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  • Five free or cheap random acts of kindness for the holiday season


    It would be good, of course, to practice random acts of kindness throughout the year, and I do. But I think, especially with strangers, they’re easier to do at this time of year. So here are five that I’ve come up with – I’d appreciate it if you’d add your own ideas too!

    1. Send a note and/or small gift to someone who’s lost a loved one. The holidays can be difficult for someone who’s lost a loved one, so I like to send a note or gift acknowledging that.
    2. Leave coupons next to the products they’re for so other customers can use them. This one is actually easy to do at any time of year, especially if they’re for products you’re not going to buy yourself. And I know from reading the coupon forums that they’re much appreciated.
    3. Ask a cashier what their favorite candy bar is, and then buy it for them when you’re checking out.
    4. Visit those who don’t get many visitors at a nursing a home. Bring some cookies or cupcakes, and then listen to their stories.
    5. Put change in parking meters that are close to expiring. Thanks to Clever Dude for letting me know that this is illegal in some jurisdictions. An alternative, if you are driving where this applies, is to pay the toll fee for the car behind you.


    1. Great suggestions! Thanks!

    2. A great reminder that it is the thought that matters most!

      Thank you.

    3. Anonymous says:

      At a fast food restaurant, buy the next person’s order.

    4. There is a great children’s book that helps teach kids the importance of being kind. You should check it out! It is called Other People’s Shoes. Here’s a link:

    5. Clever Dude says:

      Be careful about dropping coins in others’ meters as it’s illegal in some/many municipalities.

    6. Chief Family Officer says:

      @Anon – That’s a nice idea!

      @Adam – Thanks, I’ve never heard of the book but I’ll check it out.

      @Clever Dude – Thanks! I’ve updated the post.

    7. Chelo Marroquin says:

      I love the suggestion for the checker at the grocery store. Way too many times there is a great checker that gets treated terribly by people all day. What a easy inexpensive way to say “Thanks”.

    8. Tony -scrAnton says:

      Instead of crossing it out keep it up it’s a good suggestion, you can still do this in the jurisdictions that are illegal if you give the quarter to the owner of the car before they have a chance to drop their own change,