As the “silly season” reaches its peak, the pile of presents under the tree keeps growing, the lights are twinkling in Douglas town and the raging work hangover has officially become acceptable again (for one month only, folks!).
Christmas is a time to reflect and be grateful for what we have, but it’s also a time to give back and help those less fortunate than us. Here are seven ways you can give something back this year:
Fill your trolley with a little extra for the Food Bank
The Food Bank ran its reverse advent calendar this year, where people added an extra item to their shopping trolley every day for those who are struggling to make ends meet. Though it’s getting close to Christmas, you can still donate items to the various drop-off points all around the island, which include Shoprite stores, so you can drop as soon as you shop!
Give tea and time to Graih to help the island’s homeless
We may not see much evidence of homelessness on the island, but there are a number of people sleeping rough who rely on charities like Graih to offer them food, shelter and support. Forget the festive trimmings, as the days draw colder and shorter, imagine not even having a roof over your head this Christmas.
Graih is always looking for volunteers for their drop-in (along with donations of tea, coffee and food!) and supplies for the vulnerable people they support. Send them an email if you think you can help ([email protected]) – they would really love to hear from you.
Choose Love by gifting supplies for refugees
Stuck for a last minute Christmas present but reluctant to splash out on a rubbish gag gift to be used once and thrown away? With the Choose Love store, you can order a digital voucher that allows the recipient to buy practical items for refugees in camps in Europe and the Middle East.
Be a friend to someone who has no one
For people who live alone or don’t have loved ones nearby, and particularly the elderly, Christmas can be an incredibly lonely time of year. We all know someone who could do with a bit of company at this time of year. And you don’t have to open up your entire home to strangers on Christmas Day to make a difference. For just an hour or two of your time and a cup of tea, you could totally brighten up someone’s Christmas.
Give a cr*p
With Oxfam’s Christmas gift catalogue, you can literally give your loved ones a pile of poo on Christmas Day. For the princely sum of £12, you can give a family in sub-Saharan Africa the chance to grow food to support their families through eco-composting. Or for something slightly less smelly, you can also give things like a goat, food for a family, or honey bees in the name of your loved ones to families in need in poorer countries around the world.
Follow a kindness advent calendar – it’s not too late!
If you Google ‘kindness advent calendar’, you’ll find a selection of fun calendars counting down the days until Christmas with a small act of kindness for every day. Pin a calendar above your desk at work, or get the whole family involved by challenging each other to acts of kindness each day. This is such an easy way to incorporate a little bit of love and goodwill into your life and make kindness a habit that will last longer than the holiday season.