It’s time to get into the Spirit of Giving

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It may be hard to believe but December has quickly come upon us bringing with it holiday parties, winter parkas, snowy sidewalks and a sudden upsurge in sales of hot chocolate. At CharityVillage, the arrival of December means one more thing: it’s time for the Spirit of Giving.

Now an annual CharityVillage tradition, Spirit of Giving combines social media and real-life community engagement, using Twitter to encourage and share ideas for random acts of kindness. Every day in December, we’ll share a simple act that you can do to brighten someone’s day and make your community a better place. We also encourage our followers to spread the goodwill by tweeting their own suggestions using the #spiritofgiving hashtag. All you have to do is follow CharityVillage on Twitter. Easy, right? And you don’t even have to dress up as a giraffe to do it!

In addition to sharing the Spirit of Giving on Twitter, we’ll also update this page daily with the best ideas – so come back often and share your own ideas in the comments below.

Don’t feel left out, Facebook fans!

This year, we’re also bringing Spirit of Giving to Facebook. We've added a special tab to our Facebook page with a collection of #spiritofgiving badges that you can share with the important people in your life. All you have to do to get into the Spirit of Giving is ‘like’ CharityVillage on Facebook and then share the photos on the timelines of your family, friends and fans, bringing good cheer to all.

#spiritofgiving ideas for random acts of kindness

Give someone a sprig of thyme – with a promise to help them with anything they want.

Every time you grocery shop, buy extra canned foods and give them to the food bank.

Bake cupcakes and take them to your office. Here’s an award-winning recipe.

Give up your seat on public transit or pay someone else’s fare.

At the coffee shop, buy a coffee for someone waiting in line behind you.

Every day, give someone you meet a genuine compliment.

Make a big pot of soup or a casserole and take it over to a busy friend or neighbour.

Thank a busy retail employee – or better yet, tell their manager what a great job they’re doing.

Call someone you haven’t talked to in ages just to let them know you’re thinking of them.

If hosting a party, ask everyone to bring food or toys for the local food bank.

Purchase a bunch of socks, hats and gloves and donate them to a homeless shelter.

Hold the door open for others and thank them when they hold the door for you.

Salt or shovel your neighbour’s driveway. And don’t forget the sidewalks!

Help someone across the street who needs assistance.

Get off the computer and play with your kids or your pets. You’ll make their day!

Have a neighbour who is housebound? Offer to run some errands or spend time visiting.

Buy a hot drink for someone working or volunteering outside on a cold day.

Help others in need by giving blood.

Gather some gently used towels and bedding and donate to your local animal shelter.

Leave an extra large tip for a restaurant server.

If your neighbours aren’t home, bring their recycling or garbage bins in from the street.

Let someone with fewer items than you go ahead of you in a cashier lineup.

Return a shopping cart that's been left in the middle of a parking lot.

Know someone who is alone over the holidays? Stop by for a visit.

Tell your friends and family how much you love and appreciate them.

See someone struggling with a lot of shopping bags? Help them carry the bags to their car.

Spend an hour picking up trash on your street.

Give someone a big hug.

If you borrow a friend or relative's car, fill up the gas tank before returning it.

Be a designated driver and help everyone get home safely.

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