The season of giving is just around the corner. With all the blessings you’ve received this year, what better way to celebrate it than by giving back? Might as well visit an orphanage, donate for a cause, and be (not just give!) an Aguinaldo to someone else this (and every) Christmas!
Brush up your holiday plans with these 10 ideas.
1. Celebrate your office or barkada Christmas Party in an orphanage
Wine and karaoke make a killer Christmas party combo, but have you ever considered doing something different this year? Instead of the usual salu-salo, #drunksgiving, and extravagant gifts, why not spend time with those who can’t afford such luxuries? Play parlor games, sing Christmas carols, and give gifts to less privileged children. For starters, you may check out Manila Boystown in Marikina and Virlanie Foundation in Makati.
2. Organize a toy/book drive in your neighborhood
If organizing a Christmas party is too much for you, then why not just set up a toy or book drive? It can be as simple as gathering your family’s old toys and books. If you plan on taking it to the next level, you can also try coordinating with your Parish or your Homeowners’ Association. We’re sure organizations such as the Kristyano-Islam (KRIS) Library will appreciate your efforts.
3. Sell your old things and donate the profits to a local charity
Along with Christmas comes the New Year, and what better way to welcome that than by freeing up your cluttered spaces? Hold a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a cause you believe in. Mind you, you are not just making more closet room—you are also giving others a fighting shot at a new beginning. Check out this PCNC database of certified NGOs!
4. Buy gifts from small businesses
Holiday shopping is synonymous to crowded malls and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Skip the hassle and give back this Christmas by supporting small businesses instead. Maybe you can order pastries from your friendly tita neighbor, or buy handcrafted novelty items from your… teacher’s cousin’s best friend’s mom? Whoever it is, make their holiday extra special by patronizing their products and spreading the word about their little venture. Plus points: they’re sure to be unique, too!
Related story: 15 Dapitan Arcade and Tiangge Finds
5. Prepare little treats for carollers
No Pinoy Christmas is ever complete without carollers! Their makeshift tambourines and tambols, paired with their lively, albeit unrehearsed, renditions of “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” and “Namamasko (Sa Maybahay Ang Aming Bati)” lift our Christmas spirits every time. Make their day by adding treats to the typical barya—chocolates, candies, all that. It will surely paint a smile on their faces!
Related story: Top 10 Pinoy Christmas Traditions
6. Donate blood
Some might wonder why this is on the list, but we have to remember that not everyone is spending the holidays in their comfy homes. Make an effort to reach out to others who need more than just money, food, toys, or gifts. Give back by donating blood—you might just save a life this Christmas. Learn more through Red Cross.
7. Personalize your gifts
It’s tempting to get the same gift for each person in your office/barkada, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could give something that’s well thought-out? Make a list in advance and buy gifts that are relevant to your friends and family. A handwritten card can also go a long way, especially in the age of instant messaging.
Related story: Holiday Shopping Challenge: Divisoria Gift Hunting
8. Exercise your creativity and recycle
When we say “give back,” we don’t just mean to people; you can also give back to Mother Nature by making the holidays as environment-friendly as possible! Use old newspapers and magazines as gift wrappers, and prettify them using some YouTube-learned wrapping skills. Instead of buying new (and disposable) decorations for your office, why not recycle your used supplies? In fact, you may make it interesting by holding a contest, too: Best recycled desk decoration wins a month-long supply of caffeine. Any takers?
9. Stock up on Christmas “care packages” for street children
When you’re stuck in traffic and a street child knocks on your window, rethink about giving them your spare change. Go a little further and have something prepared for them. A care package—complete with food, clean water, hygiene tools, and maybe even an extra shirt—can make a difference. Hand them out each chance you can, and touch one young life after another.
10. Prepare Noche Buena baskets for your household help and their families
Finally, let us not forget about the people who make our lives easier everyday. This Christmas, say thank you by presenting your helpers and drivers with gifts of joy to be set in their own dining tables. Noche Buena essentials (such as ham and queso de bola) make a great gift, and so do bigas (uncooked rice), canned goods, and fruits. Be creative, be thoughtful, and give back whichever way you can.