There's a reason people wrap presents: Gifts are just better when there's an element of surprise! Well, unless the surprise gift is a hideous holiday sweater, but we'll leave that aside for now…
So why not bring a little extra joy to the season with some holiday surprises for your family and friends? Here are five thoughtful, creative, and easy ways to delight your loved ones—and not a single one involves appliquéd garments.
1. Throw an impromptu party
If the holiday party invitations are trickling in a little too slowly for your taste, why not host an impromptu shindig yourself? Inviting your friends over for a last-minute dinner party or cocktail party is easy if you leave the cooking to somebody else and order it in via Uber Eats. Don't worry about your place being messy or even whether it's decorated—as long as there's plenty to eat and drink, everyone will be thrilled.
2. Do something sweet every day for those closest to you
Not to knock lavish gifts, but often small gestures are what we cherish most in the long run. So make a point this holiday season to do a little something sweet every day for your loved ones. It could be something as simple as having a hot cup of coffee ready for them when they wake up, running an errand for them, or ordering them their favorite chocolate or dessert.
3. Welcome your family and friends home from travels
How many times have you returned from a trip to find that the only thing in your fridge is a half carton of spoiled milk? Save your friends and family from that fate by welcoming them home from holiday travels with everything they need for a gentle re-entry to real life: fresh milk, their caffeinated beverage of choice (or decaffeinated if that's how they roll), and a hot meal that arrives shortly after they do. If you can't be there to greet them, consider an Uber Eats gift card so they can treat themselves to a welcome home meal.
4. Encourage surprising food choices
If you have a friend or family member who's been complaining about being in a rut, help nudge them out of their comfort zone by encouraging them to try five new foods during the holiday season. Or if you're the one who's in the rut, delight a friend by trying one of their favorite foods you've always shied away from. Even better: Order a meal to share and agree that you'll each try the other's favorite dish.
5. Practice random acts of holiday kindness
Spread the joy beyond your inner circle by practicing random acts of kindness throughout the holiday season: Let somebody cut in front of you in line, buy a beverage for a stranger, take out your neighbor's trash, leave an extra large tip for service, make a donation of goods or money to a charity, or simply make a point of sharing a smile and a kind word with all the people you encounter in your daily life. It might sound corny, but there's something to that whole "pay it forward" concept.
Whether it’s sharing a meal or hosting a party, delight your loves ones this festive season with random acts of holiday kindness.