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Happy Holidays from Pacific Marriage & Family Therapy Network


The holidays are cheerful, but they can also be a busy time of year for many, with crowded schedules, shopping and stress. That doesn’t mean you have to lose the giving spirit!

The best gifts often aren’t material ones. Small acts of kindness that show you’re thinking of someone can mean more—and cost less—than a physical item. Write a thank you note to a local volunteer. Offer a friend a ride to the airport. Donate anonymously. Even the smallest acts of good can go a long way and bring a smile to someone’s face.

These 10 ideas make it easy to keep up the kindness this holiday season.

  1. Thank volunteers. If you’re unable to make a volunteer commitment this season, thank those who can. Send a note to your local fire dept or a thank you letter to shelter volunteers. Or make sure those Salvation Army volunteers ringing holiday bells stay warm too with gloves, hats and coffee or hot cocoa (and donate to their cause!).

  2. Mind your manners. When you’re out and about this holiday season, small acts of kindness can make a world of difference. Say thank you to your postal worker, let someone go in front of you in the crowded grocery line or smile at a stressed-out employees who may be overworked.

  3. Buy—or bake—a little extra. Another way to spread cheer without breaking the bank—or your schedule—is by doing a little extra of something you were already planning. Baking Christmas cookies? Make an extra batch for the local nursing home. Cooking up a big meal? Drop some off at the homeless shelter. Or if you’re doing some shopping, purchase toys for children in need. There are plenty of programs, like the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree , that can make sure your gift gets to a child in need.

  4. Ease someone’s travel. Holiday months mean peak travel time—and the stress that comes with it. Give a friend or neighbor ride to the airport or train station, or offer to pick someone up. It will make a big difference amid overcrowded transit and delayed flight times!

  5. Spread the warmth. Heating and utility costs during winter months can climb quickly. Is there someone you know who’s short on cash? A family in the neighborhood going through a tough time? Call the electric company and anonymously pay their gas or electric bill for the month.

  6. Be a friend. The holidays may not be full of joy for everyone. They can be a lonely time for someone who has lost a loved one or doesn’t have nearby friends and family. If you know someone who finds the holidays tough, make sure to include them. Invite them to your gatherings, or just spend some extra time with them one on one. Be there when they need you, but know that if they want to be alone sometimes, that’s OK too.

  7. Donate anonymously. It doesn’t take long to go online, search out a cause that matters to you and make a donation. Before you donate, though, make sure you do your research. Use these tips to give back wisely.

  8. Write a letter to strengthen bonds. Many people have made a difference in your life. This season, remember to tell them. Write a letter to friend or loved one, or reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Expressing how you feel and how much they mean to you is the perfect holiday gift.

  9. Sing a song. What’s more festive, spirited and soothing than music? If you don’t know of a caroling group already, gather one together to make rounds in your neighborhood or take your tunes to an assisted living facility and fill the halls with song.

  10. Foster a pet. Make a new friend this season by fostering a cat or dog. Animal shelters can get chilly in winter weather, which is a great reason to take a pet back to your warm home. Do you love dogs, but not sure if you’re ready for the commitment? Or maybe you want to teach the kids the responsibilities that come with owning pet. For these reasons and more, taking care of an animal is a great way to spread the love this season.

Find more at Create the Good- For more ways to give—and give back—this season, visit Create the Good to find volunteer opportunities near you. With tools, ideas and inspiration, it’s easy to keep the candle burning on doing good all year round.

Republished from Create The Good,

To find out more about Pacific MFT Network and the services we offer, please visit our website,

Pacific Marriage and Family Therapy Network provides children, teens, adults of all ages, couples, and families with quality psychotherapy that gets results. We have several therapists on staff that have several different modalities of work, specializations and expertise. We can help clients experiencing anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, troubled relationships, addiction, eating disorders, stress, anger management, prenatal bonding, trauma, domestic violence, performance, whole life fitness, ADD/ADHD, autism, learning differences, religious crisis/struggles, LGBTQ issues, social skills, couples/marital, pre-marital, dating, break up recovery, parenting children, parenting teens, social anxiety, self esteem, substance use, panic, stress relief, cancer recovery, pre-surgical wellness, post-surgical wellness, disordered eating, postpartum depression, careers, grief & loss, divorce, co-parenting, childhood trauma, childhood behavior management, work & life balance, fatherhood, codependancy, or any other mental health issue. Pacific MFT Network is a professional network of highly skilled licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Interns that are committed to empowering a sense of self in our clients and helping them live the life they want. We do so by creating a relationship that is based on genuine care and concern, non-judgment, and support. Our mission is to help you help yourself live a happier and more satisfying life.

Main Office 310-612-2998

1230 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 300 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

2716 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite 3075 Santa Monica, CA 90405

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