10 Things You Can Do to Make the Season Brighter

Although I am Jewish, I love this time of year for many reasons not having to do with the insane consumerism going on. Yes, I am a diehard shopaholic, but I avoid shopping this time of year whenever possible. I even told a friend I won’t step foot near a mall around this time of year, and of course then I end up telling a fib when I have to buy a last minute gift for someone, or pick up something for someone who is entertaining us.

As a matter of fact, I have often said that I save a ton of money by being Jewish because the few Chanukah decorations needed are recycled year after year, the Menorah never breaks and has to be replaced, and I don’t do the Christmas card mailing thing either. With the way I love tchotchkes, you know I would be decked out with everything possible for Christmas if that was the holiday I celebrated. My credit cards can breathe a sigh of relief for that.

I know a lot of people like me that won’t shop or avoid shopping this time of year. They buy their gifts all year long and stockpile them so that they can say they are finished by Thanksgiving.

Still, this is a great season, no matter what you celebrate. I love the good spirits this time of year and the fact that people seem to be in a generous frame of mind. In other words, more people are thinking about giving than receiving.

And in that vein, I suggest the following list of 10 things to do this holiday season in the way of giving, without it involving your normal gift list. I guarantee the more of these kinds of things that you do, the brighter this holiday season will feel for you.

1. Invite friends over and entertain them. Show them you appreciate them.

2. Bring a meal to a friend who is sick, or overwhelmed.

3. Buy some gifts for total strangers – children in foster care, or though various toy drives and other giving programs.

4. Clean out your closets and donate, donate, donate! Not only will you get an end of year tax deduction, but you will reduce clutter and someone else will benefit from your donation.

5. Be extra kind to your pets. Give them extra attention, extra scratch sessions, a special meal.

6. Get on the phone and call your relatives- particularly the ones who aren’t on your regular rotation. They will love to hear your voice and know you care.

7. Offer to watch a child or children for a few hours to help someone out.

8. Try to thank your service workers in person and show them your appreciation this time of year.

9.  Let someone harried go in front of you in line in the bank, the grocery store, or where ever you might be.

10. Smile, make eye contact with as many people as possible, and wish them Happy Holidays.

Wishing all a very happy joyous holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!


  • What a great list..the bucket list “pails” in comparison!:) ‘Cause unlike a bucket list, this is one you do for others..not yourself. I’m a fellow MOT who LOVES Christmas..from the music that I never get tired of, even the Muzak version, to the gorgeous display of lights to Christmas movies. But I hate shopping all year long, not just this season. Just not in my genes…

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