Christmas is the perfect time of year to appreciate what we have by giving something back to the community. From stocking up on your favourite charity's Christmas cards to volunteering your time at a food bank, there are plenty of ways to give back. Get your friends and family involved and try our 10 easy ways to help out this festive season.
10 ways to give back this Christmas
1. Volunteer at a community dinner or food bank
There are a whole host of charitable organisations looking for volunteers around the festive period when they're at their busiest. Check your local council website to find food banks or soup kitchens near you that might be in need of your time. There are plenty of ways to get involved, whether it's helping with food prep, serving, packing supplies or making deliveries. Lots of charities need volunteers to help from the comfort of their own home by volunteering to offer telephone support to those in need.
2. Support small and shop local this Christmas
Christmas is often the biggest time of the year for many businesses. Support small local businesses during the festive season by buying from independent retailers in your community – you might find some hidden gems along the way. Check out local Christmas markets in your area for a fun festive day of shopping and feasting.
3. Donate presents to a good cause
Donating is a great way to make someone's Christmas with a kind gesture. Make a box full of Christmas goodies for kids who wouldn't ordinarily be getting presents, or everyday essentials we might take for granted. Everything from clothing to bedding, food and festive gifts can be donated, check in with your local charities to see what they're most in need of.
4. Check in on vulnerable friends and neighbours
As the nights draw in sooner and everyone prepares for a holiday spent with friends and family, spare a thought for those around you who might not have family to reach out to.
A friendly chat over a cup of tea and some homemade Christmas biscuits might just give someone a festive boost. If you fancy flexing your baking skills, try our quick Christmas gift recipes for clever homemade treats you can whip up in a flash.
5. Buy gifts that give back
Get your Christmas shopping underway, and donate to those less fortunate along the way with our foodie gift ideas that give back. Whether it's a luxurious chocolate selection that donates profits to communities that need it, a beer that combats food waste or a community cook book helping those affected by Covid, there's something for everyone.
You could even go green this Christmas with our 50 best sustainable gifts for foodies. Doing a charity shop secret santa where everyone can only buy second-hand is also a fun way to give back. Check out our guide for 10 Christmas gifts that give back and get some festive present inspiration.
6. Host a charity Christmas party
Are you always keen to host friends and family for a special occasion? Why not put on a charity dinner party and ask your friends to donate to your favourite charity. Get together this December, toast to the season and raise as much money as you can for a good cause.
Create invitations, set a donation amount, make a menu full of your favourite goodies and even entertainment if you're feeling daring. Check out all our Christmas menu ideas for inspiration, or try our casual Christmas buffet recipes for a more relaxed evening. Read our guide on how to throw a 'fake' Christmas party for tips on the big day.
7. Put on a festive charity bake sale at work
It's a classic for a reason. Fill your workplace with delicious festive treats and seasonal Christmas bites and raise money along the way. Go all out on the mince pies, gingerbread, rocky road and Christmas cookies. Read up on how to bake for a cake sale, then grab an apron and get cracking. Batch bake our top traybake recipes, try our favourite Christmas baking recipes or classic cake sale favourites.
8. Take part in a Christmas jumper day
Whether it's an elegant cashmere jumper or a garish Christmas monstrosity, your Christmas jumper can do some good this year. Ask everyone who takes part to make a donation to charity and create some categories e.g. best animal jumper, sparkliest knitwear, funniest jumper etc, and let the judging commence.
9. Send charity Christmas cards
Why not go whole hog this year and make every part of your gift giving charity-friendly? Buy a pack of festive cards from your favourite charity as a way of supporting a good cause this Christmas.
10. Hold a virtual Christmas party
Staying indoors this winter? Hold an online Christmas event and sell tickets to your nearest and dearest in aid of a good cause. Add some competitive edge and have a jazzy dress code and vote for best dressed of the night, do a Christmas quiz of the year, a cook-off or a virtual talent show. Settle in with a classic mulled wine and our healthy Christmas snack recipes for a night of fun and virtual games.
Enjoyed these ideas? Check out more of our Christmas content...
What's your favourite way to give back at Christmas? Leave a comment below...