Kind gestures are the best. While it's fun to get a new yoga mat or a new food processor as a gift, sometimes there's nothing better than receiving a friendly helping hand. So, if you dig receiving kind gestures, don't you think your friends and family would, too? This year, consider giving your friends and family some "free" holiday gifts in the form of a kind gesture. The recipient will more than likely remember what you've done for them better than that generic whatsit your were planning on buying a year from now, anyhow.
1. Clean someone's home
Show me a person who says they enjoy cleaning their home after the holidays and I'll show you a liar. Cleaning up burnt pumpkin pie filling off the oven floor and wrapping up all those holiday decorations is the absolute worst. That's why offering a free, post-holiday house cleaning is so awesome.
2. Walk a neighbor's dog once a week for a year
I don't know about you, but there are some days that I would rather not walk my dogs. They are annoying at times and they pull on my arm whenever they see, well, anything move. If you have a friend, or a neighbor, who has a dog, offer to walk their pooch once a week for a year (or a month, if you'd rather). Every time they get to enjoy that extra cup of coffee in the morning they will think of you and be totally thankful.
3. Make a batch of cookies every month
OK, this one costs a bit of money, but seriously -- who doesn't love freshly baked cookies? You can keep with the seasons and use fresh, local ingredients to keep your recipient guessing what type of cookie he will get next.
4. Tell a friend in need you'll be there for them when they need a pick-me-up
We've all had bad years. But you know what makes life just a bit easier to live? Confiding in a good friend. Write your buddy a heartfelt message and tell her you'll be there for her whenever she needs you this year -- no questions asked. Sure, it'll be a commitment, but your friendship will inevitably be stronger after the next 365 days.
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