The winter season is a time that has most people thinking about how they can give back. Whether this means reaching out to friends and family, buying gifts, or donating your time to those less fortunate.

Givers are people who genuinely love spreading happiness to others. They do whatever they can to make those around them feel warm and fuzzy inside. This may take the form of giving gifts, helping out with a charity or spending more quality time with a spouse.

Perhaps you want to become a more loving and compassionate person to your close friends and family or maybe it’s your goal to spread a little more joy in the world. Whatever your reason for wanting to be a giver this season, we’re giving you 6 great ideas for how to make the end of 2018 a good one.

  1. Make Somebody Smile

One way you can be a great giver this year is by choosing to smile.

There are many things in life that can stress you out. Bills, health concerns, raising children and feeling like you don’t have enough time to stop and take a breath can be stressful. You can always find something new to stress about, so why not wash your hands of anxiety and choose to look on the bright side?  

Be a positive influence on those around you by maintaining a can-do attitude. See the cup as half full going forward and make it your goal to make at least one person smile every day. This can be especially beneficial if you choose to do so with your spouse, as couples who share a laugh together report feeling more supported and satisfied overall in their relationship.

  1. Be Generous with your Time

Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season prevent you from spending quality time with your family.

Spending time with the little ones is a great way to reinforce healthy family bonds. Have a movie night, game night, or go exploring and play tourist in your own town as a family. Even something as simple and sweet as camping out in the living room can do wonders for strengthening the family bond.

Remember to carve out some quality time for your romantic partner, as well.

Research regarding the importance of a date night in marriage found that couples who spent quality time together on a regular basis were less likely to get divorced. They also boosted their intimate relationship, commitment to one another, experienced less stress and heightened their ability to communicate with one another.

Talk about a great opportunity!

Don’t let your spouse slip away from you this season. De-stress together by scheduling a regular date night each week where you can go out, relax, romance, and enjoy one another’s company. You’ll be very glad you did.

  1. Help the Needy

During the yuletide season, it’s common for people to start thinking about the best ways they can help out their community. You may choose to donate clothing or toys to a shelter, volunteer at a soup kitchen, give a generous financial donation to your religious institution or local charity. The opportunities are endless.

Some of the kindest gestures don’t cost a thing. Simply look for ways to be kinder to people in your community. Hold the door open for someone, buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive-through, offer to let someone go ahead of you in the checkout line. There are many kind and simple things you can do to show more kindness.

  1. Cook Something Amazing

This season is all about food, food, and more food! You can be a giver to your loved ones this season by hosting a dinner or simply by giving the gift of food.

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but we think the truth might be the same for men and women alike. Cook your friends or family’s favorite dish or dessert and bring it over as a surprise or help contribute to a big family dinner.

You can also use your cooking skills to help the needy this year. Hosting a bake sale, donate food to shelters, or offer your services as a cook for those less fortunate. You’ll be glad you did.

  1. Be Complimentary

Givers love to give other people sincere and genuine compliments. Those closest in your life do a lot for you. For example, your spouse works hard every day to help contribute financially to your household. They may cook, clean, care for the kids, and still make time for date nights and work deadlines.

Share your appreciation for those close to you this year. Tell your wife how beautiful she looks, tell the kids you appreciate how good they are, and remind your family that you love all they do for you.

  1. Send Thank You Notes

One way you can be a great giver this Yuletide season is by writing letters.

It’s easy to keep up with friends and family who don’t live near us through social media, but there’s something so classic and special about receiving a physical letter in the mail. Skip store-bought, pre-written cards and write your friends and family something from the heart this season.

You can also write a personal letter for that someone special in your life. Write a romantic letter to your spouse, detailing all the things you love about them. They will adore this old-fashioned approach to romance.

Your spouse isn’t the only person who is worthy of receiving an amazing hand-written card this season. Write your kids a funny, silly, or sweet letter.

You may not have little helpers, but learning how to be a giver in someone’s life is as easy as looking around and seeing who needs a helping hand this season. Look for ways to make others smile, be generous with your time and energy, and pay special attention to your loved ones.

Author Bio: The author, Rachael is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com that supports healthy happy marriages.