How To Make Your Christmas Merry And Bright

This year I shall be carrying on a tradition I started two years ago. Maybe it’s a little early to call it a tradition – but it’s something I intend doing always.

The year before last at about this time I was buying chocolate advent calendars for the kids. It’s something they love and I enjoy keeping it going even though they’re grown up now.

I went outside to go back to my car and there was a homeless man, sat in a doorway, just trying to take shelter.

I was devastated. I’d been buying flippant luxuries and he was trying to keep warm, one of the most basic needs we have. Sometimes life really punches you in the face and makes you realize that for all you think you don’t have, you truly are very blessed.

I’m not saying I can change the world nor do I expect to, but I can change someone’s day. I went back inside and bought a couple of Subway gift cards, some socks and gloves, snacks, a couple of drinks, cleansing wipes, bandaids – other stuff – I spent about $70 in total. I took it out to him and he was overwhelmed.

I went home and took in my shopping in to my warm house and sat, staring into space looking at those flipping advent calendars …and decided I was going to do something.

Over the course of the next couple of days,I made up two boxes, one male, one female and filled them with socks , wipes, snacks gloves, tissues, cough sweets, sanitary products, $5 gift cards and so on. I numbered the things with 1-25 and made advent boxes of love so that two people could know that someone cared. It’s a start.

I took them to a homeless shelter in the nearest city to me. I don’t know who got them, that wasn’t the point.

Last year I did it for two women at a local safe house after seeing them (the safe house) help a friend of mine this year. I chose adults because there are schemes for toys for kids locally and I wanted the mums, who can feel so devalued after awful relationships – well I wanted them to know they matter too.

This year I’ve learned from people who are homeless that donations to hostels etc don’t always get to them or that they’re made to buy stuff that’s been donated. Whilst I find this upsetting it’s not going to stop me, I’ll just do it differently. I intend asking a couple of people what they would like most of all. Most want a coat or warm, waterproof shoes. They’ll get my advent calendars too but honestly, just being human and smiling at people is a start. A smile and a ‘hi’ goes a long way.

I’m not sharing this info because I need people to know what I did. Up to now, the only person who knew were the receptionists at the shelters.

I just thought some of you might like to do something similar. The rush from bring a secret Santa is pretty great.

67 thoughts on “How To Make Your Christmas Merry And Bright

  1. This is a wonderful idea, I am going to do this this year for sure. Seeing homeless people everyday makes me so embarrassed as a human, and as you said although I can’t change the entire situation, but I can help at least one person feel slightly better. Thanks for sharing xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The last 3 years I’ve given a lot to the local foodbank in one large donation. I’ll do it again this year. I try and choose a few nice goods, not just the ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ items so that a family can have a treat at Christmas. My mistake the first year was to hand deliver it. If I’d have put it in the Tesco ‘bin’, Tesco add a percentage (I think 30%) to it so the donation from there is increased. I only did that once! From then on everything goes in Tescos ‘bin’.

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  3. I am a firm believer in anonymous giving – giving from the heart because it’s the right thing to do not because you are looking for a thank you or any kind of recognition. You see a need and you do what you can to fill it. ♥ If only there were more people like you. Carry on my friend – you will be blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Things can always be worse, not enough people realise that. It is odd, I wrote that exact sentence in a piece of fiction earlier today. I am paranoid now, are you in my brain Britchy? 😂🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh, goosebumps, this was so wonderful it gave me goosebumps reading it. Love the secret santas out there in the world, I always knew there were more of you secret santas out there. Thanks for another great post and for doing your part in the world to be kind.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Suze and l did this last year and l know it is something we intend to repeat this year. Some people don’t think that way. A classic example is my Sister who by and large has always been spoiled. Considering the job she does, l was a little stunned by her statement of we should just give dad’s clothing to a local charity.

    I yelled back at her, to not touch it if that was her opinion – because there are homeless shelters here that are crying out for clothing, coats and shoes, shirts, trousers and all sorts of pieces. I said to not give it to charities as l have lost my belief in them. they charge like wounded bulls these days and sometimes they are just under high street store price tags for second hand – and that on the next visit up, Suze and l would drive it to the homeless shelters ourselves if needs be.

    Suze and l try and do these things anon as much as we can, it’s not about who does what, it’s about the word.

    A few years back, [the caravan years] l was very nearly homeless and found myself and my dogs in a terrible situation, my family didn’t help me at all and turned their backs on us. A shelter was able to assist me and my two girls and l was so so very appreciative of that help, that l am welling up now just thinking on it. people compalin ALL the time about what they don’t have and never think of what they do have, or those that don’t have it.

    Way to go Britchy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ugh–I should have said, all during the month of Dec, I collected something from my house or the store for 25 days. On Christmas Eve, I dropped it off at our church food bank. (they collect everything)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great, practical items. I kept bottles of water and snacks in my car in case I saw someone by the road or on a curb in need; it wasn’t much, but it was something. And, you’re right, saying hi and interacting is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done Britchy. I’m proud to say that It is something we do each year as a family as well. The kids are teenagers now and they help a lot. It makes me happy to see them both participate voluntarily because I know they will carry on the tradition when they’ll have their own family.

    Liked by 2 people

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