It’s officially December 1st as I write this which has me filled with so much joy! This month is always my favourite month of the year purely because of the kindness that seems to be everywhere, the christmas music that is always playing in the shops, the christmas movies that are playing on TV and the decorations that are everywhere. Yes, I am that annoying person who wears christmas shirts and sings along to the music and knows every word. I’m not even sorry!
However, I am very aware that December and the Christmas period is not everyone’s favourite time of the year because unfortunately not everyone can afford, or is in the position to have a wonderful Christmas. In fact for around 8.4 million Australians, Christmas is a financial nightmare and over half a million children under the age of 10, won’t have any gifts under the Christmas tree. These facts I’ve drawn from The Salvation Army’s Australian website and are just a few of many upsetting facts about this time of year. If you want to check out more facts head here!
Thus, I share with you 5 tips on how you can make a difference this Christmas!
So many organisations are looking for volunteers all year ’round, but especially during December when many have gift-wrapping booths set up in shopping centres; some are looking for volunteers to help collect food donations from supermarkets; soup vans and soup kitchens are consistently looking for volunteers to feed those who are less fortunate, and these are just a few of so many opportunities that are available around Christmas! Such simple and small acts of kindness that can truly change someone else’s life.
2. Register for a food or toy hamper!
This is one that I did for the first time this year and it was so fun! I donated my hampers to The Salvation Army/Mission Australia and honestly, I’ve never participated in something so simple for myself, but that will hopefully be so life-changing for another family. The best thing is as well, is that you don’t even have to collect a whole bunch of toys or food, just a few items and they make all the world of difference. Or even better, register your school/workplace and get each person to bring in one or a few items, that way you have a whole hamper to donate!
3. Buy the person’s coffee/hot chocolate/drink/item who is in line behind you
We see it on TV all the time, and you might think it’s cliche or overdone, but seriously kindness is never and let me repeat that, never, overdone! My mum and I actually experienced this just yesterday when the lady behind us offered her member’s card so as we could get the discount that was on offer for the piece of clothing we were purchasing-it made us smile and we will pass on that random act of kindness on another day, thus the kindness spreading further and further. Kindness is cool!! Never believe otherwise.
4. Buy Christmas cards where a percentage of the profit heads off to a charity.
The Salvation Army. The Starlight Foundation. Mission Australia and so many more have cards out in the big wide world of commercialised christmas where, if you purchase them, they receive a small profit and therefore are able to continue to make a difference to the people, families and children that they are helping year-round.
5. Remember your manners
Christmas is hectic, we all know that. People are rushing around the shops, running into one another, retail workers are working double-time trying to please everyone and I understand completely that you get frustrated and annoyed and want to get angry or you don’t say thank you on your way out. But seriously, remembering to smile, to be patient and kind, and to say please and thank you everywhere you go, makes a load of a difference to everyone around you. So simple, but damn what a change to people’s lives it makes.
What other tips do you have on how to make a difference this Christmas? Are you going to use any of these in your life this Christmas period? Let me know in the comments below x