Christmas and loneliness: 24 tips on how to make others happy

Not only older people feel lonely in the corona crisis
Photo: ightpoet //

For those who are lonely and alone, the time around Christmas is particularly hard. Here you will find 24 suggestions on how you can give others a small – or big – joy.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s after a breakup, after moving to another city because you’ve lost a loved one, because there’s a quarrel in the family – or because your social life is just not going well: loneliness and isolation are particularly special during the Christmas season hard to take.

Even small gestures and attentions can bring great joy. We have collected ideas on how to make friends, relatives, neighbors and even complete strangers happy.

Loneliness: How you can help

Our tips have a pleasant side effect: they ensure a win-win situation. Because when we do good things for others, it makes us happy.

Small gesture, great joy
Small gesture, great joy ((Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay / Bob_Dmyt)

1. Get some fresh air together: Pay attention and think about who in your neighborhood, in your circle of acquaintances, friends and family might be feeling lonely and alone right now. If you like going for walks: think about who you could encourage to go with you. As a surprise, pack hot tea in a thermos and a couple of cookies, then the Christmas spirit is guaranteed.

2. Conversations are good: call someone you’ve been meaning to get in touch with for a long time. And over the good old telephone, not via Skype, Zoom or Whereby. It’s often more relaxed because you don’t have to constantly check whether the hairstyle is right and the light is right. Important: Listen carefully and ask questions.

3. A smile works wonders: A small gesture that is practiced far too seldom: smile friendly at people who come towards you and greet them. You sweeten some people’s day with a simple smile.

4. Greetings by post: If you find something handwritten among all the many bills and advertising mail, you are very happy. It doesn’t always have to be a long, handwritten letter, a greeting by postcard is also a nice sign that someone is thinking of you.

5. A game night is an easy way to bring people together. Tip: Games like Tabu or Stadt Land Fluss can even be played online.

6. Small help, big effect: In the first corona wave, the willingness to help in the neighborhood was great, now it’s time to revive it: Help older people in the neighborhood to do the shopping, go to the bakery or to the pharmacy. Either ring the bell, call or put up a note with your offer in the apartment building. For many, the opportunity to talk for a few minutes is often more helpful than the actual offer.

7. Christmas Wish Fulfiller: In our traditional Christmas campaign on, everyone is allowed to post Christmas wishes – and of course to fulfill them.

8. Pictures are a beautiful journey into the past: A small photo album with memories of joint activities is guaranteed to please friends, parents or the godchild.

9. Bringing people together: Platforms such as, or have specialized in bringing people together.

10. Helping Strangers: Bring a croissant and coffee to the homeless guy you keep bumping into around town and talk to him for a while.

11. Care package for people who are sick at home with the flu, RSV or Corona: A package with homemade cookies, a game that you can also play alone (e.g. Gravity Maze, The Negotiator or Friday) or a The book is packed quickly – and makes the recipient very happy.

12. Compliments make you happy: Give spontaneous compliments to the people you meet on the way to the garbage can, on the go for a walk or in line at the bakery.

13. Social commitment: If you have time, ask the neighborhood help, the food bank or another social organization where you can help and get involved. They have all had problems finding enough volunteers since the beginning of the corona crisis. Here you can find out why volunteering is good for you.

14. Tell about yourself: Tell others about your own personal concerns and thoughts and then ask the other person how he or she is doing. This often makes it easier to talk about problems like loneliness and fears about the future.

15. Game Santa Claus. In almost all cities and many communities there are wishing tree campaigns that fulfill the wishes of needy children and young people. A quick internet search will help you find one in your area.

16. Cooking and eating together. For a cooking date, all you have to do is agree on a recipe and an appointment beforehand and buy all the ingredients. If in doubt, it also works via Skype or Zoom.

17. Help for inmates: How about a little Christmas present for people who are in prison for Christmas? The initiative “Charity Liberates” helps with the organization.

18. Pay two, give one: Buy someone else a “deferred coffee.” The idea behind it originally comes from Nepal: You buy a coffee for yourself – and pay for a second one, which someone then gets donated to. These can be, for example, pensioners who have no more money at the end of the month, people who forgot their wallets at home or homeless people who are cold. There is bound to be a bakery or café in your area that is also involved. In some cities, the campaign is also known as the “Donation Board”.

19. Blood donation: Go donate blood again. Blood donations are always rare these days. Information is available from the blood donation service or the German Red Cross.

20. Greeting at the door: Put a few cookies or a small bouquet of flowers with a few personal words at the door of a person who you know is lonely.

21. Watching films together is not only possible in real, but also in digital life, keyword Watch Party via Amazon or Netflix Party.

22. Spread the word! If you come across an interesting podcast, a clever newspaper commentary, an exciting film or a funny book: pass the tip on easily, by e-mail or quick message via cell phone.

23. Anticipation is the second greatest joy: Give away a voucher for a joint event in the new year.

24. Giving things away: When you’re decluttering, think about who you could make happy with all the clothes, books, CDs, and things you no longer need.

You can find more tips and information here:


  • Tree hugging: Why you should try it
  • Make the most beautiful Christmas presents yourself!
  • These 6 films and series are balm for the soul

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