31 Totally And Completely Purposeful Acts of Kindness Ideas To Brighten This Holiday Season

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The best acts of kindness ideas are not random acts of kindness, but purposeful ones. Try these 31 purposeful acts of kindness to brighten this holiday season.

how to give to others this holiday season

I met a friend for coffee last week. We hadn’t seen each other since summer, when I started working full time and balance had gotten away from me. So we got together mid-week for a delicious break. We sat in a golden coffee shop, hot drinks between us, sunlight slicing through the windows, warming the telltale chill that is all too quickly becoming the norm. In the beat between catching up pleasantries — kids, fall, holidays — and peeling a layer off of how we’re really doing, I arranged my thoughts, before they spilled. I wanted to tell her about how unnerved I had become. She is the kind of friend who makes you feel noticed and heard and validated; and I thought that I needed that. But that’s not how things went. They went exactly as they we were meant to.

She began talking first and with quick, practiced words she shared her own arranged thoughts about how hard things had been for her since summer when, from her perspective, we had lost track of each other’s schedules when things had become unbalanced for her.

Last week when I shared how I have been struggling, a fellow kindness warrior named Melinda said, “I forget, and I lie to myself, that I am the only one.” I think that we all do this. We assume that we are alone in our struggles. And we use this lie as a shield to keep us from reaching out in the name of I don’t want to be a downer; She won’t understand; And, Does it — do I — really matter?

That day in that coffee shop, my friend and I sat together with tears and friendship between us. Not because we were two friends going through the same things, but because even though neither one of us had felt the others’ exact struggles, we both understood all too well the heartache that comes from struggle and the softness that comes from being heard.

Because beneath all of our differing details, we all want to be heard.

We all want to be noticed.

And we all want to sit with another, over hot drinks, and feel the kind of hope that is stronger between two than it is alone.

And while I absolutely went into my time with my friend thinking that what I needed was to be heard and noticed, I ended up feeling just as filled up by doing the listening and the noticing. We are meant to reach up and over lie-made shields and we are meant to land by each other.

We are about to enter one of the busiest times of the year when magic and friendship and balance are in a constant fight with chaos and inevitable or manifested solitude and negativity.

Stepping into this fact is the best course of action— the holidays and all of the goodness and mess that come with them are coming (speeding) toward us. We can’t do anything about that, but we can refuse the It’s just me lie and instead embrace focusing out in order to focus back in, we can reach out to each other, warming the chill of the season.

I have no idea what you need this season — to bake everyday or to throw the cookies out the window, to hold fast to routines or to loosen the reins, to create picture perfect gatherings or to have a smudgier version of the holidays — only you know what’s best for you.

But I do know this: when we each carve out room and time and energy to purposefully reach out to one another, we are all lifted, and no matter what we are facing or how we are doing, we could all use that.

I’ve written before about my belief that the best and most effective acts of kindness aren’t random at all, but absolutely purposeful. As we step into the next 31 days, let’s choose each other over alone. Truth over lies. And purposeful over random.

Here are 31 totally and completely purposeful acts of kindness to help us commit to taking care of ourselves and each other this holiday season.

31 Totally And Completely Purposeful Acts Of Kindness Ideas To Brighten This Holiday Season 

When given these ideas, some of us will pick one act of kindness and repeat it for 31 days for different people, or for the same person 31 days in a row. Others of us will try one new act per day and follow the list like a calendar. Some others will cut the ideas into strips, glue them onto popsicle sticks, or print them on holiday themed shapes and pick one out of a bowl to do each day. And still others will go at random, spreading kindness when they see someone who needs it.

It doesn’t really matter how we go about spreading kindness, does it? The trick is to get into the habit of noticing others, reaching out to them, and treating them not how we would want to be treated if we were them, but how they might want to be treated.

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  1. I absolutely love this and promise to do them all!

  2. Love this list, Galit!

  3. Why am I only NOW learning how completely awesome you are? *sigh* Better late than never, and I LOVE this idea.

  4. Thank you for wonderful list of acts and kindness ideas. I’m going to share this with others and tell them about your blog. Considerer above has a link to this page. That is how I discovered you.


  1. […] you’re out of ideas for ACTIONS to take, Galit even has a handy list of 31 Purposeful Acts of Kindness. Think of your own, by all means, but I love these. They’re about connection, empathy, […]

  2. […] 31 Totally and Completely Purposeful Acts of Kindness Ideas to Brighten This Holiday Season: I like this. I’m always looking for acts of kindness to add in to our Advent calendar. These are simple, fun, and well, kind. […]

  3. […] on a regular day, in passing, and done without an ask. Realizing this, I shared with you purposeful acts of kindness ideas that I have collected to make leading with kindness a simpler habit for me to […]