I think we should all work this idea into our pre-holiday resolutions. Instead of eating to feel better, try doing something for someone else. It's not too late to donate toys to Toys for Tots. Find a "secret santa" or "angel" tree in your community and donate gifts for children/seniors. Call a nursing home or assisted living facility and ask if there's anything they need for the residents to make the holidays more cheerful. Call a children's hospital/in-patient unit and ask if they need anything for the holidays. Bring treats to your favorite staffers at the library, the doctor's office, the dentist. Double your dinner or cookie recipe and share half with a neighbor or coworker who is stressed for time. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Give someone a subway token. Pay for someone's coffee at the coffee shop. Pack a note or tiny gift in someone's briefcase or lunch bag. Pay extra for your Christmas tree at the charity tree sale. Donate baked goods to a bake sale. Fill a grocery cart with food to take to a food pantry. Donate pet food to a local animal shelter. Just do something.
Giving doesn't have to cost money. There are lots of ways to give without spending. Compliments are free and are usually well-received. Write a letter of appreciation to someone's boss. Write or email letters to friends you have been neglecting in the holiday rush. Offer to watch someone's children/elderly parent for a few hours so they can run errands. Shovel the snow off your neighbor's walk. Carry your neighbor's empty trash cans or recycle bins back up their driveway. Help someone hang their Christmas lights. Become a volunteer in your community.