Without meaning to sound too preachy, Christmas is a time for giving as well as receiving - not only to those closest to you, but to those who need help most. It's the ideal time of year to take a moment to realise how lucky you are, and to recognise that not everyone is so fortunate, especially in the light of World AIDS Day yesterday.
So I don't want to get all Geldof on you, maybe they don't know it's Christmas time at all and no, despite global warming's best efforts, there probably won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time (although, once in recorded history, it has snowed in the Sahara desert - random fact), maybe the greatest gift 'they'll' get this year is life - but you can give them something else.
Aside from my own selfish wants and needs (see here), this is what I'll be asking for:
Gifts from Oxfam Unwrapped.
Please please please if you do anything today, follow this link and at least have a look at what as little as £5 can get. You can spend that last fiver of your budget for a family member on buying food for a family or health check-ups for those in need, instead of the obligatory Terry's Chocolate Orange/Toblerone (although I do love those and will cry if I don't get at least one!)
(Images from www.oxfam.com)
Every single one of these gifts is a great idea to ask for or to give, even as a side-gift to something more personal - who doesn't like to know that they've done their bit?
I'm not exactly acknowledged worldwide as a successful philanthropist but it's important to help improve the lives of others. After all, we only have the money we do because we were fortunate enough to born into a situation where we have the opportunity to work and earn like we do in the West. Money is a privilege and we should share it wherever we can to make sure other people have their basic rights and needs met.
So before I get too political (ew), I'll finish with this...
I hope that whatever presents you buy, they put a smile on someone's face. After all, that's the best, best, best part of Christmas! (Well, that and the food...)
Ciao for now,