It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not everyone is lucky enough to wake up to food and gifts galore on Christmas morning.
From disadvantaged families to women and children living in refuges, there are many people who could use a helping hand to give their nearest and dearest the Christmas of their dreams.
Here in Calderdale, there are lots of lovely projects spreading Christmas cheer throughout the region.
If you would like to get involved, here’s how you can brighten someone’s Christmas:
Help disadvantaged children get a Christmas Eve Box
Imagine the joy of opening a Christmas Eve Box – when you definitely weren’t expecting one – and finding lovely pyjamas, chocolates and other Christmassy treats.
Mothershare has vowed to bring that joy to disadvantaged children throughout Halifax and Calderdale and is collecting items such as sweets and chocolates, pyjamas, craft sets, hair accessories, toiletries, soft toys, small games and stationary to fill them.
The Christmas Eve Boxes will be sent out to children from vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Calderdale who have been identified by schools, care homes, health professionals and family intervention teams.
You can drop off donations at VG Varley estate agents in Sowerby bridge, or at the Threeways Center in Nursery Lane, Halifax, HX3 5SW.
Buy a gift for women and children living in a refuge
Here’s a really beautiful way to spread kindness this year; buy gifts for women and children living in refuges, and families in hardship throughout Calderdale.
The Christmas Support Project – coordinated by Healthy Mums – is sourcing gifts for at least 450 people. As well as taking financial pressure away from women who have faced horrific abuse and extreme challenges,the project is accepting referrals from Mothershare and Calderdale Council Social Services. Each woman living in a refuge also receives a gift – regardless of whether they have children.
To get involved, click on this link, fill in your details and you will be matched with someone in need of gifts. You’ll be given their age and gender and asked to buy three gifts – a main gift, something snuggly and something sweet, pop them in a gift bag (unwrapped) and bring them to the drop-off event on December 14, 2019.
Donate to a food bank:
You could do a reverse advent calendar, where you add an item of food to a box each day of December and donate the whole lot at the end, or take your little one shopping to choose some items to donate earlier.
Have a clear out before Christmas and donate toys, clothes or other items in great condition, so others can pick up a cheap gift.
If you still have Christmas shopping to do, why not see if you can score a bargain too?
Visit Halifax’s Christmas Gifting Tree
There’s a lovely Christmas tree next to the singing reindeers and postbox in Halifax Borough Market. Pick a tag from the branches, and you’ll find the age and gender of someone who needs a present this year. All you have to do is buy a gift for them and place it under the tree, along with the tag. This year, the tree is supporting Yorkshire Children’s Trust.
Give to the RSPCA
To make sure the animals of the RSPCA shelters have a merry Christmas, buy the animals a special treat in the form of a meal ticket. £1 buys one meal, £2 will pay for two and £5 ensures a jolly feast.
The Christmas Meal Appeal is being run by the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & District branch and you can donate online, at RSPCA Charity Shops or the RSPCA Animal Centre, Wade Street, Halifax.
Or, could you take a dog out for the day? Check out the Dogs Day Out scheme for details of which animals are available to play.
Bring in the Kindness Elves
We resisted elf on the shelf for years, but finally relented when we came across The Kindness Elves. They come with their own house and letterbox (perfect for swapping little notes to each other) and bring all the fun of the regular elves but in the morning, they’re holding a suggestion for an act of kindness.
Ideas include baking cookies for a neighbour, planting seeds for everyone to enjoy in the spring, paying it forward at the coffee shop, sweeping leaves for someone, donating an old toy to a charity shop.
They come in pairs but we bought an extra elf as we have three children. At special times of the year, baby elves are available too. We can’t wait to see what they get up to!
Is there something we’ve missed? If there is a local cause you think we should include, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org