[AD] Brands mentioned in this post have been gifted or sponsored. Please note all opinions are my own. To read more, head over to the disclaimer.
Let’s be honest. We’ve had a difficult few years here on earth. We’re in and out of lock-downs, our health services are crippled and we’re all fed up. It’s understandable for people to feel bitter and shy away from the usual holiday cheer.
I’m a major grinch at heart. Our tree hasn’t left the attic in over two years and as soon as I hear Christmas music, I cringe. But this year, for the first time ever, we’re spending Christmas at home. Just my husband, me, and the two cats. That means getting drunk on Christmas eve, having a few nibbles with my best friend, and enjoying some party games. I’m determined to have a good time this year even if I’m still cringing on the inside.
5 Simple Ways you can spread holiday cheer this season.
1. Send a greeting card.
Greeting cards are the simplest and often cheapest way to spread holiday cheer. No matter where you get your cards, whether they’re handmade or from your local supermarket, it’s always nice to send a card to your friends and neighbours. But over the last few years, we haven’t sent cards due to various bereavements, as is a tradition in my family. However, this year we were kindly given the opportunity to send these fun and whimsical cards from Aura Print. Aura Print provides greeting card printing, wedding stationery, flyers, tags and, as some of you may know, business cards.
Not only are these simple and sleek, but they’re also outside the norm for your average greet card. Perfect to let my friends and family know that I’m thinking of them this Christmas season. I’ve already been out posting them to my local neighbours and have several ready for the post box!
If you’re in the market for something different this year, or even on the lookout for any of their other services, give Aura Print a try.
2. Donating to a local charity.
I couldn’t let a post like this go by without mentioning the most obvious way to spread joy; Giving back. Although not everyone is understandably able to afford massive donations, even a pound is better than nothing. I’ve found myself supporting many charities this year from animal shelters right through to hospice care. But one charity that holds a significant place in my heart is The Eating Disorder Association for Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has always been notorious for poor medical funding, especially in regards to mental health. Although there are numerous failings, eating disorder services appear to be one of the worst areas affected. Sadly, due to the pandemic, a lot of people have found themselves isolated and suffering. As a result, we’ve seen a distinct rise in the number of people contacting the charity for help and advice.
A donation to Eating Disorders Association N.I. helps us to continue to provide free 24/7 support to those affected by eating disorders in Northern Ireland. We provide support for both the person affected and their loved ones, through email, telephone, 1:1s, support groups, and awareness-raising events.
- £10 could help us to answer emails, providing vital support.
- £20 could help us to answer our 24/7 helpline so that people feel less alone.
- £40 could help us run our online support groups, bringing people together, and reducing isolation.
As an ambassador for the charity, I know how important public support is. If we could reach even £100 we would have the resources to help so many people in Northern Ireland.
3. Organise a virtual holiday quiz.
If this year has taught me anything it’s the power of technology. Without it, life in lockdown would have been much, much harder. With apps such as Skype and Zoom, we’ve been able to keep in touch with loved ones in more ways than ever before.
If you’ve yet to experience your first Zoom quiz, then here are a few necessary tips.
- Elect a quiz master. You can take turns each week, split rounds or appoint someone to ask questions and play referee when things get heated.
- Make sure each quiz or round has a theme. At the moment I’m planning a “The Big Virtual Quiz of the Year!” We’ll be dressing up and each group will be in charge of coming up with questions based on 2020.
- Pick an awesome team name. My husband and I are known as “The Petrosexuals”.
- Share your quizzes online. I’ll be releasing my quiz questions (and others) so you can all host your own virtual quizzes with no extra work.
- Make a night of it. Instead of the traditional holiday party, get comfy in your own living room with hot chocolate, mulled wine, and even some festive snacks.
- Above all else, remember to have fun!
4. Dust off the decorations.
It sounds obvious but dusting off your holiday decorations can really help you feel more festive. We may be separated or isolated over the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it. Even putting up external decorations can help spread joy to your friends and neighbours.
Wrap some lights around the porch, hang the wreath, light the Yule log, and light the cinnamon-spiced candle. You’ll be feeling the holiday vibes in no time.
5. Thank your local key workers!
Finally, why not make a point of personally (but safely) thanking your local keyworkers? They’ve worked hard on the front lines during this pandemic and will continue to do so over the coming months.
My late grandmother always ensured she tipped the bin men, postman, and even those in her local store during the holidays. And her generosity didn’t go unnoticed! They not only felt appreciated but the bin men even started taking the bins in for her after lifting them. It’s just one beautiful example of how infectious kindness can be.
Struggling with ideas? Give your postie a card, tip the bin men or even send a hamper to your local care home.