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RBC celebrates and applauds the simple acts of kindness demonstrated in our Caribbean communities. Here are six simple acts to help make a difference this holiday. #Actsofkindness

After the challenges of the past year, what are you looking forward to the most as the holiday season approaches? Family, festivities, and joy may just be some of the words that come to mind. Additionally, while kindness is expressed throughout the year, the holiday season is especially considered to be the season of giving.

Whether tangible or intangible, there are many ways you can uplift spirits and share joy through acts of kindness. When you think about doing a random act of kindness, the cost may be a factor that thwarts your best efforts. Read on for six creative ways to can give back to your community during the holidays, and throughout the year.

1. Don’t toss it, donate it

The season is a time for giving and can also a time of decluttering. When getting rid of items you no longer use, consider donating instead of tossing them. It may take extra effort to package and drop off items, but it will certainly be appreciated by someone in need. Start with the churches, non-profit organisations or charities closest to you that can assist in redistributing the items.

2. Consider gifting baked goods

Nothing beats a slice of homemade fruit cake. If you’re skilled in the kitchen, you can opt for gifting baked goods and other delicacies this season. Treat neighbours, family and friends to pastries, desserts or jams.

3. Craft handmade items

There was a time when almost all gifts were handmade. Especially greeting cards. Others will surely appreciate the thought and effort of handmade items. Perhaps you can challenge yourself to give at least three handmade gifts or cards this year. To help those on a budget, you may even suggest a handmade-only gift exchange. Use this as an opportunity to get creative and have fun.

4. Become a community volunteer

Consider supporting non-profit organisations in your community by volunteering your time. This could be a one-time activity such as packing up or delivering food hampers or an ongoing commitment where you regularly offer your skills and services pro bono.

5. Donate your time with family and friends

Are there family members or friends who could use a much-needed break? Offer to do chores for an elderly neighbour or relative. Or perhaps babysit for a busy family member. Consider doing some light housework for someone you know who needs extra support right now. Or simply spending time with those who may be lonely, especially during this time of year. Your simple presence may help to brighten their mood and remind them that someone cares.

6. Consider supporting local businesses

If you plan to buy Christmas gifts this year, consider supporting local businesses in your community. Many businesses are slowly building back — anything you can do to support them during this time could help make a difference.

Acts of kindness don’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time. Your thoughtfulness, effort and compassion can go a long way in making someone’s day and supporting your community.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.