Hello again! If you were wondering – no I still haven’t finished my essay! However, luckily I have a few blogmas posts written and ready to go as I anticipated being snowed under on the lead up to the deadline. Today, I thought I would share a few ideas for how we can give back this Christmas.
At this time of year, I think it is so easy to get swept into the money trap by either spending too much or worrying about spending too little. I think that Christmas can also easily turn into quite a materialistic or selfish time of the year if we aren’t self aware. For me, the best part of Christmas is spending time with the people I love, but also buying/making gifts for my loved ones that I know will put a smile on their face.
I also like to make sure I do at least one thing to give back to those in need or the community at Christmastime and this year is no different. I’ll be writing a few separate posts on these as part of blogmas, but to give you some initial inspiration I’ve put together a list of ideas for giving back this Christmas!
Donate to a food bank – This is such a simple thing to do. You can literally buy cans of soup/veg/beans etc from the supermarket for less than 20p each. Adding £1s worth of extra food and donating it could make someone’s Christmas and feed a family. Supermarkets such as Morrison’s and Waitrose even have donation boxes at the front of the store for you to deposit items as you leave – easy peas
Volunteer – I absolutely love volunteering at Christmas when I have the time. Last year I volunteered at a senior citizen tea dance and it was so much fun. This year I will be volunteering with a local singing group that I often cover for – I’ll be singing and playing Christmas carols with carers or people with memory diseases. Local charities or events may be a good place to start if you are looking for a way to volunteer.
Shoe Box Appeal – Many organisations participate in a shoe box appeal at this time of year. This is where you fill a shoe box with goodies and essential items for children or families so they don’t go without at Christmas. I’m going to be doing some shoeboxes with Women’s Aid to give to the Rotary Club who will be delivering them to families in need on Christmas day. If you think this is something you’d like to do then just google ‘shoe box appeal’ to see how you can get involved locally. It is also worth noting that teenage boys are often overlooked so it may be worth putting together a box for this age group.
Fundraise – For me, Christmas is a time where the scope for fundraising is endless! There are concerts, Christmas markets and events galore and it can even be as simple as contacting a local charity or organisation about going around with some collection buckets on their behalf (just make sure you have a street collection permit if needed). If organising isn’t you thing, why not have a look at any fundraising events being held by local organisations and offer your support – you can volunteer and fundraise at the same time!
One of my favourite festive fundraisers that I’ve organised was charity carolling for Starlight Children’s Society when I was chairperson of my uni’s musical theatre society. I’m not going to lie, it took a lot of organising and endless conversations with the council and event facilitators, but it was worth it in the end. We had so much fun and raised over £100 for charity. I’m so sad the society haven’t continued this as I worked so hard to secure it for us last year, but hopefully I can arrange something similar in Abergavenny one year.
Invite an Elderly Person Over for Christmas – This is something I have never done, but would love to try one year. You could go to a local nursing home and see if there are any residents that may enjoy having Christmas dinner with you and your family. Alternatively, organisations like Age UK often host schemes where you can apply to have someone allocated to you for the holidays. Christmas can be a lonely time if you haven’t got any family left or are caring for someone who has a memory disease/is terminally and I can imagine it may make someone’s Christmas to be extended an invitation.
I hope these ideas have you give you some inspiration to go out and do good this Christmastime. Let me know in the comments if there are any ways you like to give back that I have missed!