With the holiday’s right around the corner, it is really easy to get caught up in the stress of it all. I love this time of year, but a lot of people don’t because they get too caught up in the hype and they don’t sit down to really take in and appreciate what’s important. I find that there are two types of people that I typically run into around this time of year: the overly friendly and the overly rude. (I mean, those people exist all year, but I find that their true colors really shine at this time of the year.)
I don’t know about you, but I find it much easier to be friendly. Here are some things that you can do to brighten someone’s day. This list is not just geared toward the holidays, these are things that you can do all year round, but make sure to try a little harder at this time of the year to make people’s days, you never know what they’re going through.
1. Hold the door.
It's such a simple thing, but there are so many people who don't hold doors and it's so rude. Don't be one of those people. Hold the door for the person behind you, especially if you see that they are carrying a lot of things.
2. Say please and thank you.
Again, such a simple thing that some people just don't do. Use your manners and say please and thank you when people help you out. It's polite and doesn't take any energy at all. Everyone appreciates politeness.
3. Do one good deed a day.
I don't mean that you need to save someone's life every single day, but doing a small good deed a day never hurt anyone. You could do absolutely anything ranging from telling the person walking in front of you that they dropped something and pick it up for them to helping an elderly person carry their groceries to their car.
4. Smile at strangers.
Smiles go such a long way. When I smile at people and they smile back, it makes me feel so nice. It's polite and makes you seem super approachable, which is never a bad thing. The world is full of rude people; don't be one of them if you can help it.
5. Compliment someone's hair, outfit, etc.
If you like someone's hair, tell them. If you love their shirt, ask them where they got it. A genuine compliment goes such a long way. Don't feel weird about it, chances are by complimenting someone you'll make their entire day.
6. Compliment someone's smile.
As much as I love getting compliments about my hair, outfit, etc., when I get a compliment about my smile it makes me so very happy. Those sincere compliments make my entire day and are the ones that I remember the most. Never be afraid to say something nice to someone, it could be just what they need to hear that day.
7. Write thank you notes.
If you throw a party, write thank you notes to your guests for attending. If a friend did something nice for you recently, write him or her a thank you note. A simple gesture that will go greatly appreciated, I promise.
8. Write any kind of note.
Speaking of notes, nobody really sends anything in the mail anymore. Handwritten notes and letters aren't really a thing anymore. Everything is through texts or posts on Facebook. There is nothing quite like a handwritten note. Surprise a loved one with a note, even if it's just to say that you're thinking of them.
9. Buy someone coffee (or tea).
Pay for someone's coffee or tea one day. It can be the stranger in line behind you that you made small talk with or a friend.
10. Offer to give a friend a ride.
If you know a friend needs to be somewhere but is struggling to find a ride, offer one to them. If they offer to give you gas money, don't take it. Drive them because you want to and don't ask for anything in return.
11. Catch up with an old friend.
It's so easy to lose touch with people as you get older. Catch up with old friends when you have the chance. Chances are, your bonds with them are stronger than most people because they grew up by your side. Don't take these people for granted
12. Send an "I miss you" or "This reminds me of you!" text to someone you haven't talked to in a while.
Speaking of old friends, text them. Remind them that you are thinking of them. It doesn't have to be a long heartfelt text, it can be anything. As long as they know that you're thinking of them, it'll be sure to put a smile on their face.
13. Call up your grandparents and say hi.
If you're lucky enough to still have your grandparents around, you should give them a call. As we get older, we tend to forget that our family members are getting older too. Cherish the time that you have with your grandparents. Talk to them about your classes and your friends. It'll make their entire day.
14. Treat someone to dinner.
It doesn't have to be some crazy expensive meal. You can offer to cook something or if you're like me and you can't cook to save your life, you can take them to a cute little diner. Everyone loves food, so why not do something nice for a friend and treat them to a burger and fries?
15. Make cookies for someone.
Who doesn't love cookies? My day would be made if someone made me some homemade cookies.
16. Let someone ahead of you at the grocery checkout line.
If the grocery store is packed, or if the person behind you looks like they are in a rush, let them in front of you. I’m sure they will be grateful for it.
17. Leave a nice tip for your server.
Servers work really hard. If you can leave a generous tip for your server every once in a while, do it. It’ll make their night.
18. Make a donation.
When you’re checking out at a store and they ask you if you want to donate to a charity, say yes. Obviously sometimes we just don't have the money to do that, but when you do have a few extra dollars it’ll feel good to know that you’re giving it to people who are less fortunate than you.
19. If you notice that someone shares a common interest with you, start a conversation!
If you notice that someone is wearing a band shirt of a band you like or reading one of your favorite books, start a conversation about it. I know that if I see someone wearing a Taylor Swift shirt, my first instinct is to go up to them and say “Oh my god, I love your shirt!” I don’t usually do it, but I should start. I know that if someone came up to me and said that, I would be so happy. Who knows? That could be the start of a friendship.
20. Give someone a helpful tip.
If you are in Sephora and you see someone struggling to decide between two types of makeup, give them a tip if you have experience with makeup.
21. Make a care package!
If you have a friend or a relative in college who lives far away, send them a little care package. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but just the idea that you are thinking of them while they are away will be sure to brighten their day.
22. Leave a nice post it note somewhere.
Before you leave your dorm room, leave a cute post it note for your roommate. If you live with your parents, write them a cute note and leave it for them to find.
23. Buy someone their favorite candy.
A simple gesture that’ll go such a long way.
24. Offer to run some errands for a friend or family that you know is overwhelmed.
If you know that your aunt is really overwhelmed with work lately, give her a call and ask her if she needs help with anything at home, or maybe offer to do the grocery shopping for her that week. Even if she says no, I’m sure she’ll appreciate the offer.
25. Give someone you love a hug.
If you know that someone is having a rough time, give them a hug. Hugs are the best medicine, besides laughter, for somebody who is struggling with something.
It doesn’t take a lot to brighten someone’s day. These are some ways that you can make someone’s day a little bit better. Although you should always try to do nice things like these throughout the year, make a little extra effort to be kind this holiday season.