Meaningful gifts you can give without spending a fortune this Christmas

It can be easy to get swept up in all the shopping, sales events and promotions around Christmas. 

Everyone is looking for the perfect gift and the best bargain, but it’s important to remember the best gift of all could be a small donation, a free meal, a positive experience or even a smile at Christmas.

There are thousands of people around Australia who can’t afford to buy presents for their friends and family this Christmas. There are also lots of people who don’t have anywhere to stay, who don’t know when their next meal will be, or simply don’t have anyone to share the holidays with.

Rather than stressing out looking for trinkets and gifts for friends and family this year, consider donating to a good cause on their behalf. You could make a real difference for families and individuals in need – in this blog, we share three meaningful ways you can give this year without having to spend a fortune- read on!

#1. Donate to your local charity or your favourite social cause

Let’s face it – Christmas can be overrun with trinkets, plastic and gift cards which will eventually end up in the trash. Rather than running around your local Westfield looking for something vaguely meaningful for your friends, family members and coworkers, consider donating to a local charity or social cause on their behalf.

Consider getting a team of friends together and ransack your cupboards for clothing, shoes, toys, and home-wares you no longer use, then donate them to your local op shop so another family or individual can enjoy them this Christmas.

Alternatively, if you have a few extra dollars to spare, consider contributing to a local charity event for Christmas. At Samaritans, we host Christmas Lunch every year in Newcastle, Wyong and Singleton, because we believe everyone deserves to have a holly jolly Christmas.

Here’s how your donation will help us share the Christmas spirit this year:

  • $25 will shout Christmas Lunch for ONE person in need
  • $50 will shout Christmas Lunch for TWO people in need
  • $100 will shout Christmas Lunch for ONE FAMILY OF FOUR who need extra cheer on Christmas Day

Plus, any additional funds we make will go towards assisting men, women and children in need across Newcastle, the Hunter & the Central West in 2020. Make someone’s Christmas and New Year with a donation as small as $25.

Click here to donate 

#2. Volunteer at a local event

If you’re looking for a rewarding, experience-based gift for a friend, you might consider volunteering together this Christmas, or even in the New Year when the festivities have settled down.

Apart from helping people, volunteering has tonnes of benefits you probably didn’t even know about:

  • Volunteering connects you with generous, like-minded people. It’s an opportunity to expand your circle and meet a wide range of people you might not have had the opportunity to meet previously.
  • It’s great for your mind and body. Volunteers tend to walk and exercise more on the job, meaning you’ll get a great workout and rush of endorphins, plus volunteering has been proven to negative feelings because you’re socialising, increasing your self-confidence, and helping someone who needs you.
  • Volunteering can increase your job and educational prospects. Volunteer experience looks great on a resume and shows you’re selfless, confident, and committed to helping the local community without a financial incentive. Plus, you’re gaining new skills on the job which could help in your future job!

Yep, volunteering is super good for the soul and the perfect opportunity to bond with your friends, while also giving back to the community. We’re always looking for volunteers here at Samaritans, especially around Christmas – learn more about our volunteering opportunities.

#3. Organise a fundraising event at your work or school

Want to get festive at work or school? Consider hosting a themed fundraising event! 

  • Ugly Christmas Sweaters. Challenge your coworkers or school mates to the ultimate test – who can wear the ugliest Christmas Sweater. Encourage everyone to bring in a gold coin donation, or serve up homemade gingerbread and cookies for $1.00 and donate the funds to your local charity.
  • Charitable Secret Santa. When you’re shopping for someone anonymous in need, it’s always Secret Santa! Get a team together and pack Santa Sacks full of gifts, food, clothing and more, then donate it to your local charity. This year, we’re running our Giving Tree Campaign, where we donate your gifts to local families who can’t afford presents. The cut of date is December 20th – so get on it!

A fundraising event is a great opportunity to get everyone together, have a laugh or two, and get in the mood for the festive season. The gift of friendship and a memorable experience can be more than enough this Christmas!