As the holidays approach, I often find myself writing about how to save money on gifts or how to enjoy time with family without breaking the bank. After listening to an interview with Bill High, co-author with David Green of the book “A Generous Life”, I wanted to do something a little different and focus on generosity.

Usually, when we think of generosity, we think of giving money or material things to those in need. Mr. High says that generosity is much more than that. It is the daily and random acts of being kind that really add up to living a generous life. He strongly suggests that the more we give, the more joy we have.

As I was digging deeper into this expanded concept of generosity, some words came to mind so I decided to see if I could come up with some generous acts that would correspond with those words. I invite you to share with me your own words and acts of generosity.


  • Open the door for someone.
  • Let someone go in front of you in the grocery store line.


  • Truly listen when someone is talking to you. Look them in the eye and don’t think about what you are going to say when they are finished, just listen.
  • Ask someone what their story is.


  • Reach out by phone (not social media) to a friend or former friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Better yet, invite them to lunch.
  • Send a nice card to someone whom you possibly don’t get along with.


  • Send a thank-you note to one of your former teachers.
  • Thank the people working in a store that you frequent. Be specific about what you are thankful for.


  • Give someone your seat on a crowded bus or in the waiting area at a restaurant.
  • Talk to the person in your office whom everyone avoids.


  • Give an unexpected gift to someone. Want to make it more fun? Give the gift anonymously.
  • Go out of your way to help someone.


  • Smile at a stranger and greet them.
  • Invite someone to share a meal with your family.

When we expand our hearts and give to others, it lifts everyone up. What ways can YOU be more generous this season (and all year long?) Enjoy this season of generosity with those you love, your co-workers, and maybe even a stranger or two. Happy Holidays!

Judith Ackland has more than 26 years of experience in accountancy and financial planning, including seventeen years as a CFO of a diverse business. She started Crystal Financial in 2010 to help a wide array of individuals, families, and business owners better understand their finances and how good financial management could help them achieve their goals. Judith has an MA in Professional Accountancy from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln as well as a Certified Public Accountant Certificate and a Certified Financial Planner designation.

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