Penned in 1957 by beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, these wise words ring through my head every December. Because if, in fact, we really want to spread joy and good will toward all people this holiday season, shouldn’t we be opening more than our wallets to show the world we care? There are so many ways to share love and express thoughtfulness to others. 

But how, you ask? 

After talking to your Southshore team, I’ve assembled a list of 31 random acts of kindness to get us started for the month of December. Here’s hoping the momentum of this catalog of compassion carries us all well into the new year.

  1. 1. Let someone ahead of you at the supermarket.
  2. 2. Donate non-perishables to a food bank.
  3. 3. Surprise a friend with coffee.
  4. 4. Donate blood.
  5. 5. Bring in a neighbor’s garbage cans.
  6. 6. Take a walk in a park and collect any garbage you find.
  7. 7. Put money in a stranger’s parking meter.
  8. 8. Handwrite a heartfelt thank you note to someone.
  9. 9. Compliment a parent on his or her child.
  10. 10. Write to a deployed soldier via Operation Gratitude.
  11. 11. Treat someone to lunch just because.
  12. 12. When a child is fundraising, buy a glass/bag/box/ticket.
  13. 13. Leave notes with positive messages for family members and co-workers.
  14. 14. Put your phone away when visiting with a friend.
  15. 15. Hold the door or elevator for someone.
  16. 16. Pay the toll for the car behind you when traveling.
  17. 17. Visit in person with an elderly family member or friend.
  18. 18. Volunteer … at a soup kitchen, nursing home, animal shelter, etc.
  19. 19. Invite someone who will be alone for the holidays to join your party.
  20. 20. Offer to watch a friend’s children or pets at no charge.
  21. 21. Forgive someone … and tell that person about it.
  22. 22. Apologize to someone … with no caveats.
  23. 23. Read to a child.
  24. 24. Donate gently used clothing and blankets to a homeless shelter.
  25. 25. Compliment a co-worker to the boss.
  26. 26. Bring treats to be shared at the office.
  27. 27. Give up your seat on the plane, train, etc. so travelers can sit together.
  28. 28. Bring a meal to a sick friend.
  29. 29. Be a courteous driver. Let someone else merge in, have the good parking space, etc.
  30. 30. Write a positive online review for a business you support.
  31. 31. Pray … for others.

If the Grinch can do it, there’s hope for all of us, right? 

Michele Robert Poche