After such a tough year for many, Christmas offers a light at the end of the tunnel to spend time with loved ones and take a break. The festive season brings many traditions like scrumptious pavlova’s, advent calendars and large family dinners with all the trimmings, but this year may be the time to try something new and give back others.
More families than ever are struggling this year, but if you’re able there are a number of ways you can support the community in a meaningful way.
Donate food – There are many different organisations in New Zealand that do a great job of supporting families in need, and unfortunately the demand for food donations during the holiday season increases dramatically. A great idea is to select one or two extra non-perishable items during your weekly shopping in the lead up to Christmas and then drop them off to your chosen organisation with the kids. This teaches children to be kind and compassionate while being grateful for what they have.
Gifts for children in need – Many NZ organisations collect gifts and distribute them to kids who might not receive anything otherwise. Most of these organisations work alongside low decile schools, Women’s Refuge and community organisations to get gifts to those who need them the most. Just search online for one that’s close to you.
Volunteer your time – Whilst charitable organisations like soup kitchens, homeless shelters and rest homes all need a little extra help at this time of the year, you can also keep it local by visiting an elderly neighbour or someone you know might be feeling a little lonely. It’s sometimes the smallest things that bring the biggest smiles.
Random act of kindness – During the silly season stress levels often increase and people forget to be kind to each other. They say kindness is infectious so you can take it upon yourself to start a trend today. Maybe bake some homemade biscuits for the teacher at your child’s school, grab a coffee for a workmate or just let that frazzled mum take the free carpark at your local mall.
Most of all take care of yourself. It’s been quite the journey over the last year and now is your opportunity to take a moment to appreciate what you have, take time to relax with your family and friends and let them know how much they mean to you.