Christmas Spirit: Five ways to spread the joy

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and I hope that all reading this are looking forward to a fantastic holiday. However, there are many out there who do not look forward to this festive time of year, or enjoy it when it comes. Whatever kind of Christmas yours is shaping up to be, there are simple things that all of us can do to improve the holiday of those around us. Here are five simple tips to help spread that Christmas magic. 

Christmas is possibly my favourite time of the year; the food, fire, family… I love it all. However, I am also very aware that not everyone has such a rosy picture of this season. My mum is a minister and works very hard to make sure everyone is included, visiting the elderly, the ill, those who can’t afford the trimmings we have come to associate with this holiday. So, I write this for her: not everyone has a very merry Christmas, and there’s a lot we can all do to change that. 

1)      Reach out to others

Christmas can be a very lonely time for some people, especially as it’s a reminder of being without loved ones- so reach out to people. Do you know someone who might be alone this Christmas? Invite them to stay! Or, if that’s not practical for you, send a card, present, or just a message to let them know you’re thinking of them. There are small things we can all do: offer to help someone with their Christmas shopping, give them a lift somewhere, or take an hour to visit them during the holiday. So many people are excluded from the idyllic Christmas scene, so make sure you do your bit to spread the festive spirit.

2)      Christmas shoe box

There are many charities that collect shoe boxes with small gifts inside to send off to those less fortunate than us; the Christmas Shoebox Appeal is one I am familiar with, but there are many others. Send a present off to someone who wouldn’t normally get gifts, and share a part of what you get to enjoy at Christmas time. You can specify gender identity, and age range, to ensure that your gift is perfectly tailored to them. Something as simple as a skipping rope can bring a smile to both your face, and that of the person who receives it.

3)      Re-think your presents

One of my favourite presents to receive is the Oxfam charity gifts, where someone gives a donation in your name. There are loads of variations of this, and it’s a brilliant way to enjoy your day, and spread a little happiness to others. I don’t need half the things I’m given at Christmas, but I know that gift- giving brings so much joy to others. Why not suggest this alternative to your friends and family?

4)      Volunteer

There are so many opportunities to volunteer at Christmas, whether it’s serving dinner at homeless shelters, visiting elderly people who don’t have family nearby, or helping refugee families feel welcome in a strange place. The possibilities are endless, so take this time of year to help those less fortunate than yourself. Everyone deserves to have something to smile about at Christmas, so reach out to others and see what you can do to help.

5)      Remember the environment

I love over- indulging at Christmas, but there are still ways to do this without damaging the environment. Please try not to buy more food than you really need at Christmas, make any leftovers last, and take anything that will keep to food banks. Food wastage is a huge issue all year round, but especially at Christmas. Enjoy this amazing time of year, but don’t forget the small things like turning out all Christmas lights at night, keep the showers short and recycle your wrapping paper. Keeping our planet safe and helping others, is an important part of celebrating Christmas in style.