1. Be someone’s lay-a-way angel, or pay for someone’s dinner. Stop in at a major store near you that does law-a-way, and ask if you can make a small payment on someone’s account, or pay off the whole thing if you can. Or, you can pick up someone else’s check at a restaurant. I witnessed this last year while working at Applebee’s and it made me cry. The looks on the kids’ faces when they realized someone took care of it was wonderful. Everyone loves being surprised!
2. Give your leftovers to someone in need. I always take my leftovers home with me, no matter what is left. I used to just leave them in the fridge, but now I like to give them to someone in need on the street. Despite what they are doing or how they got there, everyone needs to eat, and it must be terrifying not knowing how or where you will get your next meal.
3. Give a big tip to a waiter, waitress, or other service industry worker. I got a $200 tip this weekend catering a home-party and it was the best surprise ever. Happy Holidays indeed!
4. Leave a holiday card as a surprise for someone. If you’re able, maybe sneak in a small gift card or something nice into it as well. Imagine some’s surprise when they come home from work and find a card with a $5.00 Starbucks card attached from a kind stranger.
Have any other ideas? Leave them in the comments, or please let me know any other stories of Paying It Forward. I’m a sucker for a good heart-warming story!