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25 Days of Xmas - Day 15 - How to be Santa this Xmas

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Giving seems to be a word that you associate with Christmas. We give gifts, we give cards. But Christmas is also a time to think about what we give to others who might not be in the same position that we are. It is something I always think about at Christmas because as a family, while we do get gifts, it's never been about extravagance. There is a lot of thought behind it and a lot of time spent together as a family, which I'm pretty sure can be said about a lot of people and their Christmases. So I thought I would put together a few ideas about how you and myself can give back a little this Christmas. This is not about me being preachy and it is totally up to you what you do, but I know some people would appreciate them. And just so you realise, I am not suggesting you give ice-cream, though it would be a nice treat!

1 - Samaritan's Shoe Box

Though the date for this has long past, this is still something I want to mention because I have done it for many years and I'm certain this will be around next year to. Samaritan's Shoe Box is a lovely charity program where you fill a shoebox with gifts for a child. These shoeboxes then get sent to all different places across the globe and go to children who lives are very different to ours. As someone who works with children, this is a charity that is very close to my heart. It doesn't have to cost a lot either, things as simple as pens and paper are so welcomed.

2 - Charity Christmas Cards

This is a very simple one, but so many shops now sell Christmas cards that a portion of the money from their sale goes to charity. According to some googling I have just done, 900 million Christmas cards were bought last year - thankfully I don't have to send that many! They are not as expensive as you might think either. I got two packets for £1 in The Card Factory, so it is something you can easily do and there is still time to get your cards! I also use charity wrapping paper last year as well.

3 - Have a Clear Out and Donate

This is a really good one as well. You can either do it before Christmas or after Christmas, as it is a given that we do get new things at Christmas. Sad but true fact coming - I like shopping the New Look sale online on Christmas Day!! Feel sorry or sad for me. And as you go into a new year, a clear out is great for a new you and to start a fresh. Get rid of any clothes you don't wear or anything you don't use and take them to a charity shop. Clothes are also useful at shelters, so check your local centres to see if they want any donations. You can also give food to local shelters or food banks, so when you are out doing your Christmas food shopping, think about setting a carrier bag to one side to put some extra things in for a shelter. My local supermarket also has a donation box as well, so it is too easy not to give it a try.

4 - Donation presents

We all know that one person who says that they don't know what they want or that they don't want anything (just so you know, it's my Dad!). One great thing to do is instead of getting them a physical gift, get them a donation gift. We have been given these in the past like a shelter for a family, or feeding a family. I've even seen the gift of a goat, which might seem strange, but for a family, that could be their livelihood. PresentAid.Org is a great place to start, but check out your local charity shops. You could also give a donation to their favourite charity or a local cause. From experience, it gives you such a nice feeling to feel that someone is benefiting from something you have given. It is completely selfish I know, but it is worth it to help someone.

This is just a couple of simple ideas but everything helps. If you want to look for someways to help locally, check with your local community centre, local churches or your town/city website, were there will be lots of ideas of what you can do to give back this Christmas.

Photo: Alex @ Unsplash

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