We love to treat the people we care about with thoughtful gifts, especially over the holidays. And while tokens of our affection are fun ways to spread gratitude and love, there are several opportunities to make a huge difference over the holidays (or at anytime of year!) by giving back to your community.
Charity Begins At Home
Instead of opting for extravagant gifts, why not check in with family members and see if there’s any way you can be of service this holiday season. Perhaps your sister could use a break from her loveable but demanding family for an afternoon; an offer to babysit could be greatly appreciated. Older relatives often have a list of things that need to be done but that are hard for them to tackle on their own. Take the time to ask around and see if shelves need to be put up, groceries delivered, a favourite china mug mended, and give the gift of your own thoughtful actions.
Extend The Invitation
While some of us enjoy the merriment of festive family celebrations, not everyone has that opportunity. The holidays can in fact be very tough for those who find themselves alone. If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself with an extra plate or two at the holiday dinner table this year, why not extend the invitation to friends who may not be able to make it home, or who for whatever reason find themselves without family to celebrate with. The more the merrier is our motto when it comes to holiday cheer!
Volunteering your time to your community is a wonderful way to spread the spirit of the season and really make a difference. The demand for food bank services can increase around the holidays, and whether it’s peeling potatoes or serving seasonal meals, another pair of generous hands is always appreciated. Feel strongly about plant-based eating and want to help out at a likeminded establishment? Some cities also have vegetarian food banks where you can also volunteer or drop off non-perishable goods.
As sad as it is to consider, the reality is not everyone can afford presents under the tree and stockings full of treats for their little ones. Donating toys can be a sweet way to ensure the magic of the holidays stays strong for less fortunate children. Many offices and local businesses have festively decorated bins for collecting toys, and city run donation services are often in place for you to drop off toys and warm winter clothing.
Donations In Lieu of Gifts
There are many ways to say “Thank You” or “I Care” that don’t involve a trip to your local department store. Making a donation on someone's behalf is a beautiful gesture and may just be the perfect gift for that person who has "everything". Take the time to figure out which charities are close to their heart, or do a little research and find organizations that align with their personal values. We suggest starting with local charities and non-profits.
The act of giving always makes a beautiful gift.
Stray & Wander Team