Now that it is December, many of us are beginning to think about the upcoming holidays—not just about decorating our homes and listening to festive music, but also ways to help out locally. If you are looking for opportunities to give back to your community but don’t know where to start, the Chronicle has you covered; the following activities can be done with groups or individually, and some don’t even require the intermediate of an organized group.
- Caroling – This is a simple activity that can be done anytime, anywhere. While the only instrument required is your voice, if you are feeling particularly musical, you can enhance your performance with a guitar, ukulele, recorder, or other easily transportable instrument. There is also a wide variety of holiday songs to choose from and a diversity of audience members to entertain, from neighbors to children to elderly citizens of your community.
- Making Christmas Cookies – One of my personal favorite activities to partake in during the holidays is baking, but more specifically, baking cookies. In addition to baking them, you can also express your creativity through decoration. There are a multitude of types to try out: gingerbread, sugar, or even just a simple chocolate chip. Moreover, giving them away to friends, teachers, and local organizations is a great way to spread joy through a warmer and more personal approach.
- Luminaries – This activity is so simple yet so beautiful if done by enough people. One of my favorite Christmas Eve traditions is driving around Chatham with my family and looking at Christmas lights. The set-up is simple; all you need are some bags, kitty litter, and candles. The subtle glow of the luminaries lining the streets adds just the right amount of holiday spirit to any neighborhood.
- Gift-giving – This one is rather obvious, but no matter what you celebrate, you can always give someone a gift. There is nothing better than seeing the look on someone’s face upon receiving the perfect present. Shopping for gifts can also be fun, provided you choose the optimal time of day to get it done; grabbing a cup of coffee and walking around the mall for a couple of hours can be a great source of relaxation.
And there you have it: some classic ideas to bring joy into the holiday experiences of others. I hope this list inspires you to find a way to give back this season!