Friday, April 19, 2024

Channelling Mrs Claus? Here’s How To Go ALL IN This Christmas!

Look, a lot has happened this year. To absolutely everyone. Very, very few people have got to the end of 2020 and marvelled about how stress-free and wonderful the whole experience has been.

That’s why I, for one, am planning on going large and leaning in to Christmas this year, hard. Maybe I’ve watched too many Netflix Christmas movies in my time, but there is something undeniably magical about the month that leads up to the big day. And after the year we’ve all had, celebrating kindness, being good and giving to others, and, the possibility of a good old-fashioned Christmas miracle, really ought to be celebrated.

That means I’m playing Mariah Carey on repeat, decorating the tree early, investing in a ridiculously OTT advent calendar, re-watching all the Christmas classics and taking walks up Auckland’s Franklin Road (although come hell or high water I shall still be avoiding the malls and their anxiety-inducing car parks at all costs. Leaning into Christmas does not need to mean one should be masochistic!).

One of my favourite traditions of Christmas in the last few years has been doing something to give back at this time of year – and it seems that old adage of “it’s better to give than receive” really does ring true.

Yes, budgets are tight this year, but if you can spare a few dollars for charity, or put an extra few items into your supermarket trolley to donate – whatever you can manage, I strongly urge you to.

It doesn’t have to be huge. That little tradition I’ve been keeping up has only cost a few dollars – it’s really just an investment of time. I buy a few packs of festive cards, and write to folks in retirement villages who don’t have family and would otherwise go without any outside interaction for the festive season.

This year, more than ever, we’ve learnt about the negative effects of isolation and the incredible power of connection. Think about who in your community might need your help this year. Then, if you’re able to give the gift of time to someone who really needs it, do it – you’ll not only make their Christmas, but I can guarantee, it’ll also make you feel warmer inside than even the spiciest mulled wine is capable of.

Where to Help This Christmas

+ Send a ‘Gift of Hope‘ through the Salvation Army. There’s a range of gifts available to buy online – for $20 you can put a gift under the tree of a child who would otherwise go without a present this year. For $90 you can help an elderly kiwi tackle loneliness, through the Senior Support Programme which offers regular contact, support and friendship. For $240 you can provide emergency accommodation for someone who desperately needs it this Christmas.

+ Volunteer to pack food for Christmas Box – for 20 years they’ve been delivering food/essentials boxes to those in need. On December 5 they’re packing up their boxes – click here to register. If you’re busy on the day, but still want to help, they’re still looking for donations to create boxes. Thirty dollars buys you a box delivered as a surprise to a family who would otherwise be going without this year.

+ Drop a non-perishable item into the Auckland City Mission or your local food bank.

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