How to give back this Christmas
This year has really put things in perspective for all of us. It has been hugely challenging - yet even though we have all had our own unique experiences to endure, we’ve seen a renewed appreciation for the people in our lives and the little things that we take for granted. After a very stressful year, most of us are probably looking forward to spending some time with our families and enjoying a well deserved break. But not everybody is as fortunate. There are many who will be really struggling this Christmas, so it is important, if at all possible, to give back and look out for one another.
Offer to help a neighbour
Many people will be struggling this Christmas, the pandemic has hit people really hard – both financially and emotionally. If you know anybody in your area that may be alone or struggling, try and offer a hand if you can. It doesn’t need to be much, just picking up a few bits of shopping for somebody who can’t get out much will likely go a long way. It could just be the offer to help that makes all the difference to someone’s day.
With so many people in need across the country, this Christmas we should all reflect on the things in our lives we are grateful for and try and help those less fortunate. Many people will find themselves homeless, hungry or destitute this Christmas but there are loads of charities doing their best to help who need volunteers and donations this time of year. Charities such as Shelter, Crisis, Centre Point, and The Big Issue are a good place to start, but also look into what opportunities are available in your local area.
Give to food banks
A really simple and easy way to help those in need this Christmas is to give to food banks. If you are able to, add a couple extra tins of soup or baked beans to your weekly shop (or any dry goods) and drop them off to your local food bank. Many supermarkets also have collection points by the checkouts. These small gestures really make a big difference.
Donate presents to charity
The financial impact of COVID has effected so many families this year, making Christmas impossible to think about. For too many families this Christmas, they will be having to choose between buying presents or feeding their children. If you are able to donate any presents this year – big or small - to charities such as Action for Children, Oxfam, Refuge, Crisis, Shelter etc, you will really be helping struggling families and children who are in the most desperate situations.
We all know how difficult this has been for local businesses and they need us now more than ever. If at all possible, try to avoid buying from Amazon and help support businesses on your local high street. Many of them have online options to reduce overcrowding over the Christmas retail period. And you’ll likely find more interesting gifts when buying from independent shops!
Check in with friends and family
Christmas is going to be a little different this year. After the year we’ve all had, many of us haven’t been able to see our families as much as usual so it’s important to check in with your nearest and dearest over the Christmas period. Even if you are not going to be seeing extended family over the holidays, check in with them to see how they are doing. This is a time for people to come together and even where we can’t do that physically, we must make sure we stay connected.