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Christmas is the time of giving, and for many of us it is an expensive time of year. Not everyone has the luxury of receiving a mound of Christmas, being surrounded by loved ones, and enjoying a delicious meal. Every year I try and spread some of my blessings by helping those in need, and here are a few of the traditions my family and I have done over the years.
The Christmas Doorstop Challenge
I did this challenge last year and am planning on doing it again this year. The notion is simple, you fill a box / bag with Christmas goodies or gifts and you leave it anonymously on someone’s doorstep – pick someone you feel would benefit, perhaps who has had a tough year or may be spending Christmas alone. Last year I chose an elderly man who had lost his wife that year. I left mince pies, a book, chocolates and a Christmas decoration. I also left a Christmas card simply wishing him a Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year.
The Christmas Giving Jar
This is based on a novel by Jason Wright. At the start of the year you set aside a mason jar, any size of your choice. You then fill it throughout the year with your loose change – I chose to just put silver coins in mine to boost the value. Then over the Christmas season you choose a recipient, perhaps someone who has been made redundant, lost a relative or is a single parent. You leave the jar on their doorstep (or in a safe location!) and I also left a copy of the book so they could see the story behind the jar.
The Shoebox Appeal
The Samaritans have run this appeal for as long as I can remember, and I have filled a shoebox most years since I was a child. Another simple notion; fine a shoebox, select if you wish to fill it for a boy or a girl and the age range, label the box, fill it with gifts. There are drop off points across the UK and it is then suggested that you also donate around £5 to support the charity with the distribution of boxes. For more information, visit their website here. The appeal runs from November 1st – 18th so this is one to remember for next year.
I only recently discovered Post Pals via Money Saving Expert. It is an initiative to support seriously ill children by sending them letters/cards, small gifts, and general support. You can search through lots of sick children and read about their condition and their likes. Each child comes with a postal address for you to send things. I stumbled upon a little girl names Grace who loves TY teddies and horses and dogs. I have a huge collection of TY’s and am going to select on to send her in time for Christmas, along with card saying what an amazing little girl she is. Read more here.
Don’t send Christmas cards
Last year we made the decision to not send Christmas cards, and to instead donate the money we would have spent on cards and postage to charity. Last year my husband chose Motor Neuron Disease Association due to his family history, and this year it’s my turn to pick. There are so many worthy charities out there and I’m struggling to choose just one. Any suggestions will be very appreciated!
Today’s Codeword is: RUDOLF, if you would like to read another post and gain another entry, then head over to Welsh Mum of One for their take on Unique ways to spread the magic!
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