The Guide to Giving Back this Christmas.

The Guide to Giving Back this Christmas.

Personally, I LOVE Christmas. It has the most amazing happiness around it. For me it’s all about family, sharing amazing food, enjoying summer (because I live in the Southern Hemisphere) and taking some time to slow down. The one thing I dislike about Christmas is how crazy the world goes for all things materialistic. We get caught up in the commercial side of it, the need to spend crazy amounts of money and drive around like maniacs right up until the Eve before Christmas when the shops close down. & don’t get me wrong, I LOVE buying things for my loved ones but I think we forget what Christmas is all about. It’s about slowing down, spending time with the ones you love, reflecting on the year that’s been and taking a break.

I learnt at the age of 9 that not everyones Christmas is as beautiful as mine has been for most of my life. Not everyone’s Christmas sacks are full of new toys. Not everyones Christmas table has an abundance of food that leads to a food coma. Not everyone has their health or loved ones over Christmas.

Christmas 2001 I was in hospital surrounded by my family who didn’t know if I’d make another day. Christmas 2001 I nearly lost my battle to cancer. It was not a happy time but it once I got better it made me realise that a lot of the world isn’t as fortunate as a lot of us are. So every Christmas I make it my mission to give back in some way.

So I’ve put together a list on ways that we can help put a smile on someones face this Christmas.

Support a business who is giving back.

One of my favourite businesses Burger Burger is working with Dine Aid & the Auckland City Mission. They are trying to raise enough money this Christmas to feed 100 families with 100 emergency food packages. One package will give a family of 4, 3 meals a day for 4 days over the festive season.

You can support simply by following the link below to donate. Remember, not everyone is lucky enough to have a table full of food this Christmas.

Drop a present at your local drop zones

Many large organisations have gift dropping stations. While you are out shopping buy on extra gift, it doesn’t need to be anything big, wrap it up & drop it to your local store who is supporting a charity. A few examples are below:

Bunnings Warehouse support the Women’s Refuge through their ‘Give A Gift’ programme where you can donate presents for kids who come from families who have experienced Domestic Violence. Follow this link to find out more information.

NorthWest (& possibly your local shopping centre) have stations throughout the mall where you can drop gifts for the Salvation Army. They don’t need to be wrapped. While you are out shopping for you loved ones, purchase one extra gift and place it at the collection point.

Kmart also support the Salvation Army with their Giving Tree. Similar to the above simply purchase a gift, take a tag from the tree, write your age group and place the gift under the wishing tree. For more information follow this link.

Purchase presents for your loved ones that ALSO give back.

Frank Stationary, these are personally my favourite notebooks and diaries. They are so nice to write on and make a great Christmas gift for the new year but beyond that every notebook you buy, Frank Stationary will donate one to a child in need giving kids the gift of education. Such a cool idea. Write a little note inside for the person who you buy it for so they too can feel good about the gift they’ve received.

Smart Ass, may sound strange but this would be the PERFECT Secret Santa present. This tree free, amazingly packaged toilet paper is on a mission to save the planet one toilet paper roll at a time. At first you’ll get a chuckle from the crowd that you purchased toilet paper (win) and at the same time you can educate people on this AWESOME brand.

Give love to someone you know who as had it tough this year

It can be as simple as this. We all know someone who hasn’t had an easy 2019. Why don’t you deliver them a home-made gift box or bake them some treats (something like my pretzel bark in a jar with Christmas Ribbon is PERFECT this festive season). A small gesture goes a long way to putting a smile on someones face.

Contact your favourite charity and simply ask how you can help.

It may be a simple donation, they may require volunteers, they may need you to spread the word about something but one thing I know is that they ALWAYS need help. Take matters into your own hands, give some of your time this silly season.

Search crowdfunding websites, find a family or charity in need and donate the price you spend on a present to them.

There are SO many families out there in need this Christmas who have heartbreaking stories. As sad as it can be reading through these pages, you joy you feel when you know you could help in some way is amazing. Use one of the sites below and donate. You could always donate on the behalf of someone else instead of buying them a gift or bake a loved one something and add a note saying this year I donated “$x” to “….”. Remember, a little goes a long way.

Hopefully that gives you a couple ideas on how you can give back and put a smile on someones face this Christmas. It doesn’t have to be big, expensive or time consuming. You could simply swap your daily coffee purchase for a week to purchasing a gift for someone in need. $5 for coffee x 7 days per week + $35.

Remember, “it’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” – Winston Churchill

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