Give Something Back

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give-something-backAs much as I enjoy some of the excessives associated with Christmas (food, mulled wine, general merriment and I’ll be honest there is no such thing for me as too much Christmas music) I do find the heavy focus on consumption and the receiving of gifts, particularly with children, quite challenging. Ours are very little right now so we have some control but I realise that once they start school this becomes trickier. I like the idea of doing something more altruistic as a family at this time of year, I really want them to learn the value and importance of kindness and gratitude.

We also know that there are many psychological benefits to giving. This Ted talk is a good one about how spending our money on others makes us happier.

How to buy happiness

So I think the concept of #givingtuesday, particularly at Christmas, makes a lot of sense. Check out the website¬† www.givingtuesday.org or the UK version if you haven’t heard of it before… www.givingtuesday.org.uk.

It doesn’t need to be monetary giving, it could be volunteering your time or just doing something for someone who needs your help or support.

We plan to do two things:
Our little people have advent bags that they will open each day and generally involve experiences like staying up late to watch The Snowman, going for a drive in their jammies to see Xmas lights on nearby houses and decorating the tree. Some include acts of kindness (like choosing someone to bake for) and on Tuesday they will be asked to choose one toy or book to give to a child who are not as lucky as they are.
Then since our newest addition is only 6 weeks old (and has just started smiling) we plan to donate £1 to a childrens charity for every smile we get during the day!

Other ideas could include:
Pledging to volunteer for something in 2015
Signing up to do a charity event in 2015
Donating an amount however big or small to your favourite charity
Taking old clothes or books to a charity shop
Buying an extra present for a toy appeal
Organising a Xmas bake off or collection at work for a Xmas cause
Giving food to a local food bank
Visiting an elderly neighbour for a chat and a cup of tea

 

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