‘Tis the season to be jolly… altruistic
Christmas, it has been said once or twice, is the season of goodwill unto others. But besides handing out bath oils and socks to our nearest and dearest, how many of us, regardless of our religious inclinations, can say, hand on heart, that we do our bit to help those less fortunate than ourselves over the festive period?
This year in particular, what with all the simmering hate that has been rearing its ugly head, it feels like we should all find ways to give a little love.
And just in case any Scrooge McDucks are shouting “Bah Humbug!” at this idea, there is even a selfish reason for being unselfish. Joint research recently published by the Universities of California and Yale have found compelling evidence that doing good deeds can lessen negative emotional responses to stress. Or in other words, being kinder makes you stronger. Bugsy Malone was right, “you give a little love and it all comes back to you.”
Whatever your motive, here are 4 ideas for a good deed-filled December…
1. Get Your Gifts From The Choose Love Pop-Up Shop
Instead of getting another present for someone who doesn’t need it, shop from the Choose Love pop-up where you can buy real products for refugees, including emergency blankets, school bags and medical equipment. All funds raised will go to UK charity Help Refugees to support their work across Europe and The Middle East. Located at 18 Broadwick Street until January 2018, the store is beautifully designed, thanks to Glimpse, for an informative and uplifting shopping experience that you’ll leave feeling good.
Josie Naughton CEO of Help Refugees: ‘It’s easy to forget how lucky we are to have a bed, a blanket and a roof over our heads. For thousands of refugees this Winter, these basic human needs are completely out of reach. This shop is all about one simple idea: that we should all choose love this Christmas and help those in need’.
2. Choose Your Christmas Jumpers Carefully
If you’re embracing the #sorrynotsorry enthusiasm for festive knitwear, swap the crappy one-wear-wonders for a pretty poppy jumper from The Poppy Shop. All profits go to the Royal British Legion.
3. Reverse Your Advent Calendar
Alongside opening a window, put something into a box every day in December (like a coin or a canned food item) and give it to a food bank on 24th December. Your donations will be sorted and packed into food parcels before being passed onto people in need to improve their Christmasses. Find more details about the campaign and food banks near you.
4. Support Refugees With The Play For Peace Campaign
The Body Shop has teamed up with the NGO International Alert so raise money for refugee children in Syria. Every gift bought from the seasonal collection will support the Peace Play project which uses recreational and creative activities to help those affected by war to deal with trauma and understand their experiences of conflict.
Harriet Lamb, CEO of International Alert said: ‘Some young Syrians struggle to remember a time before violence and loss, before they had to flee their homes and become refugees. We provide a safe space for them to play, and be children again. This Christmas we are thrilled to be partnering with The Body Shop. Every gift you buy from their seasonal gift collections will help bring a smile to a Syrian child’s face. What a great way to share the spirit of Christmas’.