4 Ways To Help Others This Christmas

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year and I love everything about it, the indulgence, the cosiness, the fun and family time - it's great isn't it?

It's also a really hard time of year for some people. As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, the addition of watching others celebrate can be so sad for those that maybe don't have a family to care for them or a roof to keep them sheltered and warm. If someone you know will be lonely or missing a loved one this year, why not try and find a way to put a smile back on their face.

I know most people do help where they can, but I thought I would share a few brilliant ways you can help make someones Christmas a happy one this year, that you may not have thought of. It's not all about giving money, it doesn't always take much to put a smile on someones face and I can bet you'll enjoy your Christmas much more knowing that others are enjoying theirs too.

Help/Visit the elderly

According to the Metro, 340,000 elderly people will spend this Christmas alone. Imagine for a second how that must feel, not a soul around to enjoy the festivities with and the silence of a quiet town. As much as this year's John Lewis advert has had mixed reviews, essentially it tells a story of a lonely elderly man and it's a tale that will be all too familiar with a lot of people, some with nobody on the other end of the telescope.

You can help the elderly this Christmas by volunteering in your community, donating to age related charities or simply visiting or sending a card to an elderly person you know to let them know you are thinking of them. The smallest gesture could have the biggest impact on their day.

Help the homeless

I don't need to say much about why helping the homeless this time of year is so important, it's obvious. There are so many ways you can help those in a less fortunate position, check out this video from Crisis.

There are thousands of homeless charities and food banks around the country too, just ask what they need, and donate - all details can be found online and there are a lot more charities around than you would think, all grateful of a helping hand or donation. You can find ways to help Crisis by clicking here.

Why not give someone a Christmas card or simply the time of day for a chat and a coffee, sometimes kindness is the best gift you can give and it's completely free, we should totally do it more. 

Carry out a random act of kindness 

Unless you've been living in a cave somewhere, you've no doubt heard about the RAOK or random act of kindness craze that amazingly is sweeping the nation. The idea is to simply surprise a stranger with a gift or some kind of kindness, here are a few suggestions for Christmas; 

Give a Christmas card to a homeless person, your local shop, postman etc...

For someone missing a loved one, buy them a Chinese lantern to write a message on and release.

Write a letter to your child's teacher explaining why they are great.

Buy a treat for someone who won't expect it, what about some lovely bubble bath for that stressed mum at playgroup or a nice warm scarf for the lollipop man.

Drop a surprise food parcel at someones house, you can even be anonymous.

Pick someone in the street and give them a box of chocolates.

Make some Christmas goodies for your neighbours.

Take some flowers to an old people's home.

Leave a kind note for someone.

Re-home some goodies 

Donate old toys that people could use as gifts for families that are struggling. Warm winter clothes would be gratefully received and even something simple and festive; your old Christmas tree, a length of tinsel, that free box of mince pies you got the other day, the smallest of things can make a big difference this time of year, where every one of us feels pressure to make things perfect. 

Even if none of the above appeal to you or are not an option, just smile and be kind. Wish people a merry Christmas, hold doors open and go that extra mile to spread a little Christmas cheer. Let's all be the reason someone smiles this Christmas. 

Merry Christmas!