I've had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a few give back initiatives throughout the year, and words can't explain how these opportunities to give back time and resources have definitely enriched my life. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our day to day life, our wants and our needs, that we can forget to be grateful for what we have.

Here are my top 5 ways to give back during the season (and beyond):

1. Donate your time to a shelter

Shelters are ALWAYS in need of a helping hand. Even if funds are tight, you can always give your time. Sometimes they need help serving and preparing food, coordinating activities and more. Look up a shelter in your area, call them and schedule a day and time to donate your time... Even if it's just an hour.

2. Clean out your closets and give some clothes a way

Lets face it, we all buy more than we need. So during a time that you're taking advantage of Black Friday and Day After Christmas sales, how about you clean out what you already have to make room for what you plan on getting. Instead of taking your clothes to Plato's Closet or your local resale shop, how about you DONATE the clothes. This is a great way to declutter while giving back.

3. Gift to your favorite organization

Usually we all have a favorite organization or cause that we support. Instead of buying yourself that extra gift, consider sending at least half of the money you were going to spend for 'stuff' to your favorite organization or support your favorite cause. 

4. Help an elderly neighbor

The holiday season can be a rough season for older ones. Sometimes their family members are doing their own thing and they're left to be lonely. Stopping by can sometime completely brighten their day, so consider doing that, making them or meal or even inviting them to spend time with your family.

5. Spread LOVE!!

We live in such a negative world sometimes all the next person needs is a little TLC. So a simple 'hello' to a stranger, or holding the door open can brighten someones day. Be that person, and be that person all year 'round.