The most solid advice we can give for the Christmas Season is borrowed entirely from Charles Dicken’s ‘The Christmas Carol.’ For those who need a quick refresher, it goes something like this: Scrooge is an incredibly selfish, money-obsessed man who is visited at Christmas time by a series of Christmas ghosts. They warn him that if he doesn’t change his selfish ways, he will die alone and miserable, to be missed by no one. Pretty grim stuff, hey? Scrooge thought so too, and he awoke on Christmas morning full of love and goodwill and the desire to help his fellow human beings. Thus, Christmas spirit was born.
Now don’t get us wrong, we love a good Christmas tree covered with tinsel, the green custodian of neatly wrapped gifts and thoughtfully written cards. But it’s super important to remember all that stuff – the new trinkets, the expensive gadgets – is nice to have but as they say, you can’t take it with you. Which is why we reckon the best and most important things in life have exactly nothing to do with money, and everything to do with family and friends. And on that note, what exactly does ‘Christmas spirit’ look like? Below, we share a few things going on at this time of year in the spirit of giving back and sharing the love!
Last year, in lieu of sending Christmas cards and hampers to clients, Five At Heart made a $5000.00 donation to The Property Industry Foundation. They even detailed to us exactly where and on what that money would be spent. Their charity partner, Whitelion Open Family Australia, directed this money toward gifts for young boys and young men. Specifically, this meant things like hats, headphones, sports shop vouchers and stationery.
No One Eats Alone on Christmas Day
Most of us have probably read the article about the Turkish restaurant, Shish, in London saying exactly that – no one should have to eat alone on Christmas Day. As such, they’re inviting any homeless or elderly people to come for a free, three-course meal between midday and 6pm on Christmas Day. How did this come about? An elderly local woman walked into the restaurant in November asking if somebody could help her close a window. She thanked them and mentioned she’d be alone for Christmas. She reminded Serdar Kigili, the owner, of his own mother back in Turkey, who he hadn’t seen for five years, and his strong sense of community kicked in. They’ve also had around 50 people volunteer to cook, clean and drive people to and from on the day. The strongest example of Christmas Spirit out there!
One Five At Heart-er used to moonlight as Santa Clause at the local shopping centre. We can probably all agree that sitting patiently while child after child after child clamber atop you and divulge their Christmas wishes, all pepped up on Christmas lollies, takes a special kind of patience! One particular highlight was a local pensioner climbing atop his lap, with a few too many Christmas drinks under her belt – ah the memories!
Expand Your Family
Far too many kids spend Christmas Day in a care home, which is basically a house full of kids who, for whatever reason, have nowhere else to go. You can ‘adopt’ one of these kids as one team member and her family did. This involves receiving information on a particular child (in this case a little boy named Jack, aged 5) and then organizing presents for them to be delivered for Christmas Day. Hopefully Jack will love playing with his new ninja turtle toys and flying his new kite!
All Creatures Great and Small
Dog and cat lovers, (let’s face it, you’re one or the other) rejoice! If you’ve always wanted a furry friend but your current life sitch just isn’t allowing it…it’s time to reassess! Christmas is a pretty flat out time for animal shelters and some of them need foster owners for dogs and cats, for a period of a week or two only. So if you’re an animal lover, meet their criteria and can provide a good and loving home, then this is the gift that keeps on giving! The only downside would of course be giving your new four-legged friend back at the end of your foster stint. But hey, maybe you’ll decide it’s the time’s right for you to get a pet after all…