It’s Christmas and the ‘it’s November’ denial is now officially out-dated! In this season of spending it’s often forgotten that it’s more about giving. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas it’s a time of good will and caring so it’s a good time to start giving back. You don’t have to be a charity worker or a Saint to help other people out, so have a look at the list below and give them a go this Christmas!
Keep your eyes open when Christmas shopping
Now I’m not on about window shopping here, keep a look out for the homeless this Christmas and help them out. There’s loads of things you can do. You can go with the standard of giving money but if you’re feeling brave, push the boat out! They’re people- Speak to them! From personal experience I can assure you that there is a lot you can gain from a small chat and getting to know someone. From your chats you will find one of the most appreciated things you can do is offering to go fetch a hot drink or something to eat and it costs next to nothing. Moving away from the practical needs that this good deed would solve, i.e. hunger and thirst, you’ll be showing a suffering person that you care, boosting their morale a little. Just knowing that one person out of a hundred who walks past sees them for what they are, human, will surely spread a bit of Christmas spirit.
Give the gift of time!
You can give the gift of time to anyone in need, speak to people who are on their own, help elderly relatives or friends get some shopping in or do some Christmas wrapping. Or you can volunteer in the Christmas holidays anywhere that’s close to your heart. Or maybe try, if a commitment to volunteering is too tying, helping out at the local soup kitchen for a couple of nights coming up to Christmas. You’ll help to lighten the work load of the regular volunteers and you’re able to meet new people in the process.
Raise some money!
This one is so easy and fun too! You can raise money in any way that you want for any cause that you want. You could go for the standard cake sale, boosting your baking skills and possibly baking a few extra and treating yourself or make your own Christmas cards and sell them to craft-lovers. You can do anything! Sponsored hikes, runs, direct appeals – my dad recently did a boxing match to raise money for the charity State of Mind- now I’m sure if a 47 year old man can take a punch for charity you can sell a few cakes!
They say charity starts at home!
So why not help out relatives and friends too? Offer to babysit your auntie’s little creatures (or cherubs, depending on your chocolate supply) so that she can go on her Christmas night out, pick up the 20 selection boxes you need for those cousins you only see at Christmas to save your mum going to town again or go shopping with that indecisive friend and give them positive feedback with every ‘do you think she’ll actually wear this?’ and ‘I don’t want him to think I think he smells if I buy Lynx, what do you think?’
Be more thoughtful!
Sometimes you can give back by simply expecting less from others. Christmas is an extremely stressful time for most people as they can feel stressed and stretched between financial pressures and the need to spend time with family. So why not hold off on asking for an iPad or a car etc. and ask for something a bit cheaper, or go halves instead? This takes a bit of the financial pressure off people and even if you do get what you originally wanted, the gift-giver will feel better, as they will have (in their mind) exceeded your expectations.
Be more caring!
I am in no way challenging your caring here, dear reader, but there’s always room for improvement! The stress of Christmas can bring people down and you can help simply by lending an ear. I know, it can be a little draining listening to people moaning about the price of sprouts and the post-apocalyptic state of Tesco’s the week before Christmas, but stick with it. People who are able to talk about some of their worries, big or small, will feel better having told someone else- a problem shared is a problem halved!
It can sometimes feel that around Christmas, blinded by bright lights and price tags, people lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas spirit. Giving back and helping people when you see them in need is worth so much more than a New Look gift voucher and it makes you feel better as a person too! So chill out on the gifting and get giving this Christmas!