Christmas is a time of joy and sharing no matter what religion – if indeed any – you follow. A chance to receive presents from others, to be with loved ones, and to give gifts to others.
Tomorrow we’ll be opening the first door of our advent calendars – a daily little treat that is many ways the cherry on top of the Christmas icing.
But not everyone is so lucky. For people who are lonely, Christmas can amplify the absence. For people without a home, Christmas is salt in the wound. For those who have to choose between heating and eating- Christmas day is a painful irony.
Now, look, I’m not trying to throw a downer on the joy. Heck, we all need some happiness right now. But what if we could do something – a little something we would barely notice – to spread that joy?
Last year me and Lizzie took part in a ‘reverse advent’. Every day, as well as eating our chocolate, we would put something from our cupboards into a box. We used some savings vouchers we had for the co-op to buy some extra things in as well. Tins, pasta, and a few little treats. Then, just after Christmas, we took that box to a local charity supporting people who live on the streets.
It wasn’t hard. It wasn’t much. But it was something. And if everyone who read this did the same thing – added one item every day, then took them to a local charity to distribute to people who are less fortunate than you – homelessness charities, food banks, etc. – then the world would be just that little bit more joyous this Christmas.
Oh and P.S. – if you do take part, get a photo of your box and send it to me after Christmas and I’ll upload them all in a blog post.