we are so busy doing life that we don’t make time to slow down and just catch up with others. Again, I’m guilty of this. It’s important that we make time for relationships and that we let those who are in our lives know that we value their friendship. Sometimes it’s nice to just grab some coffee, chat and catch up. Make plans to do this with a friend or someone that you haven’t spent time with in a while. It could totally make their day or even their week!

  1. Paid off Secretly pay off or put money towards a bill for someone. This would have to take some planning but it can be done.  Paying a bill for someone could mean so much and really lighten the load for them during this Christmas season. It doesn’t have to be a big bill, it could be a small one. It’s the thought behind it that really counts.

  1. Surprise a single parent Growing up in a single parent home, I really know and understand how much of a blessing this can be.  Find a family that you could bless by getting gifts for the kids. It can be something they really need or something fun. And if you throw something in for the parent (mom or dad) that would be nice too!

  1. Snail Mail It’s amazing what a handwritten letter can do for someone. Surprise someone by sending them a handwritten letter telling them how much you appreciate them and what a blessing they are to your life. There is something special about reading a letter that someone took the time to write by hand just to tell you how much they love and appreciate you. And the grand total: the cost of a stamp! So go ahead, get your pen and paper out!

  1. Shop at stores that give back There is a store here in Maryland called Ten Thousand Villages that I discovered about a year ago.  It is a fair trade store and everything that is sold there is made by hand by crafters in developing countries. Many of the items are made from recycled materials and are so unique.  What I love about this store is that when you buy a gift, the money you spend helps to provide a stable income for the person who made that item. I also love that every product/gift comes with a story about the crafter who made it and what country they are from.

  1. #ServeYourServer  Many times when I go to out to eat and I tip the server, I pull out my trusty calculator on my phone to calculate the tip. I know that most people do that, and they stick with the 15-18% tipping rule. I am definitely one of those.  One way you can be a blessing is to ditch the calculator and give a larger tip than you were originally planning to do. With the holidays coming up, it’s always nice to have a little extra money and I’m sure a nice large tip would definitely put a smile on your server’s face.

Being kind is not hard to do. It doesn’t take a lot of money to bless someone and put a smile on their face.

This following quote sums it all up quite nicely:

“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money” – John Ruskin

Let’s make a commitment to be a blessing to others this Christmas. I know that I have some things on this list that I need to do and I can’t wait to get started!

So dear friends, what are some ideas that you have that we can add to the list? Please share!  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Gr8fully Yours,