My favourite month is creeping up quick and its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
A month of wrapping gifts, watching Christmas movies, listening to carols, family traditions and decorating your house in lights and tinsel.
But for many it can anything but joyful. It’s a struggle for many, emotionally and financially and even though I don’t have much time or money to spare this time of the year, I still think its important to give back where I can where I can.

Here are some ways you can make a difference this Christmas.

Frugal ways to give back.



Clean out your wardrobe

Now is the perfect time to clean out your wardrobe and take anything you no longer wear to a shelter for those in need. Alternatively, you could go to an op shop and buy some cheap coats or blankets for families instead.


Give blood

What better gift, then the gift of life? Make that three lives. By donating blood you could potentially save the lives of three people. Consider giving a gift with true meaning this year by donating blood this Christmas. Head to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service website and find out how/if you can donate!


Pay it forward

Declutter your house and get rid of ‘things’ that no longer hold value to you. Kitchen appliances, kids toys, dvd’s, ornaments, clothing etc. and pass it on to someone who may benefit from them.  If your children are getting new toys for Christmas, this can be a good time to clear out their toy box and pay forward their old toys  to a child who may be going without. Check to see if you have a local ‘pay it forward’ facebook page that you could use to hand out your goods.


Charity Tree

Consider buying a small gift and placing it under a Charity tree for a child to open on Christmas day. Kmart has a Wishing Tree Appeal and they are encouraging people to get behind the idea. I’ve also noticed lots of local business’s, stores, gyms, shopping centres etc. that do a Charity tree too. Keep an eye out!


Do a good deed

Do a good deed, the options are endless! Pay for someone’s coffee, write in Christmas cards and put them in strangers mail boxes, help someone in the street that have their hands full, volunteer somewhere, tell someone their looking lovely today. There’s so many ways you can make this stressful season that little bit more beautiful for some!


Give a chicken

If you have everything you need urge your friends and family to buy a chicken, pig, goat or even a duck! But not for you silly, because you don’t need that. But someone else does. By purchasing something from the Oxfam Unwrapped website instead, you will be providing people living in poverty with food, clean water and other life-changing essentials we take for granted. Ask yourself, is there anything you need this Christmas? Could you spare $10 to help Communities build better lives and tackle poverty?


Give food

There’s nothing better than hot roasts, big salads, buttered bread sticks and a box of Cadbury chocolate to devour on Christmas day. But some people aren’t this fortunate. This is the perfect time to clear out the food in your pantry you know you’ll never eat and pass them on to the food banks. It’s such a simple yet affective way to make sure people wont go without. You could even stock up on cheap food items from the supermarket such as pasta, pasta sauce, rice or anything tinned to help families.


Appreciate a stranger

Make some Christmas desserts, take a platter or buy a box of chocolate and make time to pop into your local hospital, police station or fire stations on Christmas. Show the staff that you appreciate them and what they do, especially on Christmas day.


Sign up to be an organ donor

Be the difference, make a change that will one day, save someone’s life. Because there is no greater gift.


Sponsor a child

What do you get someone who already has it all? Sponsor a child on their behalf and help someone who doesn’t. There are so many families living in poverty that can’t afford the things they need let alone want. Be the reason a child has food on their plate, roof over her head, the opportunity to go to school and receive the care they need.



There you go! A few simple ways you can make a difference this Christmas.
I’m not saying don’t buy gifts for your children, family and friends. Christmas is a time of giving so if you can, give away!
I know I will be spoiling the crap out of my daughter this year and I want to make sure it’s a magical time for her. But I also want her growing up knowing just how lucky she is and how good she has it. Always find a way to give back, it doesn’t have to cost you a cent!

Laura Thoms

Follow me @tinythoms

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