29 simple acts of kindness that might just turn someone's whole day around.

The holidays are just around the corner — and there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by spreading a little bit of goodwill.

So in between hurriedly planning festivities, buying gifts, and excitedly looking forward to family get-togethers, take a few moments, if you can, to spread some joy. One of the most important (and rewarding) things about the holidays is trying to make someone else happy too.

Here are just a few ideas for how to spread kindness and empathy this holiday season:

1. Without being asked, do a chore or favor for a family member to help make their day a little bit easier.


2. Say "hi" to your neighbors — or if you don’t know them, knock on their door and introduce yourself! (It’s about time!)

3. Don’t forget to hold the door open for the person behind you.

All images via iStock.

4. Planning to bake some holiday cookies this year? Make an extra batch and donate it to the local nursing home.

5. Get in the holiday spirit and participate (without eye rolls) in events that your family or colleagues are organizing, like the ugly sweater contest or bake-off, even if you think it’s silly.

6. Do you know someone spending the holidays alone? Invite them over to celebrate with you.

7. Let someone else eat that last slice of pie.

8. Find a fun project or cause that you believe in, and volunteer your time. Websites like Volunteermatch.org can help you find a local place to donate your time.

9. Tip a little bit extra to the barista or waiter who has to work over the holidays.

10. Invite a friend you haven’t seen in a while out for coffee or lunch.

11. Pick up litter on the sidewalk that you come across while you walk the dog or go for a stroll in the park.

12. Send a card to a family member or friend you won’t get to see this holiday.

13. Donate some frequent flyer miles that you aren’t using to a charity.

14. Pick up a few extra items — like canned goods or pantry staples — when buying groceries and donate them to your local food bank. Even better? If you have a little extra cash, donate directly to a food bank.

15. Offer to babysit for free for a friend or family member so they can have a night out.

16. Animal shelters can get busy during the holidays, so foster (or adopt if you can) a cat or dog.

17. Pay for a stranger’s cup of coffee, bus fare, or even a cart full of groceries.

18. If you're buying a snack at the vending machine, why not pre-pay for an item for the person behind you?

19. Spread some cheer at work by bringing a little snack for your co-workers.

20. Try to have an open mind: read a book or article written from a different perspective, or listen respectfully (and without judging) to someone that has a different opinion than you do.

21. Buy a toy and give it to the local toy drive.

22. Clean out your closet and donate warm clothes, coats, and shoes to an org that helps people who are homeless.

23. Collect used books from friends and family to give to a school, local library, or shelter. Or create a Little Free Library.

24. Remember to send thank-you notes this season.

25. Let people merge in during traffic.

26. Walk the shopping cart back to the front of the store.

27. Give a sincere compliment to a friend or loved one.

28. Set aside a little money for a charity or two that you support.

29. Do something nice for your partner or a family member to let them know you love them, like letting them watch “their” show or doing the dishes for them.

Most importantly, keep others in mind because not only will it help make someone else's holiday better, but it will also enrich yours as well.

One simple act of kindness might just turn someone's whole day around.

More
True
Hallmark
BXGD / Flickr and Cody Bondarchuk / Twitter

Sometimes the smallest gesture can turn your entire day around. You find a $5 bill in the pockets of your jeans. There's no traffic on the way home from work. Or by some divine intervention, you get 11 chicken McNuggets in your 10-piece box.

Of course, if you've ever had such a blessing, you know your first thought is, "Must be some sort of mistake."

But do you return the extra McNugget? Nope. You don't even feel an ounce of guilt for it. You dunk it in barbecue sauce and relish it like a gift from the gods.

A former McDonald's employee in Edmonton, Canada let the world know that sometimes an extra McNugget is not a mistake and he's become a viral hero.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes
terimakasih0/Pixabay

When Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School principal Janet Behrens observed her students in the cafeteria, she was dismayed to see that they spent more time looking down at their phones than they did looking at and interacting with each other. So last year, she implemented a new policy that's having a big impact.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

They say that kids say the darnedest things, and seriously, they do. Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with young children knows that sometimes the things they say can blow your mind.

Since teachers spend more time around little kids than anyone else, they are particularly privy to their profound and hilarious thoughts. That's why NYC kindergarten teacher Alyssa Cowit started collecting kid quotes from teachers around the country and sharing them on her Instagram account, Live from Snack Time, as well as her websiteand other social media channels.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular