Have you ever had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit? Or maybe its just me and Cindy-lou-who. This year I’ve had an especially hard time getting into Christmas, for whatever reason. Maybe its because we didn’t spend money on a Christmas tree. Maybe its because we are keeping presents to a minimum around here. Maybe its because I’ve been distracted with studying for the bar. Who knows. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Doing things for other people is literally the BEST way to get yourself out of any funk– but especially when your feeling like a total Grinch about Christmas. Since we had done nearly everything on our Christmas to-do list,i knew it was time oto start thinking more about others. And in fact, there are tons of things you can do to get into the holiday spirit without spending one cent. Ok maybe some cents but not a lot of them. Here are some ideas of cheap or free things you can give this Christmas.

free things you can give this christmas

Here are some cheap or free things you can give this Christmas:

  1. Volunteer at a food bank.

  2. Take Christmas goodies to someone’s house.

  3. Call a relative or friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while.

  4. Send someone an anonymous, kind, hand written note in the mail.

  5. Do a household chore and expect nothing in return.

  6. Leave a quarter (or two or three) in a vending machine, or my favorite, in the shopping cart at Aldi for the next person.

  7. Sign up to snuggle babies at your local hospital’s NICU.

  8. While we’re talking about babies, do you know someone who has had a baby recently? Babies are hard. Take that person dinner or offer to babysit.

  9. On garbage day, bring your neighbor’s empty garbage can up from their driveway.

  10. Hold the door open for someone, even if they are really far behind you.

  11. Go out of your way to say hi to a stranger.

  12. Leave someone a nice note (even if you don’t know them!)

  13. Smile at people.

  14. Look for ways to compliment people.

  15. Pay for the person behind you in line.

  16. When you feel like criticizing someone, complement them instead.

  17. Avoid saying negative things about others.

  18. Share your talents freely. (Do you play the piano? Play in public or for someone you love. Do you have legal expertise? Take pro bono work. Are you a doctor? Volunteer at a clinic. Are you a teacher? Mentor someone. Can you bake? Everyone loves baked goods.)

  19. Live somewhere snowy? While you are out shoveling your own driveway, tackle the neighbors driveway while you are at it.

  20. Help out a foreigner or a refugee. It can be scary being in a new country and not totally understanding the language and culture. There is a good chance your local YMCA will have these opportunities.

Spreading Christmas cheer doesn’t have to cost you a penny. All it takes is a little creativity (or just straight up use this list!) What things have you been doing to get into the Christmas spirit?

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  1. What a great list! Number 15 is a favorite of mine at my small thrift store. Pay for that person’s purchases at the counter. Buy that winter coat for them! You can tell if they are struggling as they root in their pockets or purses for any loose change, or they just plain don’t have enough money. (A young mom or an elderly person) Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    1. Love that! What a great idea. I hadn’t thought about it while thrifting so thanks 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  2. My wife plays piano and she is wanting to visit a local nursing home on Christmas. She goes several times a year to play & visit. It’s really sad visiting these places (if you ask me) and they greatly enjoy the company.

    1. That is so great! I agree, everytime I’ve been to a nursing home I can sense that they really enjoy the company.

  3. I like your idea about the quarter in the shopping cart at Aldi! I don’t even use the carts, but it sounds like a nice random gesture to try out. I think that quarter will make me just as happy as the next person to find it 🙂

  4. FANTASTIC list! I do the Aldi shopping cart thing sometimes – usually I just give my cart to someone just arriving.

    I LOVE random acts of kindness. I was able to give away a $20 Visa card yesterday (as part of the Rockstar Finance Community Fund) to a young adult at the youth homeless center. I can’t even describe the amazing feeling I got when I saw the smiling face of the recipient.

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