Skip to content

UXL Blog

Creating Successful Leaders

During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in spending money to “prove” how much we care about others. The season has become more about presents and the latest gadgets than togetherness, gratitude, and kindness.

What if we flipped the script?

What if we focused on people over products? And acts of kindness over stuff? What if the holidays were less about checklists (I have to buy presents for X, Y, and Z) and more about reminding others how much they mean to you?

This season, I challenge you to focus on quality over quantity, and on people over things. In that spirit, here are 8 ways you can show how much you care without spending a dime (or, at least, not many of them!)…

1. Pick up the phone

We are a society of quick text messages, Snaps, and social media updates. How often do we pick up the phone anymore, simply to have a conversation? I suggest surprising a loved one with a phone call. It’s a personal way to show you care and it doesn’t cost anything but your time.

2. Send a hand-written card

Sending a card might not be free, but it’s pretty darn inexpensive. You may even have a stash of blank cards sitting around (I know I do!). If that’s the case, you could make someone’s day for the cost of a stamp. It’s always fun to receive mail that isn’t bills or mass mailings, isn’t it?

3. Shovel someone’s walk

If you live in a cold climate, a wonderful way to show you care about someone is to shovel their sidewalk or driveway. Help out a neighbor, an elderly acquaintance, or anyone who could use an extra hand. Bonus: You’ll squeeze in a good exercise while doing it!

4. Say thank you

Many people work overtime during the holidays—mail carriers, servers, retail workers, delivery drivers—and few receive the thanks they deserve for their services. Next time you’re in line at the grocery store or you have to make a return at Target, focus on being patient (a true virtue in retail stores!), keep calm, and say thank you. Your politeness goes a long way.

5. Donate clothes or home goods

If you’re like me, you have rows of old clothing you haven’t worn in ages, and stacks of home goods that are taking up space at the bottom of the drawer. Make an effort to clean it out! Then, donate it to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or your local “Buy Nothing” group. Not only will you be helping others, you’ll have the satisfaction of clearing/cleansing your space.

6. Bake treats

Few things say, “I care about you” like homemade treats. Make your friend her favorite cookies, bake a pie for your mom, or whip up something special for your significant other. (And don’t forget to save a few for yourself!)

7. Babysit for a friend

Many of the parents I know are chronically exhausted from having to juggle work, childcare, household maintenance, meal prep, and more. Give your friends (or family) a break by offering to babysit while they have an evening to themselves. They need it.

8. Volunteer

Your time can be just as valuable as your dollars. Volunteer at a food shelf, animal shelter, church, toy drive, soup kitchen—anything that will infuse a bit of good into the world. If you don’t have time to formally volunteer, you can always help out in your own way (such as picking up litter in your neighborhood while you walk the dog).

Caring and kindness do not have to come with a price tag. There are many free (or low cost) ways you can show up for others, spread joy, and demonstrate compassion. Tis the season.




Tags: , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: