The holiday season isn't about getting presents, it's about doing good by helping others and giving back to your community. Here are a few ways to do that this holiday season.

1. Participate in a charity run/walk/5k.

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Right now various local organizations are having turkey trots, reindeer runs, and other various holiday-themed races in order to raise funds. Help them out and get in your steps for the month to work off all of your Aunt Pearl’s award-winning apple pie.

2. Volunteer at a shelter.

Whether it be an animal shelter cuddling the puppies that wandered too far from home, or at a homeless shelter helping those that are a little lost in life, just be there to offer a hand and keep the lost souls out of the cold.

3. Donate a bag of food to a local animal shelter.

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Dog food can get expensive especially for shelters where they have lots of animals. Instead of taking yourself on a shopping spree, stay away from Sephora and head toward the pet store.

4. Run a drive for blankets, boots, and coats.

Midwestern and New England winters are known for their bitterly cold and extreme snowfall. People need blankets and the like to keep from getting frostbite and sometimes they don’t have the resources for those winter necessities. Help them out and ask people in your community to bring on new and gently used winter items for donation.

5. Go caroling door to door.

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Spread the holiday spirit! I would probably cry if someone showed up on my porch to serenade me with “Frosty the Snowman.”

6. Volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

Why not? It’ll be fun.

7. Tell a someone to have a good day.

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I try my best to wish everyone I talk to a good day because the smile I see on their face when I leave makes me genuinely happy.

8. Donate food to a pantry.

Christmas is a big food holiday and people like to have enough to last them through a storm if needed.

9. Make your neighbor holiday cookies.

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Who doesn’t like cookies!?

10. Volunteer at your neighborhood’s rec center.

Kids are home for winter break and so are you. Volunteer to play a few rounds of basketball with a

11. Offer to babysit (no charge) for someone who needs a break.

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I know that parents love their kids, but I know from experience as a child that by the third day of winter break they were exhausted and ready for a break to be over and as someone who has been a sitter since middle school, babysitting can get expensive. Offer to watch someone’s kids so they can get a night out without having to worry about if little Tommy can go to college because they had to pay the sitter.

12. Shovel someone’s sidewalk for them.

I have never seen my dad as happy as the day after a record snowfall when he wrangled my brothers and me out the door to help him shovel the sidewalk to find that our neighbor had already done it for us.

13. Shovel and salt your own sidewalks.

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As someone who walked home from school for the entire time I was in school, I can assure you that every child who walks on your sidewalk will be eternally grateful if you salt your sidewalk.

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So, take a minute or an hour or maybe even a day an try to do one or maybe all of these. You might make someone's day or even change a life. Happy Holidays!