The urge to give back should be constant, but nothing fuels the fire quite like the Christmas season. Let’s not get so caught up in all the shopping and parties that we forget the essence of the holidays, which is of course to spread the cheer.
You could have all the mulled wine and champagne in the world, but there’s nothing more fulfilling than being able to pay your blessings forward. Even researchers and philosophers like Mahatma Ghandi preach that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Here on A Life of More, I always talk about travelling as a means to inspire others — but that’s not the only way. You don’t have to be a celebrity philanthropist to make a positive dent in the universe, or go to far-off corners of the world to do good.
So how can you give back over the festive season? Here are a few ideas.
Visit a nursing home
My nanna recently went into a nursing home for patients with dementia and I’ve seen first-hand that volunteering at a care home can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The Nursing Times outlines its many benefits to patients, like helping to reduce their anxiety and improving their wellbeing.
You can even make it a family affair and bring everyone with you for a fun day of bonding with the elderly. Ask your local home about their schedule and how you may be able to help out – it could be anything from helping with the tea round to organising a day of carol singing. Plus with decades’ worth of experience among the different people you’ll meet, you’re all sure to pick up a valuable life lesson or two along the way.
Dress up for a cause
You probably already have your favourite Christmas jumper lying around, but Save the Children is letting you wear them for a special cause on Christmas Jumper Day this year. On the 14th December, everyone is being asked to pull on their jumper of choice in the name of creating a brighter future for children.
It can be done virtually anywhere — from your home and school, to your office or even at parties. All you have to do is sign up online to receive a fundraising pack that’s chockfull of ideas to make your Christmas Jumper Day as memorable as possible.
Donate your locks of love
Take after the likes of Duchess Kate Middleton and Harry Styles, who have both donated their lustrous waves to Little Princess Trust. This charity is dedicated to providing real-hair wigs to children who have lost their hair to cancer. The organisation has provided 5,500 wigs to happy children since 2006. So what are you waiting for? Your next haircut could make a child’s Christmas.
Put together a Christmas box
Part of the fun of the holidays is buying gifts for loved ones, but you can make your shopping go even further by filling up a Christmas box for someone in need. Head to your nearest Salvation Army branch to drop off unwrapped toys and gifts for children who may not get a present under their tree.
With today’s political climate and refugee situation, you can also do your part by purchasing a parcel from domestic violence charity Refuge, which aims to look after women and children escaping violent homes. There are lots of options to choose from, like Christmas dinners, emergency parcels, or law parcels to help them get their lives back on track again.
Make the most of your spending
One way to give back effortlessly is to claim a charity credit card. You already spend money on a day-to-day basis, so why not let your money go even further by supporting your favourite charities when you shop during the festive season? These credit cards donate a percentage from your spending, whether you’re joining through a hotel loyalty program or frequent flier points. As you can see, giving back can be a breeze.