Christmas is a time for giving….so the saying goes, and for me it is not just about giving presents to people I know but spreading the giving a little wider, especially giving to those who are less fortunate than myself and people I may never meet.
As a family we really do have more than we need and for us Christmas is a very pleasant indulgence. I put things on my Not so Secret Santa list that I know I might not buy for myself. They are not always useful things or things I need but I think at least at Christmas I can satisfy having something just because I would like to have it and not feel a pang of guilt.
But I know not everyone is so lucky. There are many less fortunate people, homeless and lonely. So with the Christmas spirit of giving in mind I put aside some time today to think of others and do some giving by sending out a few donations to some of my favourite charities like the Salvation Army who do amazing work at Christmas giving up their time to help people in need.
It is not all monetary donations though I do try to give back in other ways by using my time to make a few ‘crafty’ items to sell at our local Church Christmas coffee morning where all the proceeds go to support the charity Crisis. They provide homeless people with a Christmas dinner, warm clothing and hairdressing on Christmas Day.
I love making things that will help to raise some of the money – part of the fun is thinking up ideas of things to make that use very inexpensive materials. Over the years I have made rag dolls, stockings, tree decorations, writing boxes and wreaths. Below are a few of the things I have made.
These little bags below were made from left over wrapping paper and old Christmas cards – like a selection box they contained a handful of the assorted mini chocolate bars – the ones you can always find on offer in any supermarket at Halloween time.
These painted terracotta plant pots I got free from a lady in the village where our cottage is in Scotland. I bought a pack of tulip bulbs to divide up between the pots and packaged them in cellophane with a hand stamped label.
Using a variety of stamps and coloured inks I made an assortment of six little Christmas cards and packaged them in these pretty tissue parcels – all hand stamped.
Even if I am not able to do anything else it doesn’t cost me much in time or money to add a few extra Christmas groceries to our local food bank when I am shopping in Sainsbury’s or fill a shoebox with a few inexpensive items for one of the Children’s Christmas Shoebox appeals.
My attempts at giving back never feel like they amount to much, they are small gestures but I do hope the little I do to give back helps to put a smile of someone’s face this Christmas.
Other than that today I had to go to the hospital in Leeds to have the usual routine blood tests. It was rather challenging trying to get there as they have closed some of the roads that lead to our house for resurfacing and in their wisdom the ones that they closed today were different to the ones they said they would close on the website information (I suppose I could have guessed that!). Then just outside our village we were held up at a junction as three wide load escorted lorries pulled out in front of us and joined the main road, then proceeded at 20 miles an hour down the middle of the road all the way into town. It was another 3 miles before we could turn off onto an alternative route. The alternative route took us off the main road to town and onto a windy back road where we then ran into a tractor (not literally) that was hedge cutting and removing overhanging branches for the council and had to crawl along behind him!
Luckily the blood tests are done on a walk in arrangement rather than an appointment time. Afterwards we had a trip to Ikea for one of those picture ledge shelves and a wander around Home Sense. It was quite late when we arrived back home and hence the reason I am late with today’s post which you will be reading a day late no doubt.