Discover Yourself Festive Season Mental Health

Make Giving the heart of your Festive Season

November 21, 2016

The Festive Season is always a time of celebration, family get-togethers, social catch ups and a whirl of activity.  It is so easy to become self-absorbed with our lives and the excitement of spending time with children, grandchildren and friends.

However, there are those who are alone and perhaps forgotten at this time of year. They may be friends who have lost a loved one during the year. The holidays can be a lonely and sad time as they reflect on their loved one and they may need an extra special thought.  They may be people you don’t even know and are not within your normal ‘circle’.

It doesn’t have to even be a physical gift it can be the gift of your TIME.  Being remembered, thought of, is just as important as any gift we can give.

November 13 was World Kindness Day and as December is the season of Goodwill perhaps we should all think about how we can make it special for someone who is not as fortunate as we are.   Giving can be such a rewarding feeling – seeing the joy in others and knowing we have done some little thing to make them feel good.


1. Gift trees at local shopping centres

Shopping centres or supermarkets now provide the opportunity to give to those who are less fortunate. You can buy a gift for a child, mark for a boy or girl and the age the gift would be suitable for, wrap it and place it under the tree.

2. Hospitals

Spending time over the holidays in hospital can be lonely especially for children.  I remember one year, our social club at work decided to donate a toy instead of doing ‘Secret Santa’ for the staff.  We collected all the toys and made up a gift basket which we delivered to the hospital.  They were so touched that we had done this for them.

3. Nursing homes

Some older people don’t have family or are ‘forgotten’ at this time of year.  Why not visit and have a cuppa with them, or take some home baking or small gifts.  I remember when I had a dance studio many years ago, I would take the children to put on a concert for the old folk at Christmas time.  They loved it and it also taught the children to appreciate the aged and doing something to bring happiness to others.

4. Someone who has lost family or friends during the year

One of the hardest times after losing a loved one is to experience the ‘firsts’.  First birthday without them, first anniversary, first Christmas, first New Year.  Sometimes we forget that if they lost their loved one during the year the will still feel emotional during the Festive season.  Make an effort to spend some time with them or include them in your family if the are alone.  Take them some chocolates or baked goods and share a festive drink with them.

5.  Those who are separated from family

There are many who are alone or separated from their families during the holidays because of divorce, distance or estrangement.  Including these friends in your celebrations or spending time with them will go a little way to filling the void. They will truly appreciate you thinking of them.

It doesn’t take much effort on our part to make such an impact on others.  We can also be a role model for our children and grandchildren.  Leading by example, teaches them the importance of thinking of others and being generous with their thoughts and time.

What will you do to make someone’s festive season special?


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  • Reply Jennifer November 21, 2016 at 22:33

    Giving is so important at the holidays and I love how the company that I work for makes it a part of our lives too. Each year at Christmas, we buy presents for needy children. At Thanksgiving, we help the food pantries provide Thanksgiving dinners. And so much more during the year. I think a company that doesn’t have “giving back” as part of their culture is not a company where I want to work.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 22, 2016 at 05:55

      Hi Jennifer, I agree that companies really should be giving back to those in the community who are in need. What a lovely idea and it would also bring the staff closer I think. Thanks for visiting and have a lovely day.

  • Reply Roxanne Jones November 22, 2016 at 09:27

    Sue, this is such a great reminder of what the holidays are really all about. And how taking the focus off ourselves and doing for others comes back to us in wondrous ways.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 22, 2016 at 11:22

      Exactly Roxanne. I’m guilty of not always feeling this way but each year I look at all I have and think of ways I can give back to those less fortunate. Have a lovely day!

  • Reply Carol Cassara November 23, 2016 at 05:19

    We decided to donate to animal rescue instead of gifting each other. So we did. We are also doing some homeless donations and some harvest food bank donations, too.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 10:11

      My friend and her husband do that Carol. They love animals and are trying to instill in their nieces and nephews the gift of giving to look after animals who have suffered.

  • Reply Doreen McGettigan November 23, 2016 at 05:25

    The best part of the holidays for me is giving back. I love sending cards and gifts to deployed service members, picking up strangers tolls and grocery bills and donating to my favorite homeless charity.
    Thank you for the reminder of being kind to those who have lost a loved one. Unfortunately I know a few of those this year.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 10:10

      Little things like you have described Doreen mean so much to others don’t they? Yes we lost my FIL this year and last year my brother. I suppose as we get older there are more empty chairs in our lives 🙁

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski November 23, 2016 at 06:48

    I think that giving back and helping others during the holiday season is the best part of it. It can be a painfully lonely time of year for those who have experienced loss and hardship. What lovely suggestions to make the holiday season brighter.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 10:09

      You are right Rebecca I always feel that I’ve brightened someone’s day no matter how small the gift.

  • Reply candy November 23, 2016 at 07:30

    Great reminder there are many different ways to help out others during this time of year. Thanks for linking up with Blogging Grandmothers.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 10:07

      Thanks Candy it doesn’t take much to make someone else feel special. I’m loving this link up.

  • Reply Sheryl Kraft November 23, 2016 at 09:03

    Wonderful suggestions. The holidays should be a time to remember those less fortunate than us – and there are always people in need of food, clothing, shelter or just plain companionship.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 10:07

      So pleased you found some ideas Sheryl. It doesn’t take much to remember those less fortunate and it always makes me feel warm inside when I’ve helped others.

  • Reply Leanne November 23, 2016 at 11:35

    I love how Christmas brings out the best in us and makes us think about others more. These are great ideas Sue and I’m going to try to put at least one of them into practice over December. Loved the quote too and Pinned it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 09:42

      Yes this year will certainly be extra special for you Leanne with gorgeous Sophia.

  • Reply Grammy Dee November 23, 2016 at 12:13

    The best part of Christmas is giving to others. Loved this post! Thank you for partying with us at #BloggingGrandmothers #LinkParty #4. We’ve shared your post on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 09:41

      It certainly is the best part. I love giving to others and seeing the surprise and joy on their faces – priceless.

  • Reply Deborah November 24, 2016 at 14:02

    I love the idea of offering our time. Several years ago I was keen to volunteer somewhere on Christmas day. It was to be just my mother and I so I looked into some options. However… I then realised that my dear (72yr old) mum actually runs a church breakfast thing, makes soup for a soup night, does hospital visiting, volunteers at the op shop and more. She already does more than her fair share and I felt bad suggesting we do it on Christmas Day.

    I – on the other hand – need to lift my game!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 17:21

      Your Mum sounds fabulous Deborah and certainly a role model for us all. Have a great day.

  • Reply Kathy Marris November 24, 2016 at 15:14

    I like the idea of the #itsinthebag initiative where you fill up a pre-loved or new handbag with basic essentials for women in need. Then drop it off to a Share the Dignity collection point in your town or city. But I do like to put a pressie under the trees in shopping centres for The Smith Family for needy kids. You have some other lovely ideas here Sue. 🙂 #teamlovinlinky

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 17:20

      Thanks Kathy there are so many ways we can give back. Imagine if everyone did just one thing. Christmas is all about the kids so I like to help them at this time of year. Thanks for the opportunity to link up, see you next week.

  • Reply Lyndall @ SeizeThe Day Project November 24, 2016 at 15:19

    I agree Sue, it’s so important to give and share, especially at this time of the year. We do the Giving Tree every year. My teenage kids still enjoy it. It’s just a little thing to us, but it means so much to those receiving the gifts.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 17:22

      It is important Lyndall and also you mentioned your kids still enjoy taking part. That is so wonderful – we all need to show the children in our lives that helping others especially at this time of year means more than receiving. Sounds like you have it all covered.

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit November 24, 2016 at 16:00

    “Hello Charity”. Yep, we are twins this week.
    Thanks for joining the linky. See you again next week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 17:19

      Thanks Leanne!

  • Reply inthegoodbooksblog November 24, 2016 at 16:21

    I’m currently collecting food and toiletries as part of Wesley Mission Victoria’s 2016 Christmas Appeal. This is the second year that I am donating.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 17:19

      Oh how lovely. It is so encouraging to hear from many others who are certainly giving back at this time of year. Thank you and have a lovely day.

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl November 24, 2016 at 17:19

    A great list! I’ve made a start on the charities I usually donate to at Christmas but my big challenge is reaching out to people I know might need some extra TLC and extending the spirit to Christmas to them.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2016 at 17:23

      Hi SSG! Thank you for stopping by and yes it isn’t always charities that can do with a boost at this time of year – people in our inner circle sometimes need some TLC as well. Have a great day!

  • Reply Min@WriteoftheMiddle November 24, 2016 at 21:42

    It sure is a good time of year to be conscious of those not as fortunate. I’m doing the #itsinthebag initiative this year – filing a handbag with essential items for a woman in need. I love the idea of buying a toy instead of secret santa and then making a gift basket to present to a hospital. Fabulous! #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 25, 2016 at 13:43

      Yes that is such a great way to help other women Min and so easy to do. Have a great week!

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville November 26, 2016 at 17:20

    oh I love this Sue xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 28, 2016 at 17:39

      Thanks Mackenzie!

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle November 26, 2016 at 18:50

    Some great ideas for giving and for thinking of others who may have needs that may not always be obvious.
    Thanks for putting this into words Sue, and giving us ideas to be a blessing.

    Bloggers Pit Stop

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 28, 2016 at 17:39

      Yes it is a good time of year to remind ourselves of all we have and try to give back something.

  • Reply Clearissa Coward November 29, 2016 at 03:13

    Thank you for the reminder. Christmas is all about giving to others. Especially those that are less fortunate. Also, thank you for sharing with #theblogginggrandmothers. Your article has been stumbled.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2016 at 09:43

      Thanks for hosting Clearissa I certainly enjoy this link up.

  • Reply Nabanita Dhar November 29, 2016 at 19:37

    I think paying a visit to any home for the elderly is what one must do if nothing else. It breaks my heart when I think about them. We do that during our festivals here. It’s a rewarding experience too.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2016 at 09:38

      Yes that is a lovely idea Nabanita. Older folk are sometimes forgotten when they are in nursing homes and they get such joy out of visits.

  • Reply Olivia Morris December 2, 2016 at 00:36

    What a lovely post and so timely! Christmas is that one time of year, where many people feel left out. Thank you for bringing that to the forefront. I’m sure that there are many people who are just needing that extra little push to get them out of their own comfort zone and help someone else. Thanks for a lovely reminder of the true importance of caring and loving people through this holiday season.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 3, 2016 at 06:30

      Thank you Olivia for your lovely words of encouragement and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It is so easy to get caught up in our own world at Christmas but we can bring joy to others if we just make the time. Have a wonderful holiday season and thanks for stopping by.

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs December 3, 2016 at 08:01

    Lovely post and it does send a message of hope and goodwill to many. We are spending Christmas differently now that we are away from family who are all grown and doing their own family Christmases. However, I filled 2 bags for #itsinthebag for women who are homeless or in shelters. That was awesome. I am also reaching out to share my appreciation for others at this time in different ways – sending cards, making little bookmarks and so on. Thank you for your appreciation over on my blog too! Denyse

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2016 at 06:33

      Thanks Denyse! Giving makes you feel so good doesn’t it especially if it is someone who is in need. They don’t often get a surprise so I’m sure they appreciate it. Great to connect with you. Have a lovely day!

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid December 3, 2016 at 19:28

    These are such awesome ideas! In previous years I’ve sent care packages to serving soldiers and this year I got involved with Share the Dignity “It’s in the Bag” campaign, where bags full of toiletries are distributed to women who are homeless or in refuges this Christmas. Caring is sharing and as for kindness, it’s like glitter, and it should be sprinkled everywhere!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 5, 2016 at 06:35

      I’ve had comments from many women who have participated in ‘It’s in the Bag’ such a lovely way to bring joy to someone in need. I’ve never thought of care packages for serving soldiers but I’m sure they would appreciate them. Thanks for stopping by and I love your idea that ‘kindness is like glitter and should be sprinkled everywhere’. Thanks for stopping by and lovely to connect.

  • Reply Paula, The Geeky Shopaholic December 5, 2016 at 19:53

    Thank you for this reminder! It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives this time of year and forget others.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 7, 2016 at 12:58

      Everyone gets so busy at this time of year Paula that it is easy to get caught up in the hype and yet it doesn’t really take much to do something for those less fortunate. Have a lovely holiday season

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