The Christmas season can be a time of joy and magic - and a lot of stress. With all the hustle and bustle it can be difficult to remember the true purpose of the season.

In the middle of all the busyness, try some of these nine simple acts of service that can cut through the stress and make your Christmas bright.

1. Deliver scarves and socks to the homeless

Everyone deserves a little something on Christmas. The homeless are people who have fallen on bad times and could use some help. During the winter months a scarf and a pair of socks can go a long way. Take a trip to your nearest dollar store and pick up a big pack of socks and some scarves, and while you walk down city streets pass them out to the homeless people you see.

2. Help save the planet

You can't solve every environmental problem in one holiday season. However, little things add up. For one week during the season, pick up every piece of trash you see while walking a stretch of road and place them in a trash can. This is such a beautiful time of year, and your little act of service can make the scenery even more picturesque.

3. Share the true meaning of Christmas with your neighbors

Christ is the center of the season, and He should be celebrated. Choose a family who could use a little extra love. Buy a seven-piece Nativity set, then wrap each individual piece and sneakily deliver one per day on the days leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Eve, visit the family with the final piece, the baby Jesus. This time, sing aloud carols and bring the family a special treat.

4. Give Post-it note compliments

Let those around you know how special they are. For a single day, carry around a packet of Post-its, and take the time to write compliments on the notes and give them to your friends, coworkers and family members. Your whole day will be bright as you see them light up with the compliments you give.

5. Band together to help a child

Thousands of children throughout the country are looking for a miracle this holiday season. This Christmas, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals invites you to donate $5 dollars a month for a year in an effort to Band Together For Kids in need at 170 children's hospitals across North America. With this donation you will receive a special holiday-edition Miracle Band, a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals marker, a special window sticker and a free music download of "Enough" by: Allie, Cody and Brad Simpson.

6. Donate to the animal shelter

Even animals could use a little love this time of year. Many animal shelters need towels, blankets, animal beds and toys. When you deliver the items, you just might be persuaded to adopt a pet.

7. Be a kindness magnet

Being a "kindness magnet" is taking advantage of all the ways you can be kind. Say "hi" to everyone you meet on the street. Hold the door open for the person behind you. If you see a car meter with no quarters, refill it for the person parked there. Tape a dollar on a vending machine before you leave work so a late-night worker can have a snack on you. Look for ways to be kind, and you will notice that you are happier as well.

8. Pay it forward

When you are buying your morning pick-me-up, ask to pay for the person behind you. If the person behind you is paying attention, he just might pay for the person behind him, and so on, making everyone's morning a little easier and happier.

9. Write letters of gratitude to people who might be taken for granted

Think of 10 people in your life who often go unthanked. For example: your mom, a close friend or the secretary in your office. Write a thoughtful thank you letter to each person and mail it to them. Receiving a note of gratitude can always brighten someone's day and touch your heart in the process.

Little acts of service will not only make the season brighter for others, but it will light up your life as you work to provide little miracles for others.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals works to provide miracles for children. This Christmas season, they invite you to donate in an effort to Band Together For Kids in need at 170 children's hospitals across North America.


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