Capturing the real Christmas Spirit this Festive Season

By jooakes 24th November 2021

Teaching children compassion and empathy is something we all try to do – and theres no better time to promote this than at Christmas. But the truth is that children are often the most compassionate of us all. 

This year, more than ever, it’s important to appreciate what we do have at this time of year and at the same time share compassion for others – be it friends, family or neighbours – who may be struggling.

Festivities are times to be with loved ones, enjoying good food and sharing gifts. Theyre times of great emotions – often very happy, but also on occasion very hard. Financial worries, loneliness or missing friends or family can make these times challenging.

That’s why it’s important to remember quite how amazing communities are and the support that people can give when they offer their time, knowledge and compassion. Young people are particularly good at rallying the troops and getting stuck in! As a children’s newspaper, we hear incredible stories about schools arranging fun runs or bake sales to raise money for charity. We hear about them setting challenges to support friends going through hard times, helping elderly people with their shopping or organising events to collect food and toiletries for local food banks. Such kind acts demonstrate exactly what genuine festive and indeed community spirit really is. 

We all lead busy lives, with jobs and our own families to juggle, so it can be difficult to see where ‘helping others’ can possibly fit in. However, there are many simple yet hugely impactful ways that we can promote kindness in the leadup to Christmas and beyond.

Here are a few of our favourite suggestions for you to consider: 

  • Help your local food bank. 

Donating money to charities and good causes is an obvious way to support others, and this can be done in different ways. Food banks are always in need of donations, with more and more people relying on these to feed their families. 

Most supermarkets will have foodbank donations baskets in store – so adding a couple of things into these having done your weekly shop is easy, yet will make a genuine difference to someone’s Christmas. It can also help children to understand and be aware that many other people really do struggle with basic needs, things that we can all take for granted – and not just bikes, game consoles and trainers. 

  • Create food or toy hampers.

Ask your children to think about what other children less fortunate than them, perhaps the same age, need and would enjoy at Christmas. Then pop your selection into a box and donate it to a charity in need.

Research by Bupa shows that doing something for a good cause has a direct, positive impact on someone’s mental health and wellbeing. It really is a ‘feel good’ activity and can help us all get through what is, quite frankly, a stressful (though fun) time, even for those who are fortunate enough to be celebrating comfortably with friends and family.

  • Carry out a simple act of kindness.

Other ways to spread kindness at Christmas, as inspired by our wonderful readers, can cost absolutely nothing. Writing a card to someone who may be on their own or giving them a call to check they are okay, plating up an extra Christmas dinner and popping it around to an elderly neighbour (most of us cook too much anyway) or helping someone decorate their house who may otherwise struggle. Even just a smile and a few kind words can make a difference – the list is endless.

Hopefully, we will all be able to celebrate the festive season as we wish to this year. But make it count and let’s follow the lead of so many young people who set such a fantastic example when it comes to showing care and compassion for others. 

If you’d like to learn more about the incredible work of young people and what they’re achieving across the world, why not pick up a gift subscription to First News this year? It not only provides a child with knowledge and inspiration, but it sparks an interest in the world and our future, showing how they can truly make a difference.


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