Giving gifts of kindness

The festive period can feel stressful and costly but it doesn’t have to be. Simple acts of kindness and care can make all the difference to people’s lives and create memories that will last a long, long time. These gifts just cost a little time and effort and will make a huge difference to people you care about.

Sara and Rosie in the Open Door Team have come up with a list of Christmas kindness tips to inspire you and ensure those around you feel special.

Offer to help the host

Is someone hosting you over Christmas? Ring ahead and say you’d like to be helpful, eg “I’ll be there two hours before lunch so make a list of things for me to do!” There’s often so much more to do than expected when you’re the host so having a helper cuts down their worry and stress.

Make contact

Nominate three people you think might not hear from many people at this time of year and ring them over the festive period for a chat. It’s a small effort that might make a big difference to someone struggling.

Use meaningful words in your Christmas cards

Recall some happy memories you share with the person you’re writing to. Or reminisce about a nice thing they did for you in the past. It will make your gesture feel extra special and personal.

Choose a charity

Before you donate, take a look on the charity’s website to see if they have a wish list. See if you can spot something that you think few people are likely to send.

Say thank you

If you’re hosted this Christmas, send a card afterwards to say thank you, explaining why you had such a lovely time. Be specific and your host will feel well and truly appreciated.

Make resolutions

But not for yourself. Resolve to do something for someone or give your time to someone in 2021. Even half an hour a month can make a huge difference.

Giving half an hour of your time to someone every month can make a huge difference

Give others the gift of no pressure

If you’re meeting up over Christmas, suggest going for a walk. It adheres to Covid-19 guidelines and means no one has the pressure of hosting. Or, instead of exchanging gifts, why not suggest that you both donate a small amount to the other person’s favourite charity?

Take pressure off yourself

It’s one day, one month. Relax! We’re not perfect and you can’t give yourself or others the happiest time if you’re stressed. Simplify your plans, delegate – and put your feet up!


Give of yourself. Put your phone down and give people your undivided attention. In a world where we are constantly switched on and never truly present, this simple but significant gesture can make people feel truly special.

Don’t overlook the small things

Do you have a friend who politely overlooks your messy house every time they visit? Does your partner always put out the recycling without being asked? No matter how ordinary the gesture, if you’re grateful, tell that person. Give the gift of appreciation for the small things.

Image by Mark Rabe on Unsplash

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