Hello. I am just going to respond preemptively here to the many emails and messages I expect to receive, as I have received around this time of year for the past few years. In answer to your question: No. There are no volunteer opportunities on Christmas Day. That would require that a nonprofit staff member work to attend to your needs to volunteer, and they deserve the day off to celebrate the holiday. It’s also why there are so few volunteer activities on other holidays in general. Creating volunteer activities takes work!
That being said, you are welcome to do something good for someone without the aid of a staff person or a pre-arranged activity. Here’s a list of some of those things you can do:
1. Take some food and cookies to a person on the street, the lady stuck working at Walgreen’s, the guys at the fire station, or the aunt in the nursing home you never see. Stop and visit for a minute to say hi. Give them a hug.
2. Donate to as many nonprofits as you like online. Go through your email inbox and find the ones that offer a match or the ones whose emails you’ve enjoyed. Click through and make a donation, maybe even set it up as a recurring donation so you give to them the same amount every month. #gifthatkeepsongiving
3. Go online and donate your unwanted gift cards. This article outlines a number of ways to do that, some of them more complicated than others. You might also stick them in an envelope addressed to your favorite local nonprofit with a note that says, “For your staff or clients. Happy New Year!” It would make their whole damn day.
4. Enjoy your family. Play with your new toys, make videos and funny photos with fun apps on your phone, “interview” and record gramps for posterity, go for a drive or walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights… Connect with people. It contributes to your and their long-term health and happiness.
5. Resolve to volunteer in 2019. Search online and sign up now for trainings, if needed. Browse this site and others to see what connects with you and take that first step today.
6. Feeling overwhelmed by too many gifts? Put them in piles now to give away tomorrow. Take a look at our popular “How to Donate Stuff” list for all the ways you can give, recycle, and donate.
7. If you do go out, pay for the table next to you, the person in line behind you, or tip extra big. Give them a wave and a smile.
8. Volunteer in your own home. Okay, maybe this is because I’m always the person in my house who makes “holiday magic” happen. But remember that there’s actually no such thing as elves. There are people working over the holiday IN YOUR HOME. Give them a hand.
I’m sure you can think of other ideas, but you get the picture. If you want that feeling that comes from doing something good for others, don’t wait for a nonprofit to arrange it for you. Find it for yourself.