Door 7: Giving Back at Christmas

We're feeling a little Santa-mental this Christmas.

Christmas is one of the best times of the year; it brings families and friends together, provides much needed time to reflect and give thanks for the many amazing things that we have in our lives. Not to mention it’s also the perfect excuse to binge eat tons of tasty food without (too much) regret!

But despite this, it should never be forgotten that amongst the many people celebrating, there are also countless people out there for whom Christmas will not be as merry – especially more so this year with its many challenges. Thus, we’ve come up five ways you can give back this Christmas and lend a bit of festive joy to those who might desperately need it.

  1. 1 Make extra

    Are you the type to bake a festive treat over the holidays? Why not make extra and give them to someone in need, such as an elderly neighbour. Not only will you make their day, but you'll also be everyone's favourite neighbour for years to come! 

  2. 2 Food Banks

    Food Banks have always been such an important part of our communities, and have been especially essential during this challenging year where people may be struggling to make ends meet.

    For those unaware, Food Banks helps those who are under the poverty line ensure that they have access to food when they otherwise might not. According to Government statistics, in the last year 1.6 million emergency food parcels were delievered to Food Banks to help those in need - and unfortunately that number has only been rising this year.

    If you've bought a little too much food this year, why not consider donating it? Any donation, big or small, are always appreciated and could really make someone's day.  Even if you cannot afford to purchase extra food, perhaps you might have something in the back of your cupboard lurking that is new, still in date, and just not liked by anyone in your household (but could be liked by someone else!)

  3. 3 Make a Phone Call

    Do you know anyone that has lost somebody close to them this Christmas?

    A death close to Christmas time can be especially difficult to deal with, as families or lone individuals struggle to come to terms with the new family dynamics they will be facing this Christmas Day. 

    Of course, normally we would suggest inviting them around, but given the current circumstances around the world, unfortunately that isn't possible. A phone call is a great alternative, and really helps to let the grieving know that you are thinking of them and that you're there for them. Hearing that voice of support may be exactly what they need, and might really help make a difference by showing they're never alone.

  4. 4 Walk the Animals!

    Local shelter are always looking for a helping hand, so why not offer to walk or feed the animals? Not only will you be helping out, but it'll be great fun too! Even if you're not able to help out physically, you can also help the shelter run smoothly at this hectic time of year by donating cat litter, dog or cat food (or anything of the sort).

  5. 5 Have a virtual Christmas

    Unfortunately, Christmas will be a quieter one this year for a lot of people. While normally we would be inviting around families and friends to party and get merry, this year we must do our part by staying indoors and not gathering large groups of people into one room. But that doesn't mean you have to go without seeing your loved ones completely - why not consider hosting a virtual Christmas instead? Thanks to services like Zoom or Skype, connecting to people has never been easier. You could host a quiz, play an online game, or simply just talk to one another - the possibilites are endless!     

These are but a few of our ideas but how you can give back this Christmas, but we'd love to hear your thoughts too! Let us know your own ideas (or indeed what you're planning to do this year) of how you'll be giving back to those in need in the comment box down below. 

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Sam Kenealy

Sam is a member of the Students Association staff team.


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