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5 Ways to Pay It Forward This Holiday Season

Published on November 22, 2021

Hands making a homemade holiday card

What are the holidays about if not giving to others? It’s often said it’s better to give than to receive, and if you’ve ever seen a child’s face light up after receiving a gift, you’ll know that this adage couldn’t be truer. Find out how you can pay it forward this holiday season to make someone’s day brighter.

The Ripple Effect of Paying it Forward  

With issues like climate change, poverty, disease, and world hunger rampant across the globe, it can almost feel as if we’re powerless to change things. However, we all hold the power to make the world a better place each day, even if it’s through just one small act of kindness.

After all, acts of kindness have the power to launch into motion a positive ripple effect of epic proportions. You never know how far one act of kindness will go, so giving back to your community is never wasted effort.

5 Ways to Pay It Forward

If you’re hoping to give back this holiday season and pay it forward, challenge yourself to try one (or all!) of the following acts of kindness:

1.     Pay For the Person Behind You in Line

Pay it forward by paying for the coffee of the person behind you. Pictured: Hands holding out a cappuccino.

The next time you’re at the coffee shop or going through the drive-thru, offer to pay for the order of the person behind you in line. You never know what someone is going through in their daily life, and this one small act of kindness could make their day.

2.     Give to a Charity You Care About

Person hands someone a bowl of soup.

Everyone has a cause they feel passionate about, whether it’s a rare disease, animal welfare, or helping the homeless. This holiday season, identify a cause that feels close to your heart and donate any amount you can to offer your support.

3.     Pay It Forward by Volunteering

If financial support isn’t possible for you, try reaching out to local organizations such as a seniors’ home, food drive or community fridge and offer your time and energy for a volunteer day. You’ll never regret stepping outside of yourself to lend a hand, and volunteering is a great way to do this.

4.     Send Holiday Cards to Those in Need

Hands holding a homemade Christmas card - one way to pay it forward.

This year, why not expand your list of Christmas card recipients to include those who may be experiencing loneliness or grief such as seniors or those living in a shelter? Write them a simple yet heartfelt message of good cheer for the holidays — you just might help to put a smile on someone’s face.

5. Donate to a Shelter or Charitable Organization

Many of us are lucky enough to have the problem of too much stuff rather than not enough. If there are gently used items like toys, clothes, or books in your home that you don’t need anymore but are in good condition, try donating them to your local charity or shelter this year. Your generosity could help make a child’s Christmas that much more magical.

Looking for more things to do this holiday season? It’s the perfect time to cultivate gratitude and reflect on things to be grateful for.

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The Author
Mackenzie Patterson is a Toronto-based writer and journalist. She enjoys long walks, iced coffee on tap, and discovering all the latest and greatest health and wellness trends.