Give the Gift of Charity This Christmas

December 26, 2014 11:13 am

We all know that feeling. That feeling when you’re asked, ‘what do you want for Christmas?’ Obviously it would not be Christmas without a few presents to unwrap, a glass of wine swilling in your hand and the debatably ‘pleasant’ company of your family members. However, most of the time we have only a few ideas of the things we would like: perhaps a bottle of perfume or a new pair of shoes. But there comes a time when asked, you simply have to say, ‘I have no idea’. So what happens then? What happens when you have no further suggestions? Well, the friends and family members that you were unable to advise head out to the shops, spot something funny and deem it a serendipitous find. They purchase the gift (usually something plastic and humourous), wrap it up, and hand it to you with a huge smile on their face. No doubt you will unwrap the present on Christmas day to a beaming smile and make a comment along the lines of, ‘what is Susan like?’ You will place the gift by your feet, where it will be used for a day before disappearing into a drawer or under a bed, never to be seen again until the day you move house.

This has probably happened more than once over the past few years; it will more than likely happen this year; and will undoubtedly occur over the coming years too. It is nice to know that your friends and family are thinking of you at Christmas; that they have made the effort to spend their hard-earned cash on a gift for you. But why does it have to happen this way? Surely there is something else we can do? Something more, fruitful.

This year, if you have exhausted each of your gift options and you find yourself within the, ‘I have no idea’ phase. Why not suggest that the kind person offering you a gift, instead, donates to charity on your behalf? It will save them the hassle of scouring the shops and internet trying to find something ‘suitable’ for you. It will save you the headache of trying to think of something, simply to extinguish their relentless inquisition. And it will be a genuinely selfless act that will truly embrace the essence of Christmas. The essence that it is better to give than receive.

There are many charities that could do with a little extra help at this time of year, and there are many people who would greatly benefit from a little extra cash. Just think, instead of unwrapping a gift that you didn’t ask for, and let’s be honest, didn’t really want. You could be proud in the knowledge that you have done something genuinely selfless this Christmas. You could sit at home, sipping your wine, eating your dinner with a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling inside. Knowing that you have chosen to donate to charity as opposed to clogging up even more valuable space in your house.

It’s not hard to do, in-fact, it’s easy. Next time you find yourself on the spot, being interrogated about what you want this year. Tell the well-wisher that you request they make a donation to [insert your charity here] on your behalf. Everybody has a charity that is close to their heart, or a charity that they can closely associate themselves with.

So go on. Make a difference. Spread the word. Instigate change. And give the gift of charity this Christmas.

Oh yeah, and have a very merry Christmas indeed.

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