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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

21 Priceless Ways to Spread a Smile This Holiday Season

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

21 Priceless Ways to Spread a Smile This Holiday Season by Diane MacEachern-Women’s Day

Here's a list of ways to put your own special stamp on the gifts you give this holiday season. In most cases, they involve spending very little money or time at the mall. But they're so creative and considerate, they're guaranteed to make your loved one’s smile. And isn't that the point?

  • Check their smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace if necessary.

Fire safety is of the utmost importance during the Christmas season and all year round!

  • Download the First Aid App and the SERVPRO App. The American Red Cross has a great app that provides essential information needed to handle common first aid situations. SERVPRO.com also has an App that you can use in case of emergencies. This stores all emergency numbers you may need – including your insurance company, police/fire dept. and the SERVPRO Professionals. Shovel their snow (or water their garden).

If you live in a region that gets a lot of snow, offering to shovel for someone else could be a godsend, especially if they're incapacitated or too busy with kids and work to squeeze in shoveling time, too. If you're in a warm, dry climate, pitch in by watering porch plants or the garden, especially when someone goes on vacation or has to go out of town on business or for an emergency.

  • Offer to watch kids so their parents can get a much-needed afternoon or evening out.
  • Feed their cat (or walk their dog).

Most pet owners need at least occasional help with their animals, especially when they can't be home for long stretches of time during the holiday.

  • Make them a meal.

Cook up a stew or casserole that can be frozen for a future dinner, or provide a "coupon" that can be redeemed when an emergency arises.

  • Bake them a cake.

Is anything more fun than getting a delicious cake made especially for you?

  • Give them an amaryllis bulb, already potted.

Amaryllis bulbs are wonderful because they start growing as soon as they're watered and within 6 weeks produce a gloriously big and beautiful flower. But don't just give someone the kit the bulb comes in. Actually, pot it in the dirt for them and wrap a sweet little bow around the pot. All they'll have to do is put it in a sunny window and water it once a week.

  • Help them wrap presents.

It can be almost as time consuming to wrap holiday presents as to buy them. Why not lend a hand?

  • Sharpen their knives.

Dull knives are the bane of every cook's existence. Use a sharpening stone to sharpen them yourself, or pick them up and take them to the local hardware store to get a better edge on them.

  • Knit them a scarf.

Find out their favorite colors, then buy a few skeins of yarn that combine them. If you're just learning to knit, you can still make a beautiful scarf knitting one row and purling the next.

  • Curate their closet.

Help your friends clear out their closets by helping her decide what's worth keeping and what should be donated. Hint: If they haven't worn something for at least two years, they probably won't wear it in the future. Take the discarded clothes to a local thrift store or make arrangements with Purple Heart or Salvation Army for a pick-up.

  • Put things they don't want on eBay, Craigslist or Freecycle.

From hiking boots, sports equipment and instruments to paintings, tools, and furniture, most people have a lot of stuff lying around. They might want to sell it online but don't know the first thing about how to do that successfully. Why not help them out?

  • Compile a one-of-kind mix CD.

Who are their top 10 favorite musical acts or musicians? Pull together two songs or performances from each one for 20 "greatest hits." Or, make a mix of music you've listened to together over time. A special mix for an upcoming road trip would be fun, too.

  • Detail their car.

Lots of people drive their car through the car wash but don't take the time to wipe up the frame, vacuum out the interior and trunk, or wash the inside windows. Give the gift of a clean car inside and out!

  • Change their lightbulbs.

This is a two-fer: one for your friend or family member, and one for the planet. Get a package of energy-saving LEDs and change out the bulbs in the most frequently used lights in the house, usually the kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom and porch.

  • Recycle their electronics.

Most people have a lot of old electronic gear just cluttering up their basement, attic, or home office. Pick it up for them, wipe the hard drives, and take it to the nearest e-waste center, which you can find on Earth911.com. Best Buy and Staples accept used gear as well. Mobile phones can usually be recycled at phone stores, or traded in at Gazelle.com.

  • Contribute to their favorite charity...

What cause is near and dear to your loved one's heart? Make a donation on their behalf. If they care about a cause but don't know which organization to support, get some 4-star recommendations from Charity Navigator.

  • Volunteer for their favorite charity.

Many organizations need volunteers as well as donations. Can you help your loved one staff a pet adoption day, run a toy or coat drive, hand out water at a fundraising race, deliver Meals on Wheels, or visit people in a nursing home? You can find more volunteer opportunities at VolunteerMatch.org.

  • Frame a meaningful picture.

It could be a photo of you and them together, an image of one of their accomplishments, or some shots of a place you visited together that will bring back fond memories.

  • Record their oral history.

Listen to some of the wonderful oral histories available online at StoryCorps.org for a sense of the kind of story your loved one might want to tell. Dohistory.org has put together a very helpful step-by-step guide to help come up with questions, record interviews, and edit the recording to be as long and in-depth as you'd like.

The entire team at SERVPRO of St Clair Shores would like to wish you and your loved ones Happy Holidays. May you be safe and joyful during the holiday season. We are always on standby Hero Ready for your emergencies at (586) 741-5050.

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