Photo by *D a r i n k a*

Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to turn someone’s day around.

Three years ago, I worked as an intern in my town’s public library. I spent many mornings there typing up educational programs at the head librarian’s computer, surrounded by just bookcases. The job was a lonely one because the library hours were sparse. One day, a man walked into the library and handed me a cup of cappuccino.

“Just thought you’d enjoy something warm,” he said with a smile, and disappeared through the door.

That one extremely simple act has stuck with me over the past few years as being one of the most genuine expressions of kindness.

So why not do something nice for a person at random? If you need advice on how to make someone happy, the following are some favourite ideas from Thank Goodness It’s Monday, including contributions from the comments.

1. Smile at a stranger
2. Put a quarter in someone’s expired meter
3. Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru
4. Buy flowers at your grocery store and give them to the cashier on the way out
5. Call your parents to apologize for when you were a brat (especially if you have kids)
6. Recreate one of your first dates with your significant other
7. Put a post-it note on the bathroom mirror for your significant other, just to say I love you
8. For kids, eat ice cream for dinner
9. Smile as you’re holding the door open for themselves
10. Tell your boss that they’re doing a good job

Photo by iLoveButter

11. Tell your boss your co-worker is doing a good job
12. At the office, brew a fresh pot of coffee
13. Give flowers to the receptionist
14. Take a friend out for supper for no reason
15. Let the other driver take the parking spot you’re competing for
16. Give your friend chocolates, for no reason
17. Let your child pick what’s for dinner, and have them help you prepare it
18. Write a letter to a teacher who has influenced you
19. Buy someone a present, but don’t tell them who it’s from
20. Mow your neighbour’s lawn or shovel their driveway in the winter
21. Tell somebody in customer service that they’re doing a great job
22. Carry someone elses groceries to their car
23. Leave goodies in your mailbox for the mailman
24. Buy lunch for a homeless personally
25. Teach your kid the Chicken Dance

Community Connection

Feel like being generous? Share how you’ve made someone’s day. Also, check out the Passports With a Cause project, or consider giving some real meaningful gifts this holiday season.