It can be a hectic time of year as deadlines are looming and everyone is already dreaming of a few weeks off.

Whatever mood you’re in, Christmas is the perfect time to spread some Santa-like kindness and generosity to people around us. Random Acts of Kindness are an effective way to ease our overworked minds, and top ourselves up in all the right ways.

Whether it’s sneaking off and leaving something for someone to discover later, or watching their joy in front of you, you’ll always be grateful that you took a moment out of your day to brighten someone else’s.

Here’s 5 easy and affordable random acts of kindness that you could try in the lead up to Christmas this year:

  1. Shout the next person in line. Pick your favourite coffee, sandwich or decadent hot chocolate then tell your barista to include an extra one with your order for the next person who asks for one. Your barista’s face will light up at your suggestion. If you check back with them when you’re in next, you’ll normally find the trend followed long after you started it. People love to pay it forward, so get the ball rolling.
  2. Take a few minutes to help someone. Do you have office chores or a task that someone has to do but struggles with or down right dislikes? Why not help them out and leave a quick sticky note saying “You are welcome. Enjoy the rest of your day and take a few minutes to relax instead”.
  3. Call a friend or family member that you don’t speak to often, or arrange to have a spontaneous catch up. This time of year can be lonely for some people while everyone else is busy or celebrating. Brighten their day and spread a little Christmas joy with the gift of a conversation. You’ll experience the undeniable joy that comes from knowing that you are doing something good.
  4. Top up expired parking meters as you walk past or see any under 15 minutes. A few dollars spread over a handful of parking metres could save someone a fine and the relief they’ll feel when they see a number flashing back at them will be immense. We’ve all been there, and it’ll make you feel like Santa spreading joy with only a few spare coins.
  5. Give a genuine thank you for doing something that can at times be taken for granted. It may be a partner who night after night prepares a delicious meal for you after a long day with the kids, or a co-worker who always starts your day off right with a quick joke in the tea room as you walk to your desks. It’s nice to be reminded that the things we do for others, even willingly, are seen and appreciated. It’ll leave them glowing and the goodness flowing.

Random acts of kindness aren’t about excess spending or hours of preparation. They’re one small gesture that brightens someone’s day.

Let’s spread a little bit of random kindness this year.

This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.