There’s no denying the excitement of Christmas for children — the magic, the lights, the decorations, the presents! These are all fun and festive elements of this time of year, but it’s also important to stay in touch with the giving spirit of Christmas. We are still living with closed borders and many families unable to be together. People have lost employment or experienced changed circumstances and elderly people have been isolated.
The true spirit of Christmas has always been about giving and sharing. Sharing love, sharing kindness and sharing a helping hand for those in need. So how can we keep that beautiful festive spirit alive? Here are a few ideas that you can do with children to continue to foster Christmas giving and sharing for years to come.
Ways to give back at Christmas
Pay someone a visit: Life can be busy and this means that we don’t always get time to visit loved ones. This festive period, make the time to pay a visit to someone who will really appreciate the company. This might be a grandparent, a family friend or a neighbour. You might even take them a yummy Christmas treat!
Buy some extra pressies: When you’re doing the Christmas shopping, if you can afford to do so, consider buying a couple of extra presents to give to someone in need. There are many families who will struggle this Christmas and a thoughtful gift under the tree can mean the world. Speak to charity organisations such as local community groups, The Salvos, The Smith Family and others, to get your gift to the right people. It may be worth checking in advance what age groups are in need, most so you can buy accordingly.
Do a clean out: Giving to those in need doesn’t mean you have to spend money. When was the last time you went through your wardrobe or playroom? Chances are there are plenty of great items that are good as new, but no longer serve a purpose at your place. Meanwhile, there are many people who are in desperate need of clothes, toys and more. Go through your items, bag up the things that you no longer want or need and donate them to a local organisation who can get them to those in your community who really need them. Plus, you’re giving back to the environment by upcycling your old items!
Adopt an animal: Australian native animals need our support and love. You can adopt one of our gorgeous critters to help Australia and support our fauna and flora! Since the bushfires in particular, our wildlife has needed us more than ever. You could adopt an animal for your service, or encourage families to adopt for themselves or as gifts at Christmas! Make inquiries through WWF, Australia Zoo or other zoos.
Adopt a pet: For families thinking of getting a new kitten or puppy or guinea pig at Christmas time, consider adopting first. There are countless animals in need of a loving forever home, so check out RSPCA first.
Write Christmas Cards:
Many of us have grown up with, and treasured, the tradition of sending Christmas cards. Sadly with the rise of the ‘electronic age’, this practice seems to have gone by the wayside. At Bonkers Beat it’s been a tradition to hand deliver Christmas cards to our neighbours that are made and decorated by children. Not only does this experience bring joy to those in our local community, but it also teaches our children the pleasure and importance of caring and giving to others. Check the photos here.
Hopefully these ideas give you some inspiration to reconnect with the true spirit of Christmas this year!