6 ways to boost your joy this holiday season

Colder weather, hot chocolate, festive decorations everywhere -- the sights and sounds of the holiday season are filling the air. It’s a time of love, celebration, fond memories, and giving of gifts.

Sometimes the stress and hectic pace of the holiday season can be wearing on your spirits. Here are six different ways to bring joy to others (and, as a result, to yourself!) during this holiday season: 

1. ‘Tis the season to be jolly…and it’s also the season of giving: Put the “happy” in the holidays for a local family this year by donating to The Foodbank’s Valley Food Relief campaign. Every donation helps tremendously to put holiday meals on the tables and smiles on the faces of needy families in our community. Every dollar donated provides food for four meals to The Foodbank’s network of food pantries, community kitchens, shelters and Kids Cafés.  

Holiday Lights on the Hill at Pyramid Hill

2. Take a Sunday evening drive around the city to see the lights: The holiday season can be so busy that, before you know it, it’s over and you realize that you didn’t even take a moment to enjoy it. Spend some quality time with friends and loved ones, and bring them with you to enjoy the beauty of the city and surrounding neighborhoods in all their holiday splendor. 

>>> RELATED: 10 must-see holiday light displays close to home 

3. Bake and deliver cookies to your neighbors and friends: Who doesn’t love a surprise of homemade baked goodies? It’s the “sweetest” way to say “happy holidays.” Plus, your house will smell wonderful for hours after! 

4. Volunteer at a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or your favorite nonprofit: You’ve heard the old saying that it’s better to give than to receive, and anyone who has volunteered at a local food pantry, soup kitchen or other favorite nonprofit can attest to the joy in doing for others…especially at the holidays. 

>>> RELATED: Where to volunteer in the Dayton area 

5. Perform a random act of kindness for a stranger: You never know what someone is going through or what they're struggling with. But you can make a huge difference simply by being kind. And random acts of kindness often have a ripple effect: your kind deed could inspire another good deed by someone else. 

6. Take five minutes every day to reflect upon your blessings: Never, ever take anything or anyone for granted. As you gather around the dinner table with family and friends this holiday season, take five minutes to count your blessings and remember those who aren’t as fortunate. 

There are many ways you can get in the holiday spirit this year. Consider spreading the spirit of the holiday season by donating to Valley Food Relief today, and help the 1-in-6 people in the Miami Valley who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A gift of just $10 will provide 40 meals for our hungry neighbors. Click here to help provide a holiday dinner to a Dayton family in need.