The holiday season is often described as the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be one of the most stressful times. To help me and my family embrace the season not the stress, I’ve tried to create a lot of experiences for us – holiday movie nights, baking, attending seasonal live events, etc.

This year, my son entered his teens and so I feel even more aware of needing to place the focus on the joy of this time. So this year, we’re implementing a 31-day random acts of kindness challenge.

I can already say we may not be perfect at this but even to complete a handful of these will add to our memories and joy of this December.

Donate old towels, sheets and blankets to our local animal shelter.
Put out seed to feed the birds.
Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
Bake treats and take them to the police station or fire station with thank you cards for their service.
At the grocery store, buy a gift card, and then turn around and hand it to the person behind you or to the cashier.
Buy a plant. Put it in a terracotta pot. Write positive words that describe a friend on the pot. Give it to that friend!
Write kind notes and leave them in random books at the library.
Drop coins around a playground for kids to find.
Leave an extra big tip at a restaurant.
Find a Little Free Library in your community and drop off some books.
Visit a local park today and pick up litter.
Smile at everyone we see today.
Leave a $5 bill on the pump at a gas station.
Candy cane bomb a parking lot.
Donate food to our local food pantry.
Deliver holiday cards with messages to a local retirement home – ask the front desk to deliver to people who may not often get visitors.
Write kind, encouraging notes and leave them in random hymnals at church.
Donate toys to charity.
Sign up for a shift at your local soup kitchen.
Put change in the Salvation Army bucket.
Make a thank you card with a sweet treat or gift card for our mailman.
Hand out water today to people on the street with $5 bill. Maybe socks too?
Buy coffee for the person behind us in line at coffee today.
Place 10 positive body image notes in various jean pockets at a store today.
Take flowers or treats to the nurses’ station at our nearest hospital on Christmas Eve.
Practice self-kindness and spend 30 minutes doing something you love today.
Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
Surprise a neighbor with freshly baked cookies or treats!
Visit the hospital and tape $1 bills on vending machines for snacks or sodas.
Leave a $5 bill on the change machine at the laundromat.

Find opportunities to give compliments. Don’t just think it. Say it.