If you're like me, the holidays bring with them an interesting mix of pressure, wonder, stress, joy and pull to reach out in extra little ways to those around me. I also find myself with less and less time (and energy) in which to do extra things. So, I brainstormed something small my kids and I can do each day - even with working full time and school and ballet and, and, and - to make someone else's day a bit brighter. While these ideas have a definite Christmas/Holiday slant, you could easily tweak them for any time of year.
1. Leave a thank you/Christmas card in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
2. Leave a treat and thank you card with your trash bins for the garbage man/men.
3. Take a plate of cookies to leave with a note of thanks to the teacher's lounge at school. (No one says they have to be homemade)
4. Take cards and/or small sweet treats to the 3 houses on each side of you (left, right, front, back).
5. Go caroling at a retirement home.
6. Take/Make Christmas cards for the children's ward at the hospital.
7. Call the grandparents for no reason than to just say hi.
8. Deliver thank you cards to the fire and/or police station.
9. Take a walk around your block and pick up any trash you see.
10. Rake your neighbor's leaves.
11. Shovel your neighbor's driveway.
12. Roll your neighbor's trash cans in for them.
13. Send a hand-written note in the mail to a friend.
14. Write a letter to a solider thanking him/her for their service.
15. Take some coffee to your pastor.
16. Write a note to your spouse telling them what you appreciate about them (the kids can do this for the parent, too!).
17. Visit an elderly neighbor.
18. Invite a college student from church over for a meal or coffee/dessert.
19. Ask your waiter/waitress how you can pray for them when you pray for your meal.
20. Have the kids make a thank you card for the school crossing guard.
21. Call your mayor or governor's office to thank them for their service.
22. Send/give a thank you note or treat to the school or church janitor.
23. Invite the pastor's wife for coffee or to come along on the next girls' night.
24. Go caroling at the children's hospital.
25. Make a list of even more ways to be a blessing to others!