We’re all guilty of being swept up in the rush that is Christmas and forget things. This might be the cranberries for your sauce a la The Waitresses’ Christmas classic. This might be a Christmas card for a neighbour, or a present for your aunt. This could be a whole host of things, but what we often forget is that other people aren’t so fortunate. This Christmas morning, I’ll wake up to a roof over my head, presents under the tree and a hot meal in my belly by 4pm. Not everyone will. But there are plenty of ways to give back this Christmas, and make things a little easier for those who don’t have the luxuries you do.
I’m not saying that you need to give up your Christmas Day to feed the homeless at a soup kitchen, but I’ve got a few ideas that you can implement this season to help those in need without going too far beyond what you will already be doing in your day to day life.
As a team at work, we’re skipping on secret santa. We all end up with tat we don’t want (usually) or buying tat for people we don’t particularly want to buy for (definitely). Instead of Secret Santa, we’re putting what we can into a collection and we’re buying gifts for children. At work there is an initiative where you take a gift tag off the tree in reception, and buy for that person. Our pick was a boy aged 5-7, and this year, that boy is going to get a brilliant gift from us.
Hayley pointed this one out to me, and I think it’s a wonderful idea. You may have filled shoe boxes for children before, full of toys and sweets that people,e who do t have a lot will really appreciate. The Allerton Cat Rescue in Yorkshire is looking for shoe boxes for their rescue kitties. They’re after food, milk, treats and toys for their cats and I’m definitely going to donate a little something. Especially after my goodie bag at the Ideal Home Show contained some Felix treats! If what you want to send is a little too heavy, they have an Amazon wishlist and you can send directly to the shelter, or just donate via PayPal. But personally I liked the shoebox idea and sent mine off yesterday.
In pretty much every supermarket, the larger ones in particular, is a large basket. In this large basket you pop donations to your local food bank. This is a super easy way of giving back as you can add the basics to your weekly food shop and pop it in before you go home. £1 may not seem like much to you, but £1 on a pack of teabags and some UHT milk will go a long way for a family in need. If you want to collect a larger amount, or give exactly what your local shelter needs, you should contact them directly. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what they’re after, rather than you adding to the overflowing pile of tinned carrots.
And if you want your gifts to be meaningful and use them as a way to give back, there are quite a few gift ideas I love. My favourites include The Traveller Collective (great for travel fans, and I’ve had my eye on one of these for months), the Jo Malone Peony & Moss Candle and the Oxfam Unwrapped Charity Gifts, but a simple google will give you so many options. It’s so easy to help someone in need, and whilst I know the pennies are tight for everyone, it’s important to give back this Christmas.
There are so many ways to give back this Christmas, and I can’t wait to give someone a better Christmas.