How to give back this Christmas

We might have asked for the latest designer bag or high-tech gadget for Christmas, but some people are just hoping for a warm blanket and a bite to eat.

As much as we love it, there’s something about Christmas that brings out the materialistic control freak in us all. Whether we’re braving the madness of the shops on Black Friday in an attempt to save some pennies, or writing an exhaustive list of the latest junk that we’d like to receive ourselves, it can be easy to forget about the bigger picture over the already jam-packed festive period.

So, what better time than to stop thinking about what we want, and start thinking about what others need. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, just a little bit of love. Here’s how you can give back this Christmas.

Here’s 5 ways to do your bit and give back to those in need this festive season…

Operation Christmas Child

Remember back in primary school when you were sent home with a shoebox and asked to fill it with toys for an underprivileged child? That’s still a thing. Operation Christmas Child is a remarkable scheme which allows even the most skint of students to give disadvantaged children all over the world a Christmas they’ll never forget.

Simply fill a box with goodies like toys, toiletries and snuggly socks, and drop it off at your nearest collection point. Nothing will bring you Christmas joy like knowing that you’ve potentially just given a child the first gift they’ve ever received. More information can be found here.

Giving Trees

This Christmas, major shopping centres all over the country have set up their very own Giving Tree. These beautiful decorative additions go way beyond the simple traditional tree, as they are decorated with baubles adorned with the name of someone in need. Simply collect a bauble when you arrive, and pick up a gift for your chosen recipient while doing your Christmas shop.

With so many shops doing “3 for 2” or BOGOF offers, it needn’t cost you the earth, but you can feel a whole lot better about yourself come Christmas Day, knowing that someone is waking up to a well-deserved surprise because of your kindness and generosity. If you’re in Canterbury for a while longer, you can visit the Giving Tree at Bluewater! For more information, click here.

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

This may sound incredibly cliché (and slightly daunting) but volunteering at a soup kitchen this festive season is a great way to give back if your strapped for cash but want to make a difference, not to mention giving you the opportunity to meet loads of new people. A quick online search will reveal your nearest kitchen, so roll up your sleeves and get stuck in!

Christmas Jumper Day

Here’s one you’ve probably heard of before. Every December, Save The Children hosts their Christmas Jumper Day, which gives us all a fun excuse to dress down for the day and wear the most outlandish festive jumper. They ask everyone who takes part to donate just £2, which is enough to help provide some of the world’s most disadvantaged children with food, education and healthcare. So, what are you waiting for, sign up today. https://christmasjumperday.org/

Charity Christmas Cards

This is quite possibly the easiest way to do your bit this festive season. Charities for almost every cause produce their own Christmas cards each year, from Cancer Research UK to the RSPCA, so pick a cause that’s close to your heart and stock up!

I hope that this has provided you with some inspiration of how you can give back this Christmas. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, but you’ll be rewarded with that warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing you have made a difference.

That’s the true spirit of Christmas, after all.

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