The most wonderful time of the year?
Christmas is exciting.
But it’s easy to get swept up in present buying, event attending and chocolate gorging. We have a tendency to have tunnel vision for our own calendars, and gifting things to only those immediately around us - whether that comes in the form of willing gift to a loved one or reluctant Secret Santa you’ve been roped into.
At eduMe this year we wanted to make an effort to do something meaningful as a team. We thought it was important to refocus our energies externally - to take time to stop and think of those less fortunate than us.
What we’re doing
For starters, we’ve set up a Reverse Advent Calendar. Rather than taking something every day, instead we donate something. We’ve joined forces with MindfulChef and FareShare to provide food to those in need. They send us some boxes to fill, and the team donate a non-perishable food item to the box daily in the run up to Christmas.
It’s so easy to create something like this - it doesn’t have to be through a corporate initiative. You can bundle everything into a box and drop it off at your local food bank, or even try your local supermarket for food donation points.
More recently we celebrated Christmas Jumper Day. We were challenged to don our favourite (or any) Christmas Jumper to raise money for Save the Children.
A garish item of clothing is a surefire way to spark peoples’ interest, which = conversations and awareness raising. The donation process was also frictionless - it could be done via text, in person, or by simply scanning a barcode on posters provided by Save the Children.
What you can do
It doesn’t have to be an office-led effort. Things you can contribute as an individual include:
Volunteering with Crisis. Crisis aim to end homelessness for good. As a volunteer you can expect to help with meals, share skills, have a chat and play games with their guests.
Still don’t know what to get your great aunt? Make a charitable donation as a gift. Unicef, Macmillan, Save the Children, and Oxfam all include a customisable card or gift card, so the recipient knows what you’ve bought on their behalf.
1.4 million people in the UK are lonely. Age UK encourages random acts of kindness. Think: offering to sweep up leaves, salt an icy front step, do shopping for an older neighbour or invite them over for a mince pie and a cup of tea. It may be the only interaction they have that day!
A little goes a long way. What may seem like the smallest of gestures to you could make someone else’s Christmas.
Happy holidays! ❄️🎄🎅