Yesterday saw me brace myself, flanked as I was with lists and ideas. A deep breath, and an annual time-restricted research programme commenced once more.
Yesterday marked the commencement of my Christmas shopping.
Yes, it is that time of year again when we find ourselves searching online, fighting crowds in the city centre and hunting high and low inside shops to find the right size, or correct series. We search for the ‘right gift’ for our loved ones, something that they would like or desperately want, before we take great delight in wrapping it up, ready for giving.
I personally adore Christmas present-giving. I love being able to find different, unique gifts for my friends and family, tailored to their interests or our shared experiences and inside jokes. I love being able to say thank you, and express my appreciation for their advice, support and friendship through presenting them with wrapped gifts.
Christmas morning in my house tends to involve us all sneaking into the living room, attempting to hide our bags behind us (and normally failing) to tuck them beneath the tree. A while later, we are tucking into chocolates and surrounded by wrapping paper, laughing and merry, with our chorus of ‘thank yous’ and ‘you shouldn’t have’ filling the room. Last year was particularly memorable, as my sister and I travelled home for Christmas to be with our family – her from Scotland, and myself from America. I think that my greatest present was simply being able to see my family again after many months apart. It was a lovely occasion, and one I am truly thank for. Christmas therefore to me is a time for family and friends, of friendship and love. It is not about receiving as much as it is about giving.
For many of us, Christmas is about celebration, relaxation and fun. It is a time for presents, festive feasts and family celebration. But not for everyone. And this is the very reason for my writing this post today.
For others, Christmas is a time of suffering. In the most deprived areas of the world, Christmas is simply another time in the year when they endure hardship and a struggle to keep going. This year, there will be parents who are unable to feed their children due to famine and drought. There will be sick children who unable to receive medical care and attention. There will be children and young people who cannot access education. It will be simply another month of lacking clean, safe water and shelter.
But Children in Crossfire seeks to help those less fortunate, by helping to provide food, water and medical care through working with local communities. Advent Appeal 2015 is here, and provides a means for you to play a charitable part this Christmas by giving a present for the future.
The Advent Appeal is simply a way to make Christmas special for all. By donating to Children in Crossfire, you can help the charity work with local communities to ensure there is clean water, schools and the opportunities to provide for families.
To read about a case study in Tanzania, involving a lady and her family who were helped by Children in Crossfire and how you can help out this Christmas, please visit the relevant website page here.
I am the Secretary and committee member for the student society of Children in Crossfire at Queen’s University Belfast, and I cannot wait to help out with our Christmas fundraising events. Christmas, as I have previously mentioned, is about giving. I can think of no better way to give this festive season than donating to the Advent Appeal. It is not just a gift for the moment – it is a step towards helping others have what we take for granted, such as water and food.
If I can make Christmas a special occasion for those less fortunate than myself, I will do so. This Christmas, I hope to be able to give a present for the future. Why not consider giving such a wonderful gift too?