It’s that time of year again. The thing about Christmas that is most noticeable to this writer is the air of positivity and cheeriness as we go about our day-to-day activities. During this festive season people seem nicer, more patient (perhaps not in busy car parks! #roadrage), and generous of spirit. Revellers put pretend reindeer antlers on their cars and we are more inclined to give donations to charities. In that spirit of giving let’s think about those who are struggling to make ends meet or just struggling in general, mentally, physically, socially, economically. This can be a very lonely time of the year for some and if we are truly sincere about embracing Christmas with all its glitter and frivolity, then let’s think of those whose glass may be half empty. There are many ways you can give back, lend a helping hand, and make a difference to another person. They may be strangers or family members, friends or charities. Here are a few ideas to give back…

  • Instead of buying more stuff we don’t need, think about buying someone the gift of giving. World Vision gives you the chance to buy a goat for $40 for a family in need overseas. Who doesn’t love a goat?!
  • Volunteer at Christmas events or even on Christmas day serving lunch. Charities such as The Salvation Army need your help where it is most needed. Sometimes these charities are all booked out for helping but there is nothing stopping you from going out yourself and sharing festive food with homeless people. Or going through your wardrobe and giving it a good cull. Many people need clothes and shoes.
  • Think about those who maybe cross your path regularly and wish them well. It’s a small gesture but could make your local postman, checkout operator’s or neighbour’s day.
  • Give yourself the gift of patience and apply it to all you come across. Everyone is busy and frazzled at this time of year. Stop. Take a deep breath. Smile.
  • Remember to take time for yourself. Take a walk with a friend, have a swim, read a book, meditate. The list is endless but it’s important to make that time and step out of the craziness that is the Christmas season with all its trimmings (parties and alcohol).

Giving back can make your holiday more meaningful, and that’s a wonderful thing for you and everyone around you, especially recipients of your kindness and generosity. If you want a few more ideas, sites like will point you in the right direction for more options on how you can give back at Christmas this year. Peace.