It is fair to say that recently things have felt a little bit bleak, both home and away – and we could all do with a bit of festive joy this Christmas season.
The spirit of the time is one of giving; there is no better gift than one’s time and thoughtfulness.
If you have the time and means, then; why not carry out an ‘advent calendar’ or ’12 days of Christmas’ acts of kindness for others, and spread a little joy to those around you?
I’m sure you will have your own ideas, but here are some to get you started:
Now, more than ever – people are visiting food banks. Why not check where your local bank collects from; and if there is anything specific, they need? At this time of year, they are often; short of non-food items like toiletries, household cleaning supplies, and some festive treats.
If you or a friend has been meaning to declutter a space at home, then do it now, and then take any items that still have life left in them to charity shops. Especially seasonal items that you have no use for.
If you can spare some time, you could do some volunteering. Some tasks can be done from the comfort of your home; for example, being paired to speak to someone over the phone regularly.
Don’t forget the animal kingdom at this time of year. It could be as simple as leaving leaves uncleared so that hedgehogs have somewhere to nest. Or, put out seeds and fat balls for birds to feed on; in the colder weather.
If you know a loved one, friend or colleague is struggling; or will find the holiday season difficult – why not reach out to them? You could use technology and have a video call, or go old school and write a card or letter – pretty much everyone I know loves to get mail!
If you enjoy cooking, why not make a meal for someone else? It could be someone who is suffering from ill health; and needs a pick me up, or it may just be for a frazzled mum who could do with a night off from the kitchen.
If Secret Santa has been falling a bit flat lately, why not agree to organise a charity event instead? You could all wear a festive jumper or headwear – think antlers or a Santa hat. Or even dress up in costume! Instead of buying each other a £5 gift, why not put the money in a kitty and donate to a worthwhile local cause?
If you have to work over the festive period, why not bake some treats to take to work and share with your colleagues? Mince Pies or Gingerbread biscuits would go down well. Not much of a cook? I’m sure no one will mind store-bought – the sentiment is the same.
Even if your workplace is not having a Christmas party, why not take the time to get to know your colleagues this season? Enquire about their plans, find out what they are looking forward to and perhaps what they are dreading. Share your best tips for staying stress-free, or even swap or recipe or gift idea.
It is easy to get caught up in the commercialism that has become Christmas, so why not make and share some gifts with your friends and neighbours this year:
A lovely door wreath of holly & ivy makes a festive gift.
You could frame a photo for someone. Lovely for new parents or first-time grandparents.
Make a Christmas cracker with a small gift or chocolate inside. Fun for a teacher or someone you want to show appreciation too.
Write a thank you card to someone to that you are grateful. It might be your postman; someone you see out whilst walking the dog or an unsung hero in your community.
Handmade Christmas decorations brighten any home and offer lovely sentiments for future years to whoever you gift them to.
Offer to help someone with putting up decorations. Elderly folk or those living alone often struggle with Christmas trees and string lights.
If you know someone who is time-poor or not very creative – offer to help them with their Christmas wrapping.
Smile at others, and pass the time of day whenever you can – Christmas can be a particularly lonely time for many. You may well be the only contact that person has in a day.Tweet