The holidays are commonly synonymous with empathy and compassion. During this period, we tend to see increased emphasis on charitable outreach and philanthropic involvement, and these habits remind us of our good morals as we head into the new year.


There are a variety of ways you can give to others during the holiday season, but which methods are best for you? To help narrow your options, here are a few of the best ways channel your generosity.


Enter a charitable event you normally would avoid

We hear every year about charitable 5ks, community meals, and toy drives, but we tend to avoid participation while commending those who do participate. This year, consider being a member of the latter group; push yourself out of your comfort zone and give back in a new way; you might even have fun and discover a new hobby or inspiration.


Surprise a total stranger

The next time you are in a drive-thru line, pay for the person behind you in line — do not think, just do it. These are the types of spontaneous surprises that can change a person’s whole aspect on humanity and on the world around them. During the holidays, generous surprises to strangers go a long way, and they provide a surge of excitement that is mostly unparalleled.


Utilize Amazon Smile, and similar services

Amazon Smile service allows users to choose a charity to receive a portion of their Amazon spending. The service is as simple as that, and it represents a new type of giving back, via technology, that continues to grow in prevalence. You are probably doing a lot of shopping on Amazon during this time of year anyway, so consider making this minor change to your buying routine.


Pass the message to your children

Sometimes, giving back does not have to warrant physical giving. If you have children, be sure to teach them about the importance of generosity and empathy, using your giving habits as an example. You will essentially be giving back by enabling others to give back, instilling a tradition of compassion that your children can then pass on to their children. These efforts, across multiple families and households, will allow these aspects of the holidays to live on.