We’ve started the countdown in earnest to Christmas. The time when we are bombarded with advertising. When shoppers tussle for the “must have gift”. When we think about spending time with loved ones, hoping that the Christmas cheer doesn’t get too out of hand.
Christmas may be December 25, but for many its joy starts months out. The cake that is baked and fed with brandy (rum, sherry … whatever your tippole). The presents bought early in the sales (or last minute in a rush). Trees that arrived stores in September and were put up by many in November.
It is, as the song goes, the most wonderful time of the year. For some. This yuletide spare a thought for those less fortunate, who may be doing it tough this Christmas. There are a myriad of ways you can help your neighbour.
Buy locally. There is a big push this year to think twice before you click and buy. A gift bought locally keeps somebody you might know in a job.
Give to those in need: Foodshare has warned that more people are likely to go hungry as food poverty worsens. “People going without food over Christmas is extra hard. It puts a lot of stress on families and kids,” Cathy Steele, Bendigo Foodshare chairwoman, said. “So we are seeking non-perishable food people can take over the holiday period and that will last. Things like pasta, rice, pasta sauce and tinned tuna. That would be really, really helpful.” So, if you can afford it, throw an extra tin or packet in the shopping trollely and send it Foodshare’s way.
Buy from charities: Trees, cakes, ornaments. There are lots of ways that you can support local charities in their Christmas fund drives. The money raised goes back into the community. And so the cycle continues.
Spread the Christmas cheer: Christmas can be a lonely time. The “orphans” Christmas has been a long tradition. With mental health and loneliness a growing concern among people of all ages, take the time to ask “Are you Ok?”. It may be just the human touch somebody needs.
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