At this time of year itís easy to get caught up in the commercial aspects of Christmas, there is the frantic dash to get as many presents as possible, and the not knowing how much to spend and then usually going over the budget set. It can be all too easy to forget about one of the real meanings of Christmas – a time to reflect on family, friends and being good to one another and giving back to the community.
One of the most rewarding things to do over the festive period is to give to those in need and more than ever there are people as well as countries in real need of help and they can find help in you. Here are some great and unique ideas for you to give something back this Christmas.
Support A Natural Disaster
Instead of spending your money on Christmas gifts why not agree with family and friends to donate money to worthy causes. The Philippines has been one of the latest destinations to be affected by a typhoon disaster, with many suffering a loss. You could lift their spirits at this festive time of year and raise money to help build a destination like this back up, and already even school children are getting involved in the UK.
Gift Cards For Good
These cards from Global Giving allow the recipient to choose where their charitable donation goes to. It means that your friends and family can choose a cause close to their hearts and make their gift to them. It will have more meaning and more memories than choosing your own charity and it is something a little bit different for the winter season.
Invisible Children Fashions
A fashionable way to give back is through this stylish collection of apparel that would make a great gift alone. These clothes come with a charitable twist; proceeds from sales from this online shop will go directly to helping the rehabilitation of thousands of child soldiers in Africa and could save their life.
Volunteer Christmas Party
Looking for an alternative to the typical office Christmas party? Volunteering is rewarding in itself; giving your time to help others at a time when people are vulnerable. Timebank serves many charities, so you can choose something meaningful for your company and give back and after all it is the season to be jolly and you can do this with others in need.
Unwanted Gift Exchange
The idea is simple ñ we all end up with things we donít need at Christmas. So here is a plan to set in motion after Christmas, why not bring those unwanted gifts in to a local charity shop so that they can use them as gifts for homeless people or others in need.
Christmas Jumper Day
Save the Children are continuing their Christmas Jumper Day campaign this year. On Friday 13th December, you have the perfect excuse to use that reindeer sweater that your grannie knitted you last Christmas and raise money for needy children at the same time. This would be a great dress-down-Friday fundraiser at school or in the office.
Why not get your local community and neighbours together. A great idea would be to gather people together in your street and run an event like a ìGuess the Weight of the Christmas Cakeî or ìMulled Wine and Mince Pie eveningî or what not better than a ìChristmas Karaokeî upbeat street party. It does not matter what you do as long as you are involving your community and having fun over the festive holidays and giving back to charity.
Take inspiration from the celebrities, Dame Judi Dench appears on the Cancer Research ìGiven for Christmasî CD, as well as Kate Winslet, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen. These star-studded line-ups have exclusively recorded Christmas poetry so you can sit back and listen to it with the family this Christmas; 100% of the profits go towards Cancer research.
Friends of the Elderly
450,000 older people will spend Christmas alone this year. ëFOTEí (Friends of the Elderly) are asking people to do a Christmas Act of Kindness this year and there is a social media hash tag for this which is #actkind. They would like people to pledge an act of kindness, for example donations, helping decorate a local day care centre or volunteering for a day club for the elderly and whilst doing this yoi should use the hash tag. If you have not already seen the promotional video for this then take a look below so what people think of Christmas and how you can help.
Have a Sustainable Christmas
Do not forget the environment this Christmas. You can make your Christmas have less impact on the environment by having a sustainable festive season at home. Loughborough University have compiled a list of things you can do to recycle and reuse so do check out their resource list for inspirational ideas.
Author: Jenny is a supporter of the CRUK charity giving fundraising events and runs campaigns. With your help this Christmas your donations could go a long way to help another in need. If you have any other inspiring charity giving ideas let us know.