Gift-giving at this time of year can be traced all the way back to winter pagan rituals. Over time, this old tradition has gradually transformed into the festive present buying extravaganza that we see today.
Buying and receiving Christmas gifts feels great, there’s no denying it... even when you get one too many ‘bath gel’ gift sets from Boots (thanks Aunty Babs). But it’s easy to forget that giving during the Christmas period doesn’t have to be a physical present in the traditional sense.
So, how about giving back to those who are really in need?
To help, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can give back this Christmas, which will cost you way less than that obscenely expensive rucksack your sibling is demanding…
Your time costs you nothing but will bring so much to those in need.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back during the festive period. Take a few hours out of your week to help provide hot meals for the homeless, or spend a few hours at a nursing home to talk to a lonely elderly person. You can even volunteer at an animal shelter.
If you’re wondering where to start, there are plenty of charities and organisations that will point you in the right direction like Age UK, Centrepoint or Crisis.
Christmas Charity Box
Okay, so we’ve become a cashless society. But there’s no doubt you’ll have mounds of loose change knocking about the house that’ll never get used..
Pop it into a charity box – every little bit helps. So don’t feel pressured to have to raise a certain amount for it to be beneficial!
Have a clear out!
Because how many of those H&M basic tees do you actually wear?
This a great opportunity for you to get rid of things you don’t need and give them to someone who does need them. And it’s a great excuse to give your wardrobe a good clear out before the New Year ahead.
It’s not just about clothes, though. Dig deep into the depths of your kitchen cupboards and donate those dusty cans of food you’ll never get around to eating.
The Trussell Trust make donating unwanted bits and bobs from your kitchen simple. Find your nearest food bank here.
Giving blood is one of the most important things you could do. Not just during the Christmas period, but all year round.
You could literally save a life. We understand that the idea itself may seem unpleasant, especially if you’re squeamish about blood and needles. But there’s actually very little pain involved in the process, and it’ll only take an hour of your time.
If you’re interested, find out more about giving blood here.
Sponsor Sponsor Sponsor
Sponsoring is a great way to give back to a community that needs a bit of help. In fact, sponsoring a child ensures kids around the country (or further afield) get the basic needs that we’re lucky enough to have everyday.
You could also sponsor an animal. You’ll be able to give them with as much love and care as they need until they are eventually rehomed!
World Vision and Blue Cross have loads of information available if sponsoring sounds like something you’d like to do.
Remember: Christmas doesn't have to be the time of year where you just buy, buy, buy. It’s an opportunity to look to your local community and make a difference. Anything, big or small, really can make a difference to people in need.
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