Kate's 12 Days of Christmas

Well, it's been awhile since I've been blogging. But, I'll get back into the swing of it once I have a bit of extra time (and energy!) on my hands. I wanted to share with you my little project though, which links to my little doodle I've done above...

Christmas can be an amazing time of year. Full of festive spirit, gifts and family love. But, there are a lot of people out there who find Christmas difficult. This might be because they don't have family around, money can be tight or they could be homeless on this cold winter period. There are so many people out there who need some help, but there is support available. Whether this is through charities, individuals volunteering or donations - they too can need a helping hand.

My (pretty incredible) friend Danielle is doing 25 Random Acts of Kindness over the Christmas period. I love doing things like this, so decided to do my own (slightly more manageable) 12 days of Christmas RAOK's. Most of these things cost very little money, and just take a few minutes, so I'd be over the moon if anyone joined in. Even if it's one thing, it honestly can make such a difference.

So, here is it, my 12 Days of Christmas.

1 - Support Post Pals by creating a Christmas package for a sick child
This literally can cost you the price of a stamp. Postpals supports seriously ill children in the UK by sending letters & gifts to the ill child and their siblings. I've wrote many cards before, and from being on the receiving end of getting post from friends when I was very unwell, I know what a difference it makes. There's even a guide online as to what to say, what the 'pals' interests are and any extra information. It's an incredible charity, so consider writing an extra card when doing your Christmas post this year.

2 - Put some extra food in the shop and donate it to a local food bank
This one is pretty self explanatory. Nowadays, there is local food bank collections in supermarkets so it's so easy to pick up an extra few tins or toiletries to donate.

3 - Support local businesses
Buy a Christmas gift for someone from a local business or attend a local Christmas fair, Even talking to local traders can help so much.

4 - Say thank you
It sounds easy, but how often do you thank the people who help you. Whether its the pharmacy that dispenses your medication each week or a friend who's always there, thank them for all they do.

5 - Donate loose change to charity
There's always charity pots by cash desks these days, so pop in spare pennies - it all adds up!

6 - Volunteer for a local charity
I've helped some local charities over the past month and you get a proper buzz out of it. Do a little bit of research on smaller charities in the area too - these often need the most help!

7 - Making up an art pack for an art based, mental health organisation
I have been to Chilli Studios and it's an amazing place. It helps people with mental health problems use art and provide a safe place for recovery. Like all services, it relies on donations and grants but honestly is an incredible project. So, Danielle and I are going to make up an art hamper to give to them to help them continue the good work they do.

8 - Handmake a Christmas present for someone
There's something special about receiving a handmade present, which is why I've decided to make a few of my own this year

9 - Give a present that lasts - sponsorship gifts
There's lots of gifts you can give which leave a lasting effect to those who receive them. One example is (my own, sorry for the plug...) Project Parent which allows you to sponsor a box for the year for £10. There's lots of other sponsorship projects, like sponsoring an animal, child or local project. 

10 - Pay it forward
The pay it forward campaign is an easy one. If you're in a coffee shop, for example, the idea is you pay for your order and for the person behind. Mum & I did this a few months back at Starbucks and the lad we gave the free coffee too was so so happy!

11 - Use your hobbies/talents to make a difference
I'm doing a piece of textile work for Canine Partners to hopefully auction off. I struggle with knowing what to create and having a focus like this has really helped. Whether it's making crafts, cake for a coffee morning or anything else - it all matters.

12 - Let your friends/family know you love them
I think a lot of people, myself included, take people close to you for granted. And I know I need to make sure they know how much I appreciate them. Whether it's a quick text, hug, or letter - I'll try let them know I'm thinking of them.

I hope that some of you can join in with similar activities. Like I say, the cost for some of it is only a stamp so anyone can do it. And either way, I hope you all have a very, merry Christmas.

Kate x

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