'Tis the season of giving! It's usually this time of the year where we reflect on how fortunate we are, especially after the year we’ve had. Making the most vulnerable in our society feel a little special this festive season is a great way to show compassion towards those people whose holidays may not be as merry. Put a smile on someone’s face with these five ways you can give back over the holidays.
The Santa Shoebox Project
The act of gifting during the festive season is a way of showing appreciation, love and gratitude towards each other. Sadly, many children around the country are not as fortunate to have basic essentials and food, let alone gifts. The Santa Shoebox Project is a non-profit organisation that distributes over 100,000 shoeboxes filled with Christmas goodies and essentials to children from vulnerable backgrounds.
Want to get involved? This project has made it even more convenient to play a part in making the holidays a little more special to those who need it the most. You can pledge a virtual Santa Shoebox via their website, then teams of volunteers can pack the eight essential items into a shoebox with a personal message from you. “Due to the lack of donors in rural areas, these children would otherwise not receive a Santa Shoebox, and quite possibly no end-of-year gift at all”, says Squad Captain, Melissa Lee.
Donate your Secret Santa gift
With the spirit of festive being about love, warmth, family and compassion; this time of the year can be especially hard for the homeless. If your family or colleagues commit to Secret Santa gifts, consider forfeiting your gift and asking your Santa to donate an item of clothing, hygiene essentials or food item to someone in need instead.
Invite a friend to share Christmas with you
We tend to forget that some people don’t get the opportunity to be home with their loved ones during this season - with spending the festive season alone a harsh reality for many people. Make space at your table for an extra guest - whether it's a friend, colleague or neighbour - there's always a way to make a little extra love, warmth and food to go around.
Choose a day to serve each other at home
One thing that the holiday season is not short of is chores. With everyone being home during this time, the house is bound to get messier than usual - making it a great time to rally up the family to do random acts of kindness for each other. Take out the trash, make breakfast, encourage your children to pick up their sibling’s toys, and just genuinely show appreciation for one another. Let the spirit of being in each other’s presence and helping each other out be the motivation you need to give back to each other this festive season. After having a rollercoaster of the year, it’s a great time to show gratitude for surviving it with the ones we love.
Buy a holiday gift from a local brand
The pandemic hit us hard, but local business suffered a great deal too with many having to close their doors for good. Jobs have been lost, business has been slower and finances have been tight for small brands around the country. So why not support the local economy by shopping festive treats from your favourite South African brands. Some of our favourites include SKOON, Iwori and IQ.
IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com