Can you believe there is only one month left till Christmas?! Some of you will be super organised and have everything under control - amazing!!! If you're anything like me at the moment though, it's about endless to-do lists! I've been swamped with work lately - obviously my little one keeps me busy and besides that I have been working on launching an online store and most excitingly launching my wallpaper range (just a LITTLE excited about that!). I may be giving myself unrealistic deadlines, but if you don't try you don't get, right? Check out my online store when you have a moment, FREDDY & SKY, and let me know what you think! Many more exciting things on the plans so stay tuned for that too!
Back to Christmas planning, one thing that we may always want to do but may slip through the long to-do lists is helping out! This time of the year is a time of magic, laughter and happiness (cheesy, I know) and unfortunately there are children out there going without any of those.
Apart from that I live far away from my family in Brazil, and this time of the year is always the hardest as nothing can fill the distance gap - even though Skype and Facetime help! By helping out I am also making that gap smaller, hoping that others will be able to have a special time with their loved ones. No pity story here as the fact that I've decided to settle down and raise a family over here is my own choice, but those of you who have distant loved ones will know that it does not get easier... not even after 12 years!
There are so many ways to help. You could chose to transfer money over the web or by dialing a number after watching a TV commercial that's touched your heart. That's fine, whatever you do to help is AMAZING!
What I have in mind though is making it fun and bringing the Christmas spirit to life. Getting involved - and when children are old enough to understand getting them involved too so they can really learn from it. I have found a few ways that I can do more to spread smiles this season.
Hopefully it'll inspire you to do the same...
SHOE BOX OP
Alright, this one goes on around the country so there are many ways to get involved! The concept is that you fill a shoe box with goodies and toys for a child, and they will then be passed on to those children that wouldn't otherwise get a gift. They may not know it is from you, but that is not the point, the main thing is that they will feel special on Christmas Day and no different to any other more privileged children.
You can get involved by researching your area, checking network groups and charities or schools/nurseries that may be organizing and collecting shoe boxes to pass on. I have done mine and it felt great to imagine the little boy's joy when he opens the box!
CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY
A lot of people wear a jumper and donate £2 towards Save the Children as a way to help! You could go one step further... Why not host a Christmas Jumper Day event - a brunch or dinner party and raise more money towards the cause? Or arrange to do a bake sale at the office or school/nursery? Get the kids together and the neighbors involved! The more the merrier! And if you decide to do that, you can register here to get your free fundraising pack.
LETTER FROM SANTA
Many parents will order a letter from Santa anyway - so why not get one that will help other children? NSPCC has organised this amazing Letter from Santa donation, where you can help out AND get a super cute Santa letter for your children, or any children in your family and friends circle. Isn't that great? The link is here if you want to use it or forward it to someone else!
I am sure there are many more ways, but those are the three ways that I am getting involved and doing my bit so far. Just to clarify, I have not been paid to say this. It is my initiative to share ideas, and hopefully it'll inspire a lot more people to spread smiles this Christmas! I have been in the position for many years where I wanted to do so much but didn't have the time, but what I am learning through this journey is that you make the time (ok, at the sacrifice of missing a few reality TV shows maybe, but oh well, anything for a good cause!)
If you have any other ideas or things that you are doing - please share below :) I'd love to read your stories!