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The Gift of Giving: Alternative Ways to Give this Season
There's something undoubtedly satisfying about watching someone open a gift you’ve given them, and seeing the happiness and appreciation on their face. There have been numerous studies done to figure out why this is. But ultimately, it seems that by giving to others, we release the same chemicals in the brain as we do when eating chocolate!
With Christmas being a time of gift giving, shouldn’t more of us experience this warm fuzzy feeling over the festive season? Instead, it seems that increasingly, a lot of people find themselves feeling stressed and anxious, as they give and receive presents that have inevitably been bought last minute in the scrum of high street shopping.
How about considering an alternative way of giving this year then, one where not only do you experience the satisfaction of giving something thoughtful, but knowing that you’re also giving back in a way that can really make a difference in someone’s life? Here are a few ways that you can do just this…
GIVE TO CHARITY
It used to be that Christmas and charity went hand in hand…it is the season of goodwill, after all! However, it’s increasingly easy to forget this when we’re bombarded by high-street sales and shiny novelty goods.
This year then, instead of trawling around the shops aimlessly on a busy Christmas Eve, why not consider donating to charity in your loved ones’ names, in lieu of a physical gift? You could also buy a charity gift from the Good Gifts catalogue and put it in the name of your friend or family member.
Gifts in the catalogue range from items such as footballs for African schools for £9, to the training of an eye surgeon in Africa for £395! The idea is to help you put your money to good use and avoid spending it on novelties that won’t stand the test of time. Plus, more importantly, you get to help someone in need (including plenty of causes in the U.K.).
The person you donate for will get a card explaining how their gift has helped others and you get the satisfaction of knowing that your money is paying for something useful, that will really help make an impact for the better.
GIVE YOUR EXPERTISE
If there is something you have a special talent or interest in, whether that be reading to others, helping others improve their IT skills, or assisting people in sports activities, consider giving the gift of your time and expertise this season. This could just be dedicating a few hours each week teaching others something, you yourself, are passionate about. And, after all, helping people with life-skills such as literacy, is an evergreen gift which will never lose it’s worth, unlike the latest clothes trend!
GIVE AN EXPERIENCE
Research has suggested that we often feel happier, when we spend our money on experiences with others, as opposed to collecting material items. Spending money on things you can remember in years to come is a great way of ensuring your gifts create a lasting mark of laughter and happiness.
You can base the experience on the person you’re buying for, whether that be a meal out for you and the foodie on your list, or a relaxing spa gift voucher for you and a family member to rejuvenate with. Whatever you choose, the recipient is bound to be pleased with your thoughtfulness and the time spent together
HERE ARE SOME OTHER WAYS TO GIVE THIS CHRISTMAS:
Give yourself—what better way of giving a gift this Christmas than to give something of yourself, whether that be donating blood or bone marrow. After all, there is no better gift than the gift of life.
Give your things—how about giving away any unwanted possessions to charity shops or surplus food and drink to a foodbank this Christmas?