Holiday Spirit Tip 1: Help an Animal in Need
Shelters adopt out animals who have passed health and temperament tests. Unless you're adopting a puppy or kitten - or special needs animal - the animal should be healthy, house broken and well-behaved. A new pet may be the perfect holiday present for your family.
Be warned: helping animals will come with an overwhelming sense of happiness!
Holiday Spirit Tip 2: Help a Person in Need
Some of my friends have taken on the tradition of volunteering at local food banks and shelters for Thanksgiving, and opt out of celebrating it otherwise. Not everyone needs to be so self-sacrificing and indeed, many of us cannot afford to be - especially at this time of year. However, consider making a trip to a donation center and dropping off food. It's as easy as cleaning out the pantry: get rid of canned goods that no one is eating, and donate them to a local charity.
The holiday season reminds us to help our fellow man. You can donate canned goods, volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen, or food bank, donate old clothes, furniture, etc, or even consider signing up with your local area Habitat for Humanity.
Holiday Spirit Tip 3: Help a Child in Need
No matter what culture you come from, and no matter what you will be celebrating this season, everyone can agree that no child should go feeling unloved and going without this time of year. Believe it or not there are children who may not be getting any presents this year in your local area. To brighten up their lives this holiday donate a toy or two to local charities.
Most churches and temples conduct toy drives around this time of year for needy children. If you have kids of your own, think about going through their old toys and donating them.
A friend of mine sat down with her son this year to sort out his old toys. She asked him, "do you play with this?" for every toy, encouraging him to answer truthfully. When he said he did not, she asked him "would you give this to a child who has no toys?" and let him decide what to give away. It may be a good opportunity to introduce your children to charity, selflessness, and the importance of helping others.