Small Ways to Make a Big Difference This Christmas
Posted by Karli Ostle on Mon, Dec 2020
There’s no denying that 2020 has been a difficult year, especially for Victorians. From the beginning we have endured bushfires, a global pandemic, a deadly second wave that killed over 800 people and infected thousands more, mass unemployment, business closures and economic devastation. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t suffered personally, you definitely know someone who has.
At Hodges, we are consistently active in the communities in which we operate and encourage everyone in our network to seek out ways to give back. While everyone has been challenged in their own way during 2020, we know from experience that doing something for others is a sure-fire way to feel happier and more optimistic about the future. As the Christmas period is traditionally known as a time of giving, what better way to celebrate the end of a challenging year than by giving back to your own community! Below are some small ways you can help someone have a happier Christmas this year (even if you’ve left your shopping to the last minute!).
Shop small, shop local
Rather than hit up the chains and large department stores for gifts this year, take a walk around your neighbourhood and pop into a small independent shop or two. Not only are you likely to find something unique, but you’ll be helping out a small business owner who has been hit hard by 2020. They will be overjoyed by your purchase, you’ll be helping them rebuild their small business, and you’ll have a fabulous gift for a loved one. Win-win!
Give the gift of service
Chances are you know someone who lost their job or business in 2020 and has potentially struggled with bills, mortgage payments or putting food on the table. It will have been an extremely stressful time for them and they deserve a break. While a bottle of champagne or a pot plant are lovely gifts, why not gift them something more helpful? You could offer to mind their kids while they have a night off or have a date night with their significant other. Perhaps it might be helpful to them if you were to mow their lawn, weed their garden, clean their house, do their ironing or wash their car (or any number of household chores they may have previously paid for or haven’t had time to do). You could cook a meal or bake some Christmas treats for a family who have been doing it tough. Even better, open your home, invite them around for dinner and shower them with your hospitality. These acts of service cost you next to nothing but time and a little bit of effort and will be very much appreciated by the recipient.
There will be many organisations in your local community in need of a few hours of your time over the Christmas period to help those in need. There will be things like packing food boxes, sorting second-hand clothing, or distributing care packages that you will be able to do that will go a long way toward helping that organisation run successfully. Have a look online for charities operating in your area and contact them to offer your services.
If you have been one of the lucky ones in 2020 who has managed to keep their job throughout the pandemic, consider a small donation to a worthwhile organisation helping people in your community. There are thousands of worthy causes, and many dedicated to helping rebuild people’s lives, livelihoods and mental wellbeing after a tough year. Any donation, however small, is always appreciated by the organisation. If you can find a local grassroots charity with minimal overheads, it’s more likely that your money will go directly toward helping people in need.
There are many more small ways you can put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas. Find someone you know who has had a really rough year and ask yourself what might help lighten their load – then take action.