Give a little more this Christmas

Well, it’s that time of the year again. You know the one – where November hits, and everybody feels it’s an acceptable time to put up their Christmas trees, start buying presents and listening to that thirty-year-old Christmas CD that your parents insist “has all the classics on it”. Personally, I’m not one of those people who cracks out the decorations just yet. My family usually saves that until December 10th, or the weekend closest to it. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. I am, however, one of those people who starts Christmas shopping as soon as I can. Not because I feel overly Christmassy at this time of the year – I really don’t – but it spreads the cost over a month or two instead of leaving that all too familiar huge dent in your bank account after a day’s Christmas shopping in the city.

What I’m about to write about, I hadn’t thought of before last year. I’d always just gone online to the usual websites and bought whatever I liked the look of, and thought my friends and family would appreciate. I know it’s tempting to stick with the familiar and do this, or check out Amazon’s Black Friday deals (some of which are amazing and I never knew they did this before this year!) but this Christmas, why don’t you try and give a little more? Christmas is, after all, the season of giving.

I’m not talking about buying more presents. I’m not suggesting you wrap discs of a DVD box up individually, instead of inside their cases altogether so that it looks like you’ve done more than you have. No. I’m talking about giving to charity.

Christmas is a very expensive time of year, and I’m not saying you need to fork out a tenner and hand it over. What I’m saying is that you could try to use websites where a portion (if not all) of their profits go to charity. You get your gifts, you pay almost the same price, but you’re helping a great cause. Take Christmas cards, for example. You can buy your pack of ten from Tesco, Wal-Mart or any other supermarket pretty cheap. On the other hand, you can buy them from a website such as http://www.cancerresearch.org/shop for beautiful cards at a similar price, where all the profit goes to help cancer research. You’ve got your cards, and done your bit to help find a cure for the illness. Everybody walks away happy.

There are so many of these websites out there, and it’s really worth a look. Open up google, type in some keywords, and you’ll find hundreds of them – some specialising in decorations, some in cards, others in gifts. Check them out, and see what you think. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

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