The holidays can bring up feelings of loneliness, even if you have strong bonds with family and friends. But the holidays are also a great time of year to show love and kindness toward others.

If you don’t know where to start, consider those who often go thankless. Their jobs may be seemingly small or even demeaning. But your kind words and thoughtful deeds can make a big difference.

Consider Overlooked Employees

One holiday season, Kendra stood in line at a local store, waiting to pay for her Christmas gifts. She was in a long line for over twenty minutes and many of the customers were complaining or rude.

When it was Kendra’s turn to pay for her purchases, she noticed the young woman who was scanning her items looked frazzled and worn out. She felt her heart go out to the woman so she greeted her kindly and asked how her day was going.

The cashier looked up and smiled. “You’re the first person that’s asked me that all day.” She said. “The line’s been out the door and everybody’s been impatient with me.”

It’s not just cashiers that are overlooked. Bus drivers, receptionists, nurses, and retail employees regularly deal with customers who are inconsiderate, insensitive, or downright rude.

You don’t have to do much to brighten an overlooked employee’s day. You can offer a smile, thank them for their service, or give them a compliment. Try something simple like, “I love those earrings!” or “That color looks great on you!”

Thank First Responders

You may wish to be a blessing to first responders. Police and fire stations certainly welcome plates of treats. Grab a few decorative tins and fill them with delicious baked goods. You can even include a card expressing your gratitude for how first responders keep your community safe.

You can also create grab bags for first responders. Include items like protein bars, beef jerky, snack crackers, or even a cup of dry oatmeal. Often, first responders move from one crisis to the next and that means they don’t always get regular meals.

You may also want to include staples like tissues, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and gum. These are little conveniences that first responders may not always have access to when they’re on the go.

Bless the Night Shift

Another group of people that rarely receives thanks are the people who work at night and over holidays. This group includes convenience store workers, gas station employees, night janitors, and third shift nurses.

Like first responders, you can show your appreciation with a thank you note or a small goodie bag. A grab bag for a night-shift worker could include: coffee crystals, water bottles, energy drinks, and eye drops. You may also want to include reading materials like inexpensive paperback books for those that have periods of down time during their shift.

You don’t have to spend a lot to show your appreciation. It can be as simple as writing a thank-you note, baking an extra plate of cookies, or creating a small goodie bag.