There are many folks who have tiny families and then there are people who have NO family. I think when it comes to the holidays, we all look forward to giving (even when money is tight).
Giving just makes you feel good. Giving with a loving and kind heart really makes you feel good. Giving, not because you feel you have to, but because it is kind - is the best.
We all know a person or family that is in dire straights. Sometimes, certain gifts of helping can make the recipient feel bad. We never want to hurt someone's feelings or make them feel self conscious about their situation.
Here is an idea that can help. Buy a gift card (that you can afford) and mail it to the individual. When mailing - make the mailing address and the return address BOTH the same (the recipients). That way they will get it either way. (MAKE SURE IT IS THE RIGHT ADDRESS)
You can send them a useful gift and still be anonymous.
Places that sell groceries - would be a great idea. Or even a place like WM, Meijer, Target that sells everything. Gas cards would also be handy.
Stop by your local nursing home and ask if there are 2 or 3 people that NEVER have visitors. Consider visiting them on the holiday or around the holiday to just sit and chat. Listen to their stories (we can learn a lot) and share pictures of young-ins and just talk about anything. Perhaps take a small gift of warm socks or slippers, maybe a fleece throw, a large print book, a magazine with lots of neat pictures or even goodies (check with home on diet restrictions).
Pay it forward. Maybe make a donation to or buy gifts for shelters. Socks, gloves, hats, fleece throws, health & beauty supplies - are always appreciated. There are men's shelters, women's and family shelters. I always think about how sad it is for kids in shelters - why they get left out at Christmas. I can't imagine what goes through their minds.
Make kits for the homeless - gallon zip-lock bag with toothbrush, tooth paste, soap, wash cloth, wipes, snacks, etc. I used to make up dozens of these and pass them out at the local soap kitchen. They were always appreciated. Most items were bought at the Dollar Tree (you can get multi-packs of many things for $1)
Think about donating food, litter, old towels, newspapers, etc. for animal shelters. Maybe sit and visit with some of the animals. That is good for you and for them!
If you are alone - how about working at the local dinner for homeless or those that are alone. Many communities have dinners and so do many churches. They can all use extra help. Sit and talk with some of the folks - they may enjoy your friendship for the day.
Many community schools have children who are behind or can't pay for their hot meals each day. Offer to pay for meals for those most in need.
Donate food and other supplies to the local food pantries. Your donation may change someone's life - at least for a week or two.
Just a few ideas to help someone that may need a kind word or deed to make their day, week, month or maybe year. We never know what it is like in someone else's shoes.
So take a moment to imagine what others are experiencing, and do a little bit to help.
It doesn't take a lot - and you may feel better as well.
Let's all do a little and change the world a lot. BE KINDBlessings to you all!